Praise for Warwickshire Police but some concerns raised

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Warwickshire Police has been given a broadly positive verdict by inspectors – although some concerns are raised.

A report published last week by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary commends the force for its efficiency and and its efforts to reduce crime, but raised questions about its attempts to improve the ethics of its staff and tackle corruption by officers.

It states: “Warwickshire Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending.

“The force is good at investigating crime. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.”

The force has entered into a ‘strategic alliance’ with West Mercia Police, with which it shares some staff and resources.

The inspectors “commend Warwickshire Police for making excellent progress in achieving what has been a very challenging savings target.

“Through the innovative and ambitious alliance with West Mercia Police, the force has made efficiency savings while maintaining and improving policing for the people of Warwickshire.”

But the report criticises the force for some of the ways in which it deals with matters internally. It states: “The force professional standards department had a significant backlog of complaints against police from members of the public.

“Staff from the anti-corruption unit are used to reduce the backlog, limiting the proactive anti-corruption capability of the force.

“The force does not effectively identify staff groups or individuals who may be vulnerable to corruption, and intelligence gathering in this regard is not proactive but this should improve as an analyst had recently been appointed. While the force responds to reports of poor behaviour or corruption, it needs to improve the capacity proactively to prevent, develop and investigate these issues.”

The inspectors found that 54 percent of adults surveyed think that the police do an excellent or good job, which is less than the figure across England and Wales of 61 percent. In addition, 53 percent of adults surveyed agree that the police deal with local concerns, which is less than the England and Wales proportion of 60 percent.

Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “In the Integrity and Corruption report, there are areas highlighted where we need to improve.

“Warwickshire Police take this area extremely seriously and we are committed to fully investigating and dealing effectively with all cases of misconduct or complaints from the public. We have been successful in identifying and addressing the conduct of those officers and staff who fall below the very high standards expected.”