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PCC pleased with Kent Police's effectiveness at protecting vulnerable people

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Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner has applauded the force after it completed a hat-trick of positive reports from Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC).

Matthew Scott said:

‘The annual independent inspections by HMIC are a key indicator of how Kent Police is doing and I’m pleased to hear that the force’s effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime has been rated Good by HMIC.

‘I’m particularly pleased to hear that Kent Police has improved its effectiveness at protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims, including increasing the proportion of domestic abuse suspects who are arrested, because one of the guiding principles of my new Safer in Kent Plan is that vulnerable people must be protected from harm.

‘Furthermore, it was acknowledged that Kent Police understands the threats it faces from traditional crimes such as burglary and robbery as well as emerging threats like child sexual exploitation and cyber-crime. Residents have told me that all these different issues are important to them so it is reassuring to hear Kent Police understands them.’

HMIC’s Effectiveness report is the third of three reports which make up Kent Police’s Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspections. Kent previously received a Good grading for its efficiency in keeping people safe and reducing crime and an Outstanding for legitimacy.

In delivering the report, HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoe Billingham said:

‘I am very pleased that Kent Police’s performance is judged to be good in HMIC’s police effectiveness inspection. The force continues to do well in the vitally important areas of operational policing necessary for it to keep people safe across the country and to reduce crime.’

Mr Scott added:

‘The report mentions a multi-agency operation dealing with a case of grooming in Gravesend which had originated from concerns raised by local PCSOs. This is why the Chief Constable and I are committed to maintaining Kent Police’s PCSO numbers and why I’ve made providing visible neighbourhood policing a priority.’

However, HMIC did also identify some concerns.

Mr Scott said:

‘HMIC said Kent Police needs to understand why so many crimes are not being progressed either because the victim does not support police action or because there are difficulties in securing sufficient evidence and so it is good to see that Kent Police has already begun looking at this issue. HMIC rightly says this is a positive step.’

HMIC also said improvements are required in how Kent Police investigates crime, particularly offences of stalking and harassment.

Mr Scott added:

‘Again, I see that force has already taken steps to review its processes in this area but one of my duties as the Police and Crime Commissioner is to hold the Chief Constable to account and so I will be keeping an eye on the areas HMIC identified for improvement to ensure victims are being put first.’

Chief Constable of Kent Alan Pughsley said:

`I am very pleased that for the second year running Kent Police has been graded as ‘good’ for the way in which it keeps the people of the county safe and reduces crime. 

`Our mission is always to put the victims at the heart of everything we do and this report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has acknowledged our effective approach to reducing crime, tackling antisocial behaviour, investigating serious and organised crime and protecting vulnerable people.

`In particular, the improvements made to tackling domestic abuse through effective interventions and safeguarding as well as the way our policing model is helping officers understand the needs of their communities was particularly pleasing to see noted by the independent policing inspectorate.

`I recognise that there are areas identified where improvements could be made in particular in relation to investigation outcomes and while we will always put victims first, we also need to make sure those who offend are dealt with in the best possible way.

`We have made a number of significant improvements since last year’s report particularly in terms of dealing with vulnerability and I am confident that we will continue to make further improvements in response to this inspection report and our commitment to continue to provide a first class service to the people of Kent.’

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