Cambridgeshire police rated ‘good’ by inspectors but improvements needed in reducing reoffending

Huntingdon police station

Huntingdon police station - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has been praised for its ability to keep people safe and reduce crime in a report published today (Thursday).

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC) rated the force as ‘good’ in its annual assessment of effectiveness, with praise for its efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour, its support for victims, and its approach to tackling serious and organised crime.

The report did call for improvements in the force’s ability to investigate crime and reduce reoffending, however.

The HMIC report noted: “Cambridgeshire Constabulary is good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. It has a good understanding of its communities and the threats they face.”

The report also praised the force’s ability to protect vulnerable victims and said its risk assessment process was effective.

The report did call for better use of data sharing and resource, however, saying that officers were sometimes taken away from their core roles.

“The force’s crime prevention activity is good, although community police officers are sometimes taken away from their core role to support response teams, which limits their ability to prevent crime and tackle anti-social behaviour.

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“The force works closely with partner organisations to reduce the threat from all types of crime. However, the force recognises that it could improve its analytical capacity and make better use of partnership data.”

Chief Constable Alec Wood said: “We accept the findings of HMIC’s effectiveness inspection, and are delighted to have achieved an overall ‘good’ judgement.

“We have worked hard over the past year to improve how we prevent crime, tackle anti-social behaviour and keep people safe. Our focus on protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims has been paramount, and we are pleased HMIC have recognised how our partnership working is making a difference to how effectively we deal with victims of these crimes.

“However, we understand there are always areas for improvement and we are working hard to address those, in particular looking at how we manage the demand coming into our organisation and ensuring consistency in our investigations across the force.

“We are pleased the report acknowledges our integrated offender management scheme, which has had success in reducing reoffending and diverting people from involvement in organised crime, and also the good work we have done with schools to identify vulnerable young people who may be at risk of being drawn into serious and organised crime.

“HMIC’s findings should help reassure the people of Cambridgeshire around our specialist capabilities, and that through our regular testing of public order, firearms and civil emergencies across the region and with partner organisations, we are well prepared to respond to any major incident or emergency.”

Police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, added: “I am pleased that HMIC has recognised the good work and positive steps that the constabulary’s officers and staff and our partners are doing every day to make Cambridgeshire a safe place.

“There is always more work to be done, however, the good rating should reassure the public that we are continuing to make good progress, particularly in the area of protecting those who are most vulnerable in our community.”