Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has today published its Police Effectiveness reports for all forces across the country, following a number of HMIC inspections over the last year.
This is the second Effectiveness report Merseyside Police has received and the force has maintained its overall rating of good and its outstanding rating for tackling serious and organised crime. There are four categories which are graded by the HMIC and they are:
- How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime? (Outstanding)
- How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe? (Good)
- How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing reoffending? (Good)
- How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims? (Good)
The report states that: "Merseyside Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has an effective approach to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, investigating crime and reducing re-offending, protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims. It is outstanding at tackling serious and organised crime."
“Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year, when we judged the force to be good in respect of effectiveness.”
Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham, said: “I am pleased to report that Merseyside Police continues to be good at the way in which it effectively keeps people safe and reduces crime.”
He continued …“Merseyside Police is good at investigating crime and supporting victims. We found trained call centre staff who are able to offer good advice to victims, until a police response arrives… I am pleased the force continues to protect vulnerable victims. Officers and staff understand how to correctly identify vulnerable victims in order to provide the best possible service…”
“Merseyside Police continues to be outstanding in the way it tackles serious and organised crime. The force has a comprehensive understanding of issues affecting its communities on a daily basis… The force should be commended for how it deters offenders being drawn back into gang crime, and the work it does to prevent re-offending.”
Following publication of the Effectiveness report Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Sue Murphy said: “Once again Merseyside Police has been assessed as consistently good at delivering what is essentially its core business – preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, keeping people safe, protecting the vulnerable and supporting victims. On top of this, inspectors found Merseyside Police to be one of just four forces which is outstanding at tackling serious and organised crime.
“Inspectors clearly recognised the emphasis the Force places on listening and responding to its communities and I welcome their praise for its understanding of local need and its response to vulnerable victims. It was also particularly pleasing that they highlighted the effectiveness of our neighbourhood policing teams.
“Maintaining a visible and accessible neighbourhood police service remains one of the Police Commissioner’s policing priorities, but as lead inspector Zoe Billingham has highlighted, this important aspect of local policing is being gradually eroded by a lack of government funding. It is time ministers paid attention to these warnings and provided sufficient resources to our police service, before the ability to deliver this service across England and Wales is completely stripped away.
“This positive report has been achieved in the face of unprecedented cutbacks to our funding, which has seen £91m shaved from the budget since 2010. This is testament to the dedication and professionalism of the hard-working men and women of Merseyside Police and they should be applauded for their efforts despite the increasingly difficult circumstances.”
Deputy Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, said: "The findings of the HMIC are testimony to the hard work carried out by officers and staff in our communities every day. Merseyside Police is committed to putting our communities first – listening to their problems and acting on concerns. To provide an effective police service we need to understand the needs of our communities and keep victims at the forefront of our minds, whilst protecting the vulnerable and those at risk of harm.
"By knowing and understanding our communities we are better placed to ensure that our resources are in the right places. With this in mind, I am particularly pleased that HMIC conclude that ‘vulnerable victims can be assured that the force will identify their vulnerability, ensure an appropriate response, and provide the necessary immediate support'."
He added: “The HMIC recognises the impact of serious and organised crime on Merseyside and the work undertaken by the force to tackle those who bring misery to our streets through the use of firearms, or the supply of drugs, and has graded our response as outstanding.
“Serious and organised crime is a priority for the force and we have recently seen an increase in firearms discharges on our streets and are investing significant resources into tackling the issue - one firearm used on our streets is one too many.
“The use of guns brings fear and intimidation to our communities. I would like to reassure our communities that Merseyside Police, as the findings of this inspection demonstrate, is never complacent in our approach to serious and organised crime and if you give us information we will act on it. We have worked hard with our communities over the years and we have shown our commitment to making the streets safer, as a result people are giving us information and they trust us to take the right action.”