National report recognises the growing demand on front-line policing

16th March 2022

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services has published its annual assessment of policing in England and Wales.

The State of Policing report acknowledges the growing demand on front-line policing services and the challenges this creates for local policing.

Its author, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor, highlights issues such as poor public mental health provision, evolving crime types, and a lack of funding among the challenges faced by police forces across the country.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “This is a national report, used by the UK Government at the highest levels to inform decision making, and I am pleased to see it acknowledging issues that Police and Crime Commissioners have been raising for some time.

“In particular, the report highlights the challenge that poor mental health provision in communities is presenting to our police officers. In Gwent we have placed dedicated mental health practitioners in our force control rooms. Although this allows the police to deal more sensitivity and appropriately with vulnerable victims, it doesn’t help to reduce the frontline demand.  

“I am also pleased and reassured to see that Sir Thomas has acknowledged the very real difficulties that we face balancing public demand with insufficient funding.

“Gwent Police alone has had to make nearly £53 million in savings since 2010 due to government cuts. As Commissioners we have the power to raise additional funds through the local council tax precept, but it is wrong that local taxpayers should continue to shoulder the burden of long-term underfunding from the UK Government.

“Eventually something will have to give, and I hope that this report will be a wake-up call for the UK Government to seriously consider a review of police funding for the future.”

The State of Policing report is produced after months of inspections and work with police forces across the UK, and highlights what is working well, and where improvements need to be made.

Read the full report on the HMICFRS website.