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Deputy PCC urges government to invest in 'significantly stressed' police

Merseyside / November 09

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner has today urged the government to invest in our police as a new independent report assesses the service as ‘significantly stressed’.

Cllr Emily Spurrell appealed to the government to take action after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published its police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) Efficiency 2017 Inspection report for Merseyside Police and forces across the country.

The report highlights that nationally policing is under ‘significant stress’ and facing ‘increasingly complex’ pressure. The report also commented on the bravery and professionalism shown by officers and staff in dreadful circumstances, highlighting how policing relies on the commitment and dedication of its workforce, whatever their rank or role, to help keep the public safe.

The PEEL report considers the extent to which the force is making best use of its resources to ensure it is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime, how well the force understands demand and how well it uses its resources and plans for the future.

Merseyside Police received an overall judgment of being ‘good’ by inspectors, It was also graded as good at:

  • Understanding the demands for its services;
  • How it uses its resources;
  • Planning for the future.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said: “Merseyside Police continues to be assessed as ‘good’ in the way it matches the demand on its service with the skills of its people, and in its financial planning. It has sound financial plans in place and is on track to meet the savings required.

“Additionally, the force is doing a good job in developing future leaders and welcomes ideas from across its workforce and ensures these are responded to. In the next year I’d like to see it extend its analysis of staff skills to the entire workforce and continue to promote its response to innovative ideas.

"Merseyside Police has an up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of the demand for its services, including measures in place which will help it identify crimes which are frequently under-reported. It is adept at using its resources flexibly, especially when planning for major events.

"The force is in a collaboration which is investing in IT services which will enable efficient information sharing across the three forces: If successful this model should serve as a template to other forces."

Following publication of the Peel Assessment, Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Emily Spurrell said: “I welcome yet another positive report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) on the efficiency of Merseyside Police.

“A huge amount of work has been done by the Force to understand and respond to the increasingly complex demands it faces, including crimes which may be under-reported or hidden. This has been supported by extensive financial planning to make the cuts imposed by government.

“The inspectors recognise and speak highly of the work that has been done and praise the Force’s leadership during this period. They also highlight that there is a good understanding of potential future demand.

“However, it is clear from the national report just how stretched the police service is across the country. Police officers and staff are working under increasing strain.

“A national increase in recorded crime, more complex crime types, and a heightened threat level, combined with fewer people and less resources is all leading to a perfect storm, which is leaving our communities vulnerable.

“As we approach the Government's autumn statement, the Commissioner and I once again appeal to the Home Secretary to look at the cold hard facts and admit it is time this government properly invests in the people who keep us all safe, every day.

"This is a point I was pleased to raise with the policing and fire minister Nick Hurd during his visit to Merseyside this week."

Deputy Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “In every decision we make as a force, we put our communities first and we are fully committed to providing the best possible service we can, despite reductions in police officer and staff numbers and continuing funding challenges. In this context, I am particularly pleased that for the third year running, we have been judged by HMIC as being good overall with regards to the efficiency with which we keep people safe and reduce crime.

“Our officers and staff work extremely hard day in day, day out, and the assessment of good overall and across all the categories considered during the inspection is testimony to their hard work and reflective of the force’s commitment to keeping our communities a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Read Merseyside's full report here.