Thames Valley Police has improved, but further changes needed
Thames Valley Police has improved its performance over a demanding 18 months, but there are still areas of concern, the police inspectorate has said.
Get the report
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services graded Thames Valley Police’s performance across nine areas of policing and found the force was ‘good’ in three areas, ‘adequate’ in four areas and ‘requires improvement’ in two.
HMICFRS said the ‘requires improvement’ areas included how the force responds to the public and use of resources.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Roy Wilsher, said:
“Thames Valley Police has been through a demanding 18 months. Like all forces, it has been affected by the pandemic. It has dealt with a serious terrorist incident, multiple public protests, and increased levels of homicide.
“Despite these pressures, I am satisfied with some aspects of Thames Valley Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. Yet, there are areas where the force needs to improve.
“We are encouraged to see the efforts it is making to make sure that it is treating people both inside and outside the force fairly. The work it is doing in communities to attract people from ethnic minority backgrounds to join the force is noteworthy and there is a proactive approach to the wellbeing of the workforce.
“But, despite these positive elements, we found that the force is struggling to meet some of the demand in a timely way. It now records more crime than before. Combined with recent changes to the way cases are prepared, this means officers are busier than they were, while some aspects of policing have become more complex. At the same time, the force is bringing through new, inexperienced staff, who require more training and supervision.
“The force has introduced some notable innovations, looked for more efficient ways of working, and moved additional staff into some areas. However, lack of resource is affecting the timeliness of its response to the public, the investigation of crimes, and the assessment of risk to vulnerable people or by potentially dangerous offenders. The work pressure on some staff is also undermining the steps that the force has taken to improve the wellbeing of its workforce.
“Thames Valley Police isn’t blind to this, and it was reassuring to see that it had already identified some of the issues we found during our fieldwork. I look forward to seeing the force addressing these areas.”
Get the report
- For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.
- 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.