Concerns raised over Devon and Cornwall Police’s performance
Devon and Cornwall Police must make urgent improvements after it was found to be inadequate in several areas, the police inspectorate has said.
Get the report
His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Devon and Cornwall Police’s performance across nine areas of policing and found the force was ‘inadequate’ in three areas, ‘requires improvement’ in two areas, ‘adequate’ in two areas and ‘good’ in two areas.
HMICFRS said the inadequate areas included recording data about crime, responding to the public and managing offenders.
In October 2022, HMICFRS placed Devon and Cornwall Police into its enhanced monitoring stage, Engage.
His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:
“I have concerns about Devon and Cornwall Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime – particularly about the accuracy of its crime recording, its response to the public, and its management of sexual and violent offenders.
“The force doesn’t always record crimes against vulnerable victims, particularly violent or behavioural crimes, and anti-social behaviour. Failure to record a crime often results in victims not being properly safeguarded and no investigation taking place.
“Our inspection also found that the force is not adequately assessing or managing the risks posed by registered sexual and violent offenders.
“However, we did find good examples of the force working well with other organisations to prioritise the prevention and deterrence of crime. We also found that members of the workforce are well supported to do their jobs.
“Last year, in view of these findings, we moved Devon and Cornwall Police into our enhanced monitoring process, which provides additional scrutiny and support. I have also been in regular contact with the chief constable to monitor the force’s progress against these important and necessary changes.”
Get the report
- HMICFRS placed Devon and Cornwall Police into its enhanced monitoring stage, Engage, in October 2022.
- We move police forces into our enhanced level of monitoring, known as Engage, when a force is not responding to our concerns, or if it is not managing, mitigating or eradicating these concerns. The Engage process provides additional scrutiny and support.
- Devon and Cornwall Police were moved into the Engage phase because:
- the force’s crime recording had deteriorated since our last inspection;
- the force does not answer, or respond to, emergency or non-emergency calls within adequate timeframes; and
- the force was unable to adequately manage registered sexual and violent offenders.
- In 2014, we introduced our police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Since then, we have been continuously adapting our approach and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
- We are moving to a more intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years. We have also changed our approach to graded judgments. We now assess forces against the characteristics of good performance, and we more clearly link our judgments to causes of concern and areas for improvement.
- We have also expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers. As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.
- However, these changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded this year with those from previous PEEL inspections. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, does not necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the report.
- More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2021/22 is available on our website.
- For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 0300 071 6781 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.