Suffolk Police have been praised and ranked as ‘good’ in a new report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) released today, Thursday February 11.
The constabulary received the ranking following a recent inspection which sought to judge whether those working in the force behave in a way that is fair, ethical and within the law. The force also had to show that it generates the trust and cooperation of the public.
Interviews, data collection and audits were carried out on areas including taser deployment, stop and search and call handing. Inspectors also looked at the way in which the force engages with the public and understand its communities’ needs.
Chief Constable Gareth Wilson said: “I am extremely pleased that we have received this positive ranking from inspectors. Ethical, legitimate working is at the heart of our business. As a police service, we need to have the trust and confidence of those we serve and I am committed to ensuring that this is the culture that runs through the workforce at every level.
“It is essential that every member of the public we deal with is treated with fairness and respect, and our policies around areas such as the use of taser and stop and search reflect this and are subject of continual review. This ensures that officers involved in these sensitive areas are following national guidance and are trained to the highest level to ensure that their actions are legitimate.
“We know that the large majority of our communities have confidence in the policing services we provide, and public survey figures tell us that public confidence in Suffolk is at its highest in a decade. This is fantastic, and something I am keen to protect.
“The report recognised the importance we place in engaging with the public and understanding local concerns. This is key - I want us to be accessible and available to people in the ways they wish to contact us. As a result, we are developing enhanced online services through a new website which is due to launch later this year, and improving our call handling processes to ensure that we are available 24/7 to those who need us.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner said, “I’m very pleased for the Constabulary, this latest HMIC report reflects the hard work and dedication of its officers. I am particularly pleased to see that the Inspectorate highlights that Suffolk Constabulary treats people fairly and respectfully, this is very satisfying.
“Engagement with the public is key to my role as PCC and it is vital that the Constabulary also has a clear understanding of the importance of engaging with the public; the report highlighted this commitment to public engagement and consultation which I find personally very encouraging.”
The report concluded:
* Suffolk Constabulary has strong leadership from the chief officer team in developing and maintaining an ethical culture within the constabulary.
* The Code of Ethics, which defines the standards of behaviour for everyone who works in policing, was widely understood.
* Suffolk Constabulary consults widely with its communities to understand and respond to their concerns.
* Overall, Suffolk Constabulary is aware of the policing needs of its communities and responds effectively.
* The Constabulary complies with the requirements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, which aims to achieve greater transparency and community involvement in the police use of stop and search powers.
* Taser officers are well trained and their use is closely scrutinised by the constabulary. The use of Taser by Suffolk Constabulary is fair and appropriate.