West Midlands Police praised in new 'at-a-glance' performance reports
West Midlands Police has been praised by the national police
watchdog for cutting crime, tracing offenders and reducing
anti-social behaviour − and all for just 55p per person per
New police performance reports by Her Majesty's Inspector of
Constabulary (HMIC) applaud the force for its efforts to prevent
crime, including rigorous management of offenders, and the standard
of its investigations.
And the force's achievement of cutting costs in line with
government savings whilst reducing crime and keeping a strong
police presence on the streets was rated "outstanding".
The PEEL − Police Effectiveness Efficiency & Legitimacy − report is designed to give
the public an 'at-a-glance' overview of how well police are doing
in their area.
It reads: "Crime in the West Midlands has fallen in line with the
rate in England and Wales but the level of anti-social behaviour is
lower (than elsewhere). The force has made good progress in
understanding victims' perspectives and improving victim care… and
delivers excellent value for money."
The cost of policing in the West Midlands is 55p per person per
West Midlands Police's first PEEL report − which simplifies
evidence from detailed HMIC inspections on specific areas of police
business − adds that the force is focused on fairness and responds
robustly to any misconduct or corruption.
And it says the force "makes good, appropriate use of restorative
justice outcomes" that cut red tape associated with formal court
procedures and frees officers up to patrol and tackle crime.
"The force has good crime-recording procedures in place when
receiving reports of crime," it continues, "meaning that victims of
crime receive the service they should when they first report a
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said,
"West Midlands Police faces the most challenging financial
circumstances of any police force in the country. It is
therefore heartening to see that we continue to be rated as
excellent in our financial planning and the steps we have taken to
cope with £126 million in cuts over the last four years. My
satisfaction is tempered by a recognition that unfair
implementation of the government's own national policing funding
formula has meant that we have lost £367 million of funding that
should have come to us since 2006, and largely gone to low crime
forces instead. West Midlands Police has shown how public
services can be lean, efficient and forward thinking, but it would
be naive not to recognise that there have been serious consequences
from our harsher treatment - notably four years without recruiting
any officers, the need to use A19 to compulsorily retire officers,
and a genuine risk that without fairer funding, recruitment will
stop again after the current round of 450 new officer posts.
In this context, recommendations from HM Inspectorate of
Constabulary that we should increase resources in particular areas,
for example the Professional Standards Department (which has been
the victim of national top slicing to boost the budget of the
Independent Police Complaints Commission) show a lack of joined up
thinking and a limited appreciation of the scale and injustice of
the challenge we face."
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims, said: "The PEEL
reports enable the public to judge our performance as a whole…
anything that makes it easier for people to hold us to account and
get involved with local policing has to be a good thing.
"Overall, it recognises good standards of policing and crime
investigation, acknowledging our efforts to keep crime rates
falling, with some areas of business rated 'outstanding'."