Police praised in report out today

Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman.
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman.
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Northumbria Police doing 'good' work say inspectors.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has today published an assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Northumbria Police keeps people safe and reduces crime.

For effectiveness and efficiency the force was given a good rating, but was told it needs improving in legitimacy.

HM Inspector Mike Cunningham, said: "The force is effective in preventing crime and the service provided to victims is reliable.

"The standards of investigation are generally high and there are good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime.

"I welcome the strong focus on managing offenders to reduce offending.

“Overall, the force provides a good response to safeguarding missing children and victims of domestic abuse, and it is well prepared to tackle child sexual exploitation. The force has effective arrangements in place with partner agencies to keep vulnerable people safe.

"I was reassured that the force achieved its saving requirements for the spending review period while continuing to protect local policing. It has set a balanced budget for 2015/16 and has solid financial plans for the future."

However, Mr Cunningham said he was concerned that the force does not comply with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.

Commenting on today's report, Northumbria Police Chief Constable, Steve Ashman, said: "It is encouraging to see HMIC has recognised that Northumbria Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime is good in the areas of effectiveness and efficiency.

"We accept there are aspects of the legitimacy report we need to improve on and we have already started work towards making the necessary changes.

"Protecting vulnerable victims is our priority and our success in doing so, together with our strong focus on managing offenders to reduce crime, is recognised in the report.

"There has been a significant amount of change in the force since the time of the inspection and we are committed to further improvements to support and value our officers and staff. We are determined to provide them with the leadership they deserve and continue to work actively, with support from our staff associations, to do so."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “The findings of these inspections are reassuring to the people of Northumbria that our police force is doing a good job at keeping people safe by effectively reducing and preventing crime in our region.

“We’re repeatedly praised for having a good knowledge and understanding of the communities we serve – proving our neighbourhood teams are listening and we’re working hard to deliver what the public wants. This is something reflected by the fact that 92.2 per cent of victims are satisfied with the service they have received from Northumbria Police, one of the highest scores in the country, and something the force is incredibly proud of.

“While we are pleased overall, we are not complacent. We want to keep raising the bar, making improvements and developing the talent we have so we’re suitably equipped to take the force into the future.

“I can assure local residents that the best interests of victims and the local community remain at the heart of all we do. The Chief Constable and I are determined to do all we can to preserve our high policing standards and our national reputation for victim satisfaction.”