Dear Town and Parish Councils,
I’m delighted to be able to share the report from our latest HMICFRS inspection which has been recently published and rated Bedfordshire Police at ‘Outstanding’ at managing offenders – making us the first force in the country to receive that grading.
The PEEL inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) rates forces on Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy.
Our Integrated Management Team (IOM) is a multi-agency team led by Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Probation, coordinated by YouTurn Futures, and involving other partners including the Community Safety Partnerships of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton: Drug and Alcohol support services of Path 2 Recovery and ReSoLUTiON, Reactiv8 and KeyStage Housing.
The IOM team works with offenders at high risk of re-offending to support changes in offender behaviour and remove issues which influence offending.
Reducing re-offending forms an integral part of my Police and Crime Plan. I have committed to funding £155,000 into ‘adult offender management’ as part of my Grant Fund for 2022/23 of which You Turn Futures are part of – so I look forward to continuing to invest in this area.
Inspectors found that 72 per cent of those under Bedfordshire Police’s Integrated Offender Management scheme had stopped or reduced offending in 2020/21 including a 91 per cent reduction in the burglary cohort. The approach is estimated to have saved society more than £2.3m across all crime in 2020/21.
The ‘Outstanding’ grading is testament to Bedfordshire Police and their commitment to proactive prevention rather than just responding to crimes. By working with people caught in the cycle of crime and guide them to help and support it not only saves society money, but ultimately reduces the number of victims.
Alongside the ‘Outstanding’ grade for Managing offenders, Bedfordshire Police received ‘Good’ ratings in four areas:
- Engaging with and treating the public with respect
- Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour
- Building supporting and protecting the workforce
- Strategic planning, organisational management, and value for money
The force was graded ‘adequate’ for Protecting vulnerable people and ‘requires improvement’ in both Responding to the public and Investigating crime.
While the methodology has changed in terms of overall gradings, clearly becoming the first force in the country to achieve ‘Outstanding’ for managing offenders shows how we are now leading the way in a number of areas. Today’s report reflects the positive work and innovation being carried out across the force every day – such as our use of digital forensic vans.
The fact the areas for improvement that the inspectorate has identified came as no surprise to the force executive says to me that the leadership of the force knows where more attention and investment needs to be made.
Feedback from residents given to me about the time taken to answer some 999 and 101 calls made it very clear more needs to be done. Call handling and the oversight of investigations were already highlighted to me as areas for concern by the Chief Constable, but investment was needed to deliver sustainable improvements. And that is where some of the increase in this year’s council tax precept is going, straight into the areas that need to be improved.
Into better technology and more call handlers in the force control room, twenty more detectives into our Emerald team dedicated to the investigation of domestic abuse and serious sexual offences, and almost doubling the size of our rural crime team.
Without a fair police funding formula for Bedfordshire there will always be areas that don’t have the investment they need and a constant juggle of where to move resources to. I continue to lobby for the review of the funding formula to ensure that Bedfordshire receives what it needs based on the reality within our county boundaries, not on its historic status as a shire county.
I am incredibly proud of all the officers and staff of Bedfordshire Police – they are a credit to our county. Their commitment to serving the public, their diligence, professionalism, and bravery to put themselves in harm’s way between law-abiding residents and the criminals who blight our towns and villages never ceases to amaze me.
I will continue to hold the Chief to account for the delivery of the improvements that need to be made.
I want local people to be able to see and feel that the force is responding to the need to grow and develop across all parts of policing to tackle the increasing demand and changes in crime and criminality in Bedfordshire.
Please do take the time to read the full report – and thank you once again for your continued support. Together, we continue to put people at the heart of policing.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire