Police defiant over assessment

The first PEEL assessment of Bedfordshire Police published yesterday concludes that the force ‘requires improvement’ in a number of areas.
PCC Olly MartinsPCC Olly Martins
PCC Olly Martins

The assessment however does acknowledge that it is ‘encouraged that the force leadership has a good grasp and understanding of the issues and areas that need to improve’ stating that ‘the force is 
moving in the right direction and the pace of change is now increasing’.

The PEEL assessment 
introduced by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to monitor Police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy across all forces in England and Wales takes into account findings from all HMIC inspections carried out during the past 12 months.

Chief Constable Colette Paul said: “The assessment is not unreasonable given that we are in the early stages of 
delivering against our 2014-2019 five-year plan. That said, I am rather disappointed to see that the report does not acknowledge sufficiently the progress and improvements to-date during the past 12 months.

Bedfordshire Police is currently one year into a five year journey to achieve my vision of becoming a well-respected, high-performing, efficiently run police service working together with others to protect people and keep Bedfordshire safe.”

Commissioner Olly Martins said: “Clearly Bedfordshire Police faces serious challenges because it doesn’t receive a level of resources appropriate to its needs, and in fact we face still further government police funding cuts.

“Despite this we have been able to alter the decisions to cut policing numbers inherited from the previous Police Authority and the force is now one of the few that is recruiting to improve its service to the public.

“So far this year we have seen 107 new officers join us, something HMIC barely acknowledges.

“I therefore despair of HMIC’s attitude towards Bedfordshire Police. They have a real ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ approach that is particularly unhelpful.

“Fortunately, Bedfordshire residents have been able to tune into Channel Four’s fly on the wall documentary series ‘24 hours in police custody’ to see for themselves what Bedfordshire Police does on their behalf and to make their own assessment.”