You are here: Home » Latest News » NEWS RELEASE: Federation responds to Force’s HMIC report
West Midlands Police Federation has welcomed a watchdog inspection report that grades the Force as ‘good’ in terms of its effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
But Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman of the Federation branch which represents the Force’s constables, sergeants and inspecting ranks, says the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) also highlights some areas of concern and identifies that the Force needs to improve the way in which it protects those who are vulnerable from harm and supports victims.
“This report shows that on the whole the Force is maintaining an effective service for the people of the West Midlands and is managing to do that despite the huge cuts to its budgets,” says Tom.
“This is testimony to the hard-working officers and police staff who remain committed to serving their communities despite the pressures they face through dwindling resources and increased demand.
“They are working long hours in demanding roles and as the pressures intensify they are increasingly suffering stress related illnesses which we are working with the Force to try to reduce.
“While they are enabling the Force to perform well in terms of its main priorities – fighting crime, dealing with anti-social behaviour and protecting the public – I am concerned that it is not always supporting victims or vulnerable people in our communities as well as it should.”
HMIC found West Midlands Police is:
• ‘good’ at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe
• ‘good’ at how it investigates crime and reduces re-offending
• ‘good’ at tackling serious and organised crime, but
• ‘requires improvement’ in how it protects those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims.
All 43 forces in England and Wales were assessed by the inspectors with a national overview highlighting that austerity measures were causing issues and conceding forces were ‘struggling to respond to increasing and ever-changing levels of demand’.
“The inspectors highlighted a denigration in neighbourhood policing, something we have been warning about for some time, and it is clear to see that some forces are now really struggling to maintain an effective service,” says Tom.
“The report also singles out a national crisis in the shortage of detectives and says the public – including vulnerable victims – are being put at risk. It should come as a wake-up call to the Government that it is time to re-invest in policing for the safety of the people we serve.”
Tom Cuddeford JBB Interim Chair