Commissioner responds to Wiltshire Police's HMICFRS PEEL report
Wiltshire and Swindon PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “The Inspectorate's report is a sobering read and is highly disappointing especially when I know we have many dedicated officers and staff working hard to deliver a quality policing service.
“But it is absolutely clear from what I have been told by our residents, my own observations and now this report that there are areas of concern that need addressing: victims of crime, vulnerable people and our communities deserve better.
“My role as PCC is to scrutinise, challenge and support the Chief Constable and Wiltshire Police and my immediate priority is to ensure that Wiltshire’s Chief Constable, and his senior leadership team, put in place the necessary remedial measures to make the improvements highlighted in the report.
“This is particularly important in the Force’s response to the public and to vulnerable people and victims, in dramatically improving performance and the quality and effectiveness of investigations.
“My aim, alongside the Chief Constable, is for Wiltshire Police to provide a quality, effective, frontline policing service which prioritises those crimes which matter most to communities.
“Together, the Chief Constable and I will ensure the necessary resources are available to enable reform and to ensure improvements are rapidly implemented so we can begin to satisfy the Inspectorate and, more importantly, Wiltshire’s residents.
“It is fortunate those areas highlighted by the Inspectorate’s report had already come under my microscope: these had been consistently reflected in our communities’ feedback, as well as from local councillors and MPs, on the policing service they were getting.
“This, coupled with my own strategic assessments of the force, heavily influenced the draft police and crime plan and subsequent consultation sessions.
“Working together, the Chief Constable and I have already agreed on a back-to-basics reset for the Force and have developed, and put in place, remedial plans to answer concerns highlighted so I can assure you the process of change is already progressing.
“I have implemented a Police and Crime Plan which provides that focus, ensuring the strategic policing priorities needed to deliver change and improvement is there.
“As a result of this, I expect to see a tangible change that will improve, and enhance, the service that Wiltshire’s residents get from their police service – and quickly. Not only should residents demand a better service but they deserve it.
“It would be wholly unacceptable to not act upon the Inspectorate’s report, not to make changes, where appropriate, and adapt accordingly.
“I have received assurances from the Chief Constable that the necessary changes are in place and I will be receiving regular progress reports from him, and his senior leadership team, to ensure those remedial actions are completed as soon as possible.
“I welcome the increased focus from the Inspectorate to support my work to ensure the force is doing all it can to address this report and my position is clear: I have confidence in my Chief Constable to deliver these necessary changes.
“Thankfully many residents do not need to use our policing service frequently but when they do, the service they receive should be a quality, frontline, response. I know we have many dedicated, and talented, officers and public servants within Wiltshire Police who want to make a difference – it is now our job to support them to do just that.
“I will continue to ask for those assurances on behalf of Wiltshire’s residents and ensure Wiltshire Police is delivering on behalf of all of the communities it serves.”
Further information: Today (07/07), Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have published a report into their latest inspection of Wiltshire Police under the Police Efficiency, Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) programme.
The report, which can be found here www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/peel-assessments/peel-assessments-2021-22/wiltshire, grades Wiltshire Police as ‘inadequate’ in its ability to respond to the public, protect vulnerable people, and strategic planning. It further describes the Force as ‘requiring improvement’ in a number of other areas from the inspection and makes a series of recommendations of what the Force needs to do to improve the service provided to the public.