Praise for Force's Continuous Improvement
The Police Efficiency report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) today has graded Gwent Police on how it currently uses its resources and how it plans to do so in the future.
As part of the government's objectives to cut public spending, central funding to the police service in Gwent has been reduced in real terms by nearly 40% since 2008. Police Forces across England and Wales have faced a difficult challenge to sustain effective levels of policing in the face of significant budget cuts. HMIC considers a police force to be efficient if it is making the best use of resources to provide policing services that meet expectations and public priorities, and if it is planning and investing wisely for the future.
Following a recent inspection, Gwent Police received an overall rating of 'Good' (the second highest grade possible) in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. HMIC emphasises that the Force has an 'outstanding' and comprehensive investment strategy that details viable plans for investment in information and communications technology (ICT), including digitisation to improve the efficiency of its service.
The report also highlights that Gwent Police has:
- A good understanding of its demand in all areas and is in a good position to deal with demand relating to the changing requirements on policing;
- A clear resourcing model and uses resources effectively to manage current demand;
- A credible financial plan;
- Developed strong collaborations with other forces, the public sector and industry to deal with demand more efficiently;
- Processes in place to ensure that it reviews the impact of change on service provision.
HMIC concludes that Gwent Police is a good force and that it has not identified any causes of concern and therefore has made no specific recommendations.
Praising the Force's performance, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: "As Commissioner I am responsible for maintaining an efficient and effective police service for our communities. This report, which highlights several examples of 'outstanding' work in this area, is really encouraging news in that respect.
It was pleasing to see the Force's collaboration and partnership working being praised as this is a key area of focus for me. It was also reassuring to read that HMIC has found that the Force has a comprehensive understanding of the range of different demands it faces and how it may offset this by working with other organisations to prevent crime and proactively seek out previously hidden crimes such as domestic abuse, internet crime and modern slavery."
Mr Cuthbert added: "Confronted with shrinking budgets in an evolving crime environment, we have to decide where to prioritise our resources and I hope that cuts to the policing service are not continued. We need to ensure that the service the public receives from Gwent Police is not reduced in any way whilst we seek to be more efficient."
The Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jeff Farrar, said: "I'm very proud for the force to be rated "Good" for a second year in a row which clearly demonstrates to the public that our planning is well in hand to meet current and future needs. HMIC have seen that, during this period of austerity, Gwent Police has been able to make significant savings while still investing in services and officers on the ground to meet local priorities and protect the most vulnerable in society. We will continue to improve for the people of Gwent."
For further information and to access the full report visit the HMIC website https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic