Hampshire Police Told They 'Require Improvement'

Hampshire Police are among 13 forces which have been told they 'require improvement'.

One area they've been criticised for is how they deal with domestic abuse.

The watchdog evaluated forces in four areas: how effective is the force at preventing crime, anti-social behaviour?; how effective is the force at investigating crime and managing offenders?; how effective is the force at protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims?; how effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?

It comes as a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary says, across England and Wales, victims of crime are being let down and some having their cases just 'written off' - because of police budget cuts and a shortage of detectives. 

Dorset were rated 'good' - and praised for their work to protect vulnerable people.

HMIC reported that the Force maintains a visible presence in local communities and that crime investigations are completed to a good standard by skilled and experienced officers.

It also acknowledged that Dorset Police is good at safeguarding the public from dangerous and prolific offenders. Officers and staff understand the threat and risk from organised crime groups and effectively disrupt their activities.

The report also recognised that Dorset Police is experiencing resource pressures, with work to protect people at risk of harm creating more demand.

Deputy Chief Constable, James Vaughan, said: 

"I very much welcome HMIC's good grading. It is heartening for all our officers and staff that the efforts they make every day are viewed positively.

"Of particular note, I am pleased to see Dorset Police has once again been singled out for our ability to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities, something which will always be a priority. Even though this approach brings additional demands and will continue to be an area that requires investment, keeping people safe who are most at risk must remain a cornerstone of policing.

"The Force is currently looking at how it manages pressures on its resources, to ensure we can sustain a high quality of service to the public and deal with the changing demands to policing."

The inspection also found that Dorset Police has effective specialist teams and works well with other forces to respond to regional and national criminality, such as organised crime, terrorism, cyber-crime and child sexual abuse.

The report concludes that Dorset Police's plan for reducing crime demonstrates a strong commitment to prevention and keeping people safe. It is based on solid research and analysis that correctly identifies priorities. The Force's plan aligns closely to the priorities set by the Police & Crime Commissioner on behalf of local people.

Police & Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Martyn Underhill, welcomed the HMIC's grading. He said: 

"The findings of this report show that Dorset Police is working hard to provide an innovative, effective response to the emerging crimes our communities face.

"Safeguarding the vulnerable, reducing crime, developing a robust approach to prolific offenders and visible community policing are issues at the heart of public safety and issues that residents regularly tell me are important to them.

"For the second time in a fortnight, HMIC have shown Dorset Police to be 'good' in these vital areas of policing. This report recognises the complex policing challenges the Force faces and the ongoing financial pressures felt by forces nationally, but commends Dorset Police on the positive efforts being made to meet these demands."

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