West Midlands Police is working well to cut crime, anti-social behaviour and keep the public safe, a new report has shown.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) has examined the effectiveness of the force and given a ‘good’ rating overall.

The PEEL report – released today (Thursday 18 February) – praised the ‘strong commitment’ to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour which includes a more preventative style of policing.

There was an eight per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour in the 12 months up to June 30 and there were fewer incidents than the national average.

The inspection found there was a strong visible police presence in communities and successful work with partners to carry out enforcement and use civil orders.

Standards of investigations, managing serious offenders and tackling organised crime gangs were also highlighted as good by inspectors.

The HMIC has graded the effectiveness of each police force in England and Wales with just one judged to be ‘outstanding,’ 24 are ‘good’ and 18 which ‘require improvement.’

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said:

“It is pleasing to see West Midlands Police ranked as Good by HMIC for the way it keeps people safe and its overall effectiveness.

“The force has been praised for the way it prevents crime and anti-social behaviour. This effective approach is clearly paying off as there were 23.7 incidents of anti-social behaviour per 1,000 population in the West Midlands compared to 32.9 for England and Wales.

“The force was also commended for the way it tackles serious and organised crime, manages offenders and investigates crimes. This is very impressive when considering just how many calls West Midlands Police receives – 847 calls for assistance per 1,000 population compared to 350 for England and Wales.

“However, it is my job to hold West Midlands Police to account and point out when things are not working as well as they should. HMIC states that the force requires improvement when it comes to protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims and I will make sure these improvements are made.

“The report states that there are ‘gaps’ in the way the force assesses risk – we are bringing in a brand new framework to improve this.

“My office is also supporting victims and, over the past 12 months, has invested £3 million in specialist support services across the West Midlands via the country’s first Victims Commission to support people who have been affected by issues including domestic abuse, rape and sexual violence and hate crime.

“These improvements are just the beginning and I will work hard to ensure West Midlands Police continues to get better at protecting the most vulnerable amongst us.”

West Midlands Police Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said: “We strive to reduce crime and ensure our communities are safe places to be every minute of every day.

“Ensuring the well-being of people across the West Midlands is at the heart of what we do; and this will continue to be the case. We are pleased the HMIC recognise the work we are doing.”

Initiatives which were highlighted included a specialist team set up to dismantle gangs and Operation Sentinel to highlight awareness of crimes affecting the vulnerable such as child and domestic abuse, sexual offences and modern day slavery.

The report said the force is committed to protecting the vulnerable, although improvements are needed in understanding the risks they face.

DCC Rolfe added: “Although the report says we provide a good service to vulnerable victims, we note there is room for improvement.

“Protecting those who are most vulnerable is a priority and we are always looking at ways to improve. Our public protection unit has already significantly increased in size.”

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