Wales

Two Welsh police forces told to reduce crime

Police officers

Two of Wales' four police forces have been told they must improve how they keep people safe and reduce crime.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said the Dyfed-Powys and north Wales forces "required improvement".

South Wales and Gwent police forces were ranked "good".

The reviews are part of HMIC's annual inspection of England and Wales' 43 forces.

Dyfed-Powys

  • Recognises it needs to work with partners in order to prevent crime and reduce anti-social behaviour
  • Uses a range of alternative methods to divert offenders from the criminal justice system and has invested significant resources into establishing strong partnership arrangements for managing the most prolific offenders
  • There needs to be improvements made in the way the force identifies vulnerability and how it allocates crime for investigation
  • No systematic policy to allocate crime based on the vulnerability of the victim
  • Reprioritisation of the operational focus of the force's serious organised crime team means a broader spectrum of criminality is being addressed

Police and crime commissioner Christopher Salmon said: "We have more officers investigating the most serious crimes and my Help Hub has increased support for victims.

"There is always more to do but I am confident that Dyfed-Powys is effective and keeping people safe and reducing crime."

Image caption Winston Roddick and Christopher Salmon

North Wales

  • Performing well in respect of preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and tackling serious and organised crime, however other aspects of its effectiveness need to improve
  • Its approach to investigating crime has some shortcomings. The policy for allocating crime to investigators is not clearly understood by the workforce
  • Examples of frontline officers undertaking investigations that were beyond their level of training and experience, including high-risk domestic abuse cases
  • Has effective processes in place to assess the threat of risk from serious and organised crime groups, which are predominantly involved in drug-related crime
  • Understanding of emerging threats, such as human trafficking, needs more focus and development

Police and crime commissioner Winston Roddick said: "Over five years North Wales saw a 17.4% cut in crime which is better than the England and Wales average reduction of 12.6%.

"The chief constable accepts, as I do, there is always room for improvement and together we must make sure that the improvements recommended by HMIC are carried out as soon as possible."

Gwent

  • Good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and has a strong relationship with a wide range of partners
  • Has problem-solving plans in place that involve joint working with homeless charities and drugs and alcohol treatment providers to keep vulnerable people away from crime
  • Has made considerable progress in improving quality and standards since HMIC's inspection of crime in 2014 and now has a good approach to investigating crime and managing offenders
  • The initial investigation and allocation of crime is effective, with the needs of victims well matched to the skills, experience and accreditation of investigators
  • Good at identifying and tackling serious and organised crime groups

Police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston said: "It is pleasing to hear that all of that hard work has been recognised by HMIC and that the force has been found to be effective at protecting from harm those who are most vulnerable.

"This report is very good news and the challenge now is to build further still on the findings of the inspectors."

Image caption Ian Johnston and Alun Michael

South Wales

  • Good at preventing crime, anti-social behaviour and has a good understanding of local neighbourhoods, developing tactics to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour with communities to ensure they are responsive to local needs
  • Beat officers develop neighbourhood profiles to provide an understanding of local communities
  • Has worked hard to understand exactly what service victims expect
  • Approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good with investigations completed to a high standard and victims consistently report higher levels of satisfaction with the service they receive
  • Good at identifying and tackling serious and organised crime groups and has a good understanding of serious and organised crime

Alun Michael, police and crime commissioner, said: "This report recognises that the priorities set by the chief constable and myself reflect a strong commitment to prevent crime, to support victims and to work in partnership.

"This is set out in our latest Police and Crime Reduction Plan, published last month, which had a strong focus on early intervention and prompt, positive action as well as effective partnership working."

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