Police in Cambridgeshire must improve efficiency to ‘ease demand on police time’

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire Constabulary must be more efficient in reducing crime and keeping people safe, according to a new report.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) issued a report on November 1 rating police forces across the country for their efficiency in bringing down levels of crime and their ability to keep residents safe.

In its assessment of the Cambridgeshire force, it said there remained inefficient internal processes that were leading to “unnecessary demand on police time and resources”.

The inspectorate also noted that the Cambridgeshire force needed to improve the way it was planning for demand on its officers in the future.

The report noted: “The lack of a comprehensive understanding of future demand and workforce capabilities limits its ability to plan for the future. The force does make prudent assumptions about future income and costs.”

Inspectors noted that the force was making good progress in improving its working practices and collaborative working with neighbouring constabularies, but added that more work was needed to ensure that enough savings could be found to ensure the force had a balanced budget in future.

The report noted: “Despite better than anticipated government grant for policing in 2016/17, the force still faces shortfalls in its budget every year until 2019/20.

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“The force does not yet have detailed plans in place to assure itself that sufficient sustainable savings can be found.”

Responding to the report, the force’s Assistant Chief Constable, Nav Malik, said: “We accept the findings of HMIC’s efficiency report. While we are disappointed with the overall judgment, we recognise the issues raised and are already taking steps to address the findings and improve in the areas identified.

“We have made significant progress in understanding our current and future demand, but there is clearly more work to do. We will continue to explore national good practice through the College of Policing and our recent partnership with the Open University.

“We remain committed to partnership working to understand and manage both current and likely future demands.

“While HMIC highlighted areas in which we can improve, we are pleased the report acknowledges our strength in managing current demand, including our investment in additional resources in areas of increasing demand such as the public protection department, which investigates serious sexual offences and safeguards vulnerable children and adults.”

Police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, added: “Since coming into post in May this year I have got a really good feel for the constabulary and what a great organisation it is. However, I recognise that there are areas for improvement which I am working with the chief constable to address.

“HMIC inspections look back and report on the picture as it was a year ago. I want to look forward and address wider community safety issues alongside our partners as part of our work to fully understand, and better manage, the demand on our resources.”