Angus Macpherson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon (PCC) has praised Wiltshire Police after HMICFRS published a report today giving the Force a ''Good' grading for the way it protects vulnerable people.
The 2017 HMICFRS PEEL: Police Effectiveness report has been published following an inspection in October last year by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. The report highlighted in particular Wiltshire Police's outstanding approach to identifying and supporting people experiencing mental health problems.
PCC Angus Macpherson welcomed the report and said he was pleased with the findings.
Mr Macpherson said: "This report makes for very positive reading and I am pleased the Force has retained its 'Good' grading. It rightly acknowledges those in the Force who work so hard, and continue to work hard to achieve this."
"One of my priorities is to put victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything we do.
"The world of policing is diversifying and I'm proud in which the way our Force continues to go above and beyond to meet these challenges.
"The Force has provided outstanding operational leadership in ensuring that those most vulnerable receive the very best service and support from the police."
The report praised the Force's work in relation to people with mental health issues.
Mr Macpherson said: "I made it one of my priorities to ensure that better support was available to officers and staff to assist those in mental health crisis and stop custody being used as a place of safety for those in crisis.
"I'm pleased that the work of our mental health triage team has been recognised as being 'outstanding', and along with Wiltshire and Swindon Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) I invest £121,000 each year to provide 24/7 mental health support to officers and staff responding to mental health related incidents.
"We have built strong working relationships with our partners, and I will continue to challenge them to make sure that gaps in mental health provisions are addressed.
The report also recognises the support victims of crime receive from victim support service Horizon, which is commissioned by Angus Macpherson.
Mr Macpherson added: "Since I commissioned Horizon in 2015, they have supported more than 11,000 victims of crime, including those who have been subjected to domestic abuse."
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills is the Director of Operations for Wiltshire Police and is the strategic lead for public protection and safeguarding. He said: "As the inspectorate has referenced within their report, the Force has performed consistently well in recent years with regards to effectiveness and it has been acknowledged that we are making good progress.
"The outcomes of this report really are a product of the hard work put in every day by our dedicated, caring and tenacious officers and staff. They are doing all they can to protect and support the most vulnerable people in our communities and give the best possible service we can.
"We've put vulnerable people at the heart of our policing approach in Wiltshire and Swindon and our Vulnerability Strategy is clear - we want to reduce the unnecessary criminalisation, victimisation and exploitation of vulnerable adults and children in our communities.
"Aligning our resources effectively is important in tackling the issues that present the biggest threat, harm and risk to our communities. From a policing perspective we have officers and staff in a number of specialist teams across the force to investigate crimes such as domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse and modern slavery.
"We're also using technology to assist us - early evidence gathering can often be crucial and our growing use of body-worn video for example will assist us in this.
HMICFRS highlighted the effective partnership arrangements in place between the force and other agencies.
Mr Mills said: "It's reassuring to read from an external body that we are working well with our partners but we can't be complacent. We will continue to look at ways we can make improvements to the way we do things so that we can better meet the needs of vulnerable people. For example, whilst we are good at conducting domestic abuse investigations, I'm particularly interested in getting feedback from victims themselves in order to help us get better outcomes for those individuals"
"We can only tackle the changing face of vulnerability by continuing to work closely with our partners across our two local authority areas. Complex and sensitive issues such as modern slavery, child sexual exploitation and the exploitation of vulnerable people by those involved in the supply of class A drugs cannot be addressed by the police alone.
"We have to keep working together through initiatives such as Horizon and the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs in Swindon and Trowbridge to identify, safeguard and support victims and witnesses, bring offenders to justice and deal with the knock on effects that these crimes can have.on individuals and their families."