Still improvements to be made at Northamptonshire Police despite watchdog's 'good' rating, commissioner says

Northamptonshire Police has received a 'good' overall rating in its latest watchdog assessment.
Northamptonshire Police has received a 'good' overall rating in its latest watchdog assessment.

Northamptonshire's police and crime commissioner has welcomed a government watchdog's "good" efficiency rating of the county force - but says it cannot allow the blue-light service to get complacent.

Each year HMICFRS rates each police force in England and Wales on their "effectiveness", "efficiency" and "legitimacy" by giving them judgments of "outstanding", "good", "requires improvement" or "inadequate".

Police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold, left, says improvements can still be made at the force.

Police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold, left, says improvements can still be made at the force.

Yesterday, the watchdog gave Northamptonshire Police a "good" rating for keeping people safe and reducing crime - through it said it requires improvement in the way it uses its resources. Only two forces, Durham and Thames Valley, received the top "outstanding" rating overall.

But police and commissioner for Northamptonshire, Stephen Mold, who has previously spoken out about cuts to police nationally, said: “While this report is welcomed we cannot afford to be complacent and we remain on a journey to continually strive to provide better services for people across Northamptonshire.

“Earlier in the year, I provided the chief constable with an additional £2million of funding to support more frontline roles. This will assist the force in addressing some of the comments made by HMICFRS in relation to better using its resources.

“I am confident that the force’s new operating model and this additional funding will ensure the force has the resources to make Northamptonshire safer for all."

However, the watchdog found Northamptonshire Police to be "under-resourced" in some areas.

It is running a number of recruitment campaigns - particularly in its cybercrime division - "but these would be more effective if it had a detailed understanding of its current skills and gaps," inspectors said.

"The force recognises that it is not making the best use of its technology and has plans to address this," it continues.

Chief constable of Northamptonshire Police Simon Edens, added: "I accept the report, it confirms the fact that the force is improving, and I thank everyone in the force who

has worked so hard to bring about the improvements noted by HMICFRS.

"I am pleased with the overall grade and we will focus on the areas for improvement so that we make best use of the public money we are given to protect people from harm.”