Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard has outlined important changes made by the Force to improve our service to you, our communities, following the publication of an independent report in July.
This includes new, wholesale priorities to improve the service provided to victims of crime, improving the quality of investigations and identifying vulnerability.
The Police Efficiency, Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) report from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Wiltshire Police as ‘inadequate’ in its approach to strategic planning, its ability to respond to the public and its ability to protect vulnerable people.
It further described the Force as ‘requiring improvement’ in a number of other areas and made a series of recommendations of what we need to do to improve the service we provide.
As a result of the report, Wiltshire Police was placed into the HMICFRS ‘Engage’ process, part of which means the Chief Constable must provide regular updates on progress to the national oversight group.
The Chief Constable committed to providing regular updates to our communities in relation to the progress we are making.
Since the release of the report in July, the Force has put in place a number of core foundations to improve our service. These include:
- Establishing a Back to Basics taskforce to accelerate the changes required
- Resetting the culture of Wiltshire Police by focusing on three main priorities – victims, investigations and vulnerability
- Developing the structure of the Force by doubling the number of Chief Inspectors, establishing a new force-wide Volume Crime Team and moving 22 detectives back into CID and the Child Abuse Investigation Team
- Improving the mobile phone technology given to frontline officers which enables them to do much more out in our communities.
We fully accepted the PEEL report, it’s findings and recommendations back in July and our whole organisation has been working tirelessly since then to create the foundations and environment to make necessary changes.
The PEEL report gave us an opportunity to reset the culture within the Force and for the Chief Constable to lay out, very clearly, his expectations of every officer, member of staff and volunteer and re-focus on the core role of policing.
Every member of our organisation now has a laser focus on improving the service provided to victims of crime, improving the quality of investigations and identifying vulnerability.
Our collective ambition is to return our service to the standard you expect.
In order to keep our communities informed of the progress being made in relation to the three areas graded as inadequate in the PEEL report, we’ve published a summary report on our website which outlines recent steps made including:
- Development of a 12-month rapid improvement plan which focuses on the key priorities to help improve service
- Statistics from engagement events with officers and staff show 86% of the organisation understand the new plan and 99% of colleagues know what the Chief expects of them.
Supporting victims of crime
- We’ve introduced a new Volume Crime Team. This brings our Local Crime Investigators together, alongside over 20 police officers coming from the recent recruitment intakes. This means investigations can be managed with more effectiveness, better able to meet the needs of victims, with the unit taking responsibility for more complex cases across the force. A key outcome of this is the ability to create more time for our Community Policing Teams to be visible across their community patch
- Investment in technology – this investment over the last three months has allowed officers and staff to gain access to critical operational information whilst on patrol, allowing them to be more effective whilst on patrol or at the scene of reported incidents.
- We’ve introduced a Back To Basics taskforce to support the frontline through increased training, provision of templates and support through floor-walking in order to improve overall investigation standards
- Regular audits are being conducted by the team to assess the standard and delivery of investigations across the Force.
Understanding & identifying vulnerability and protecting vulnerable people from harm
- We’ve introduced a new vulnerability grading policy embedded within the Crime and Communications Call centre
- Compliance with the national THRIVE policy (identifying threats, harm, risk, opportunities for investigation, identifying vulnerability and engagement) is up to 96% (Sept 2022).
- We’ve increased vulnerability training across officers and staff, delivered by the new Investigative Standards Officers
- A vulnerability app has been developed for officers to use when out on patrol which uses six years’ worth of data to better target and drive activity
- The Force Domestic Abuse Policy has been amended to reflect the necessity to complete risk assessments for all domestic abuse, including verbal arguments.
For the most up-to-date information on how the Force is responding to the PEEL report, visit the dedicated HMICFRS PEEL page on the Wiltshire Police website.
Source: Wiltshire Police