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Get Smart: planning to protect - HMIC Review published

Get Smart: planning to protect - HMIC Review published

HM INSPECTORATE OF CONSTABULARY News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service. 4 February 2009

A review by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary published today showed that only half of the 43 forces in England and Wales had sufficiently detailed plans for improvement in major areas of policing, including organised crime and the investigation of complex murders. However, this deficiency in planning does not necessarily reflect the quality of delivery of these key services on the ground.

"Get Smart: Planning to Protect" reviews seven broad categories of protective service:

* Serious and organised crime"

* Major crime, such as serial murders

* Critical incidents - single events which significantly impact on public safety

* Civil contingencies - natural threats or disasters, such as rail crashes

* Public order

* Roads policing - in this context, covering the use of the roads by criminals

* Protecting vulnerable persons. There were four sub-categories under this heading - domestic abuse, missing people, child abuse and the management of violent and sexual offenders

In 2005, the HMIC's "Closing the Gap" report found worrying gaps in policing protective services. Four years on, the current review has shown that some forces in England and Wales still have serious weaknesses in their planning to close those gaps.

The report recommends focussed intervention in some forces to bring up their planning and the public account of plans up to standard, with greater collaboration and consistency across the police service as a whole.

HM Assistant Inspector of Constabulary Vic Towell commented: "This review of plans has exposed that there is no common basis for formulating plans for improvement in the police service or communicating them to the public. This lack of a common language and framework means that it is incredibly difficult to aggregate individual plans up into a national picture. In the report we have offered a business planning model that we believe will help forces improve in this regard."

Notes to editors

"Get Smart: Planning to Protect" is published today 4th February 2009

Media enquiries: 020 7035 5186

Website: http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmic