Watchdog praises performance of police

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A POLICE force’s commitment to tackling crime in communities has been hailed by a watchdog.

Durham Constabulary’s continued commitment to neighbourhood policing has been recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which is responsible for monitoring the performance of the UK’s 43 forces.

The force was one of six reviewed following its Policing in Austerity report, which suggested financial constraints were leading some forces to focus on response and volume crime investigation rather than on community policing.

HM Inspector, Roger Baker, said that despite facing financial challenges, the force remains committed to having identifiable officers designated to neighbourhoods and continues to both engage with communities and work with partner agencies and organisations to address any issues of concern.

Mr Baker added: “During our inspection, we heard a real commitment to neighbourhood policing from everyone we spoke with, ranging from the police and crime commissioner to front-line staff.”

Head of the force’s neighbourhood command, Chief Superintendent Ivan Wood, said: “Neighbourhood policing is at the heart of Durham Constabulary’s service delivery and we are committed to maintaining dedicated staff in those roles and finding innovative ways to enhance that service.

“We hope this ensures people in our communities are confident they are receiving the service they expect and deserve.

“We are totally committed to tackling the problems that cause concern for people in County Durham and Darlington.”