Herts police are 'good'
POLICE in Herts have been described as good under a police performance assessment from the HM Inspector of Constabulary. And in Cambridgeshire the assessment showed a dramatic improvement compared with 2004-05. Ian Laidlaw-Dickson, chairman of the Herts
POLICE in Herts have been described as "good" under a police performance assessment from the HM Inspector of Constabulary.
And in Cambridgeshire the assessment showed a dramatic improvement compared with 2004-05.
Ian Laidlaw-Dickson, chairman of the Herts Police Authority, said the results of the assessment were due to the "hard work" of the constabulary over the past 12 months.
"This is the third year running that Herts has received a good report," he said.
"The HMIC's assessment supports the police authority view that Herts has a very good police force that continues to strive for greater efficiency and improvement."
Under the assessments, the constabulary was assessed on seven main categories covering a wide range of policing from preventing and detecting crime through to the use of resources.
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The constabulary was seen as "excellent" for local policing, "good" for reducing crime, investigating crime, providing assistance, citizen focus and use of resources.
In addition, the constabulary's performance was seen to have "improved" in four of the categories.
In a baseline assessment of Herts police, the constabulary received 19 "good" points out of 23, and the HMIC was impressed by the initiatives to work in partnership with communities in a bid to discover long-term solutions to local problems.
The report highlighted three case studies of activity that the HMIC considered good practice.
These were the handling of media and communications issues during the Buncefield oil terminal explosion; initiatives to ensure the constabulary took full advantage of the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize criminals' assets and a project which re-organised staff releasing the equivalent of 91 post for policing work.
There were areas, however, in which HMIC said the constabulary could improve: such as increased training in investigative skills for officers interviewing prisoners.
Mr Laidlaw-Dickson said: "The police authority will be working with the constabulary to ensure the areas for improvement identified are addressed."
Chief constable Frank Whiteley said the assessment had identified the "many strengths" of Herts police and the "positive" results had been due to the hard work and professionalism of officers and staff.
"We have a solid platform to build on and I have every intention that we will continue to improve services to the people in Herts," he added.
In Cambridgeshire, police authority chairman Michael Williamson said the constabulary was "delighted with the marked improvements" highlighted by the HMIC.
He said: "Clearer direction and better management of resources has resulted in effective reorganisation to deal with our primary concern - the successful detection and investigation of crime."
Mr Williamson said such as initiatives as an increase in police community support officers and the introduction of neighbourhood policing had played "a vital role in these significant improvements".
And chief constable Julie Spence said: "This assessment is proof that we have taken giant strides in detecting and fighting crime and offering reassurance to the community."
Kate Flannery, HMIC for the eastern region, said she had seen "a real and positive turnaround" in the constabulary.