Northamptonshire Police treat people fairly and ethically, according to a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) released today.
The report looked at the culture withing the force, how it relates to the community, use of tasers and stop and search. Inspectors gave the force a rating of “good”.
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds welcomed the report but said the force needed to strive to achieve the top rating of outstanding.
HMIC graded the legitimacy of each police force in England and Wales and judged one force to be ‘outstanding’, 37 forces to be ‘good’ and 5 forces to ‘require improvement’. No forces were judged to be ‘inadequate’.
HMI Zoë Billingham said: “Northamptonshire Police treats people fairly and respectfully. Staff throughout the organisation consistently demonstrate ethical behaviour. They feel valued and engaged in decisions which affect them.
“I am encouraged that Northamptonshire Police officers and staff have a good understanding of the need to build trust and confidence in the communities they serve.
“We found good examples of where the force has assessed the needs of local communities, although this is not yet consistent throughout the force. Social media is used by some officers to keep in touch with communities and the force uses its website to promote positive news stories.
“Volunteers contribute to a very wide range of policing activities and this is positive.
“I am pleased that Northamptonshire Police is implementing the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. Taser is being used fairly and appropriately by Northamptonshire Police. Officers are well trained and understand their responsibility to consider all tactical options when deploying taser.”
Mr Simmonds added: ““As keepers of the law the very minimum a police force must do is demonstrate itself to be trustworthy through the fair treatment of everyone it comes in to contact with. I’m pleased to see that the HMIC Legitimacy Report has identified that Northamptonshire Police treat people fairly and equally.
“The report reflects the hard work we have carried out in engaging with communities in the county to understand their views and opinions around the work of Northamptonshire Police and in particular around the use of Stop and Search powers - an area which as a county we have been a national leader on.
“However, I will ensure Northamptonshire Police take note of the suggested areas of improvement in the report in order for them to strive for an ‘Outstanding’ rating in 12-months time, an aim that I’m sure is shared by the Chief Constable and his team.”