Police offender management

Monday, 09 May, 2022

Bedfordshire Police have been rated as 'Outstanding' for the way they manage offenders, which has seen a 91 per cent reduction in burglars re-offending.

The force received the grading for managing offenders and suspects following an inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) - the first force in the country to receive the grade for that area of work.

It was part of an HMICFRS PEEL report which rates forces on Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy.

Inspectors found that 72 per cent of those under Bedfordshire Police's Integrated Offender Management scheme had stopped or reduced offending in 2020/21, including a 91 per cent reduction among known burglars. The approach is estimated to have saved society more than £2.3m across all crime in 2020/21.

Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said: "It's fantastic to receive an 'Outstanding' grade and is testament to our commitment to proactive prevention rather than just responding to crimes. By working with people caught in the cycle of crime and guiding them to help and support it not only saves society money, but ultimately reduces the number of victims."

HMICFRS no longer provide 'overall' gradings, however, alongside the 'Outstanding' for Managing offenders Bedfordshire Police received 'Good' ratings in four areas:

* Engaging with and treating the public with respect

* Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour

* Building supporting and protecting the workforce

* Strategic planning, organisational management and value for money

It was graded 'Adequate' for Protecting vulnerable people' and 'Requires improvement' in both Responding to the public and Investigating crime.

The inspection praised the force across a range of areas including work on digital engagement and ensuring ethical use of stop and search and use of force powers.

The work to tackle cyber crime including the innovative use of four digital vans to assess and secure evidence in high-risk investigations was also highlighted as good practice.

Areas for improvement included call handling in the Force Contact Centre and oversight of investigations to better protect victims, including the use of orders such as Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) - with only 14 issued during 2020/21.

However, since the inspection the force's use of DVPOs is on track to exceed more than 200 for 2021/22 - following changes to give greater supervision and the formation of a separate 'safeguarding and intervention team'.

A full-scale review of the Force Contact Centre has also taken place focusing on investing in staff and making best use of technology. A new approach is set to be launched later this year.

Mr Forsyth said: "I'm incredibly proud of all of the innovative work being carried out by the force, we have some exceptional people with great ideas to help us police more effectively - and crucially, given our financial issues, efficiently.

"It's also particularly pleasing the inspectors recognised the work we are doing around transparency, including the independent scrutiny we invite on stop and search and use of force - that is so crucial to building trust and confidence with the public.

"While the positives are great, perhaps more important is to identify areas for improvement, particularly when it involves victim care. The HMICFRS process gives us independent insight and can help shine a light on areas in need of focus.

"We have already made strides forward in some of the areas which were highlighted, and our PCC is also committed to helping us invest and focus on where we need to improve our service to the public."



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