Warwickshire Police has been rated as ‘requiring improvement’ in regards to police legitimacy.
Today (Tuesday December 12) HMICFRS (Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services) has published its report into Police Legitimacy following an inspection of Warwickshire Police in spring 2017, looking into whether the force uses its powers fairly and treats people with respect.
Police legitimacy looks at how fairness in policing encourages public support, cooperation and respect for the law.
The report also addresses leadership, how officers and staff are treated by the organisation, and how this relates to the way they in turn treat the public.
The overall judgement of the report at ‘how legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime’ was that Warwickshire Police requires improvement.
The report also highlights that last year the force was rated as ‘good’.
Despite requring improvement HMICFRS also identified that Warwickshire police had good areas such as the introduction of body worn video and monitoring how stop and search powers are used.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Moore of Warwickshire Police said “While we are disappointed with the ‘Requires Improvement’ rating, the report does recognise that much good work has already been done in the vital areas of policing it covers.
“We are committed to treating people with fairness, ensuring we act ethically and lawfully and treating our workforce with fairness and respect. We will use the findings of the report to ensure that we build on the progress already made in these areas and continue to improve.”
HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said: “Warwickshire Police is judged as requiring improvement in how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
“This compares with our inspection last year when it was judged as ‘good’. The force is embarking on a significant and ambitious programme of change, which has hampered progress in some respects and needs to improve across many areas that we looked at.
“Although leaders clearly demonstrate that they understand and value the benefits of procedural justice, they need to provide the workforce with training so that the force consistently acts fairly, treats people with respect and communicates effectively.
“The force scrutinises its use of stop and search powers well, but must improve its understanding of how its officers and staff use force.
“Reassuringly, the force encourages external scrutiny from different groups and acts on their feedback, although it would benefit from involving young people more.
“Despite the force’s efforts to ensure that its workforce makes decisions that are ethical, it still has work to do to improve in this area. It needs to improve its handling of complaints and misconduct cases, including how it supports and communicates with complainants, witnesses and those subject to investigation.
“The force also had more to do to ensure it treats its workforce with fairness and respect.
“Although it understands the importance of addressing potential disproportionality in the recruitment, retention and progression of officers and staff with protected characteristics (such as age, ethnicity, gender or sexuality), it does not monitor disproportionality in their treatment if they are subjected to complaint or misconduct investigations.
“Positively, leaders demonstrate a growing commitment to health and wellbeing, particularly support for mental health, and this is recognised by the workforce.
“The force is also working to improve how it manages and develops individual performance.
“I am encouraged by the commitment of the force’s leaders to make progress, as evidenced by their progressive plans for the future, which are already beginning to show positive results.”