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HMICFRS update: Significant improvements made in responding to the public

Last week we received a letter from HM Inspector, Wendy Williams CBE, informing us that HMICFRS has discharged one of our two accelerated causes of concern: responding to the public.

It reflects the impact of the collective hard work that has been put into how we respond to the public, a critical area that we’ve been focusing on intently over the last 12 months.

The decision is a result of our continuing improvement over several months and HMICFRS’s findings during onsite ‘reality testing’ in September and October. In her letter, Ms Williams welcomed our increased performance in answering 999 calls, and identified a number of improvements that her inspectors had observed first hand, including:

  • Clear governance in the Contact Centre, with more use of data to understand demand and performance;

  • Effective auditing, which gives assurance that our reported improvement is accurate;

  • Significant improvement in the recording of repeat and vulnerable victims; and

  • Our call handlers understanding and use of THRIVE for calls into the Contact Centre (this is around our assessment of vulnerability-related risk)

The discharging of this accelerated area of concern is an important step in our journey to becoming, once again, an outstanding local police service, but there is still much more to do before we can exit our ‘Engage’ status. HMICFRS has further planned inspection activity during January and February 2024, in the two areas for which we previously received inadequate gradings, namely investigating crime and, managing offenders and suspects.

Chief Constable Chris Noble said: “There is still much to do – both to improve our performance in how we respond to the public and in areas where we have enduring challenges like many other forces across the region and country. However, I am delighted with this success, it’s a positive step along our journey to get back to being an outstanding local police service.”

Ben Adams, Police, Crime, Fire & Rescue Commissioner said: “As we approach 2024 it is good to know that HMICRFS recognise the progress Staffordshire Police are making. I know how committed every officer and member of staff is to keeping Staffordshire safe. There is more to do but our plan is working.”

We continue to work closely with HMICFRS who are monitoring our progress, and remain committed to making sure that we make the necessary improvements to keep our communities safe and deliver an outstanding service. We will continue to keep you updated with our progress.

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