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Cambridgeshire police are rated as good in latest watchdog report

By Adrian Curtis

Alec Wood
Alec Wood

Chief constable praises his officers

Cambridgeshire chief constable Alec Wood has praised his officers after the force was deemed to be ‘good’ in a report by the police standards watchdog.

Cambridgeshire is one of 28 forces recognised for its good standards while just one, Durham, was rated as ‘outstanding’.

The report, issued by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, warned that some forces were downgrading 999 calls in order to justify responding to them more slowly.

But Mr 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.

“While there were no specific recommendations made by HMIC, we continue to strive for greater effectiveness, we take heed of their areas of improvement and are reassured that they can see we continue to make good progress in the right direction.”

The region’s 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, today’s 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.”

In its annual report on forces, the inspectors said officers were arresting fewer people and too many crimes were being shelved without proper investigation.

It found that 67,000 people suspected of crimes were not entered onto the police national computer - so that all forces were made aware of them.

The report highlighted measures some forces had deployed to manage demand - although in each case it was not entirely clear whether they were directly caused by cuts or local management decisions.

“We are leading to a very serious conclusion regarding the potentially perilous state of British policing,” said Zoe Billingham, the lead inspector.

“Over the last few years, HMIC has said consistently that police forces were managing well in increasingly difficult circumstances.

“Nonetheless, today, I’m raising a red flag to warn forces of the consequences of what is, to all intents and purposes, an unconscious form of rationing.”


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