Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk Constabulary protects vulnerable victims but ‘requires improvement’ – HMIC report

22:52 14 December 2015

Domestic abuse (stock image). Photo: PRESS ASSOCIATION.

Domestic abuse (stock image). Photo: PRESS ASSOCIATION.

Archant

Suffolk Constabulary has been praised for protecting vulnerable victims and tackling domestic abuse incidents in a new watchdog report.

But the force received an overall rating of “requires improvement” by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which assessed every police force’s effectiveness at protecting vulnerable people from harm.

Inspectors examined how forces respond to and safeguard those who are vulnerable in some way, with a focus on missing and absent children, victims of domestic abuse and how well prepared they are to tackle child sexual exploitation.

The ranking was the second-worst out of four possible ratings.

Zoe Billingham, who led the investigations, said: “Suffolk Constabulary is committed to protecting vulnerable people from harm and the force generally provides a good service to vulnerable victims, such as children at risk of harm and victims of domestic abuse, although there are areas for improvement.

“It is clear that protecting vulnerable people is a high priority for force and we were particularly impressed by the dedication and commitment in protecting some of the most vulnerable people.

“Police officers attending domestic abuse incidents have a good knowledge of how to assess risk and keep victims safe. They understand the importance of listening to victims and take the right steps to protect them.

“It is disappointing, however, that frontline officers do not have routine access to either body-worn video cameras or digital cameras to capture important evidence. The force has acknowledged our concerns and work is already under way to address them.”

She said the force has taken action after the inspection found “high” workloads in specialist teams investigating rape and child abuse reports.

She added: “The force needs to do more to ensure that it provides a consistent and co-ordinated response to missing and absent children.

“It is reassuring that it has now provided training to all ranks to ensure greater awareness of the risks faced by missing children.”

Detective Superintendent Dave Cutler, of Suffolk Constabulary, said: “A huge amount of work has been carried out to improve the way we respond to cases involving vulnerability and this has been recognised by the inspectors.

“We have valued the recommendations made as part of the assessment, and have immediately taken these forward, building them into our plans for re-design and process improvement.

“The demand faced by our teams dealing with these types of offences has increased dramatically, in line with police forces nationally. We are receiving far more reports of crime involving vulnerability, such as sexual offences, domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation.

“But we will continue to improve how we work with our partners to ensure we provide the most effective response.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “We accept the report, but we had pre-empted it through a number of investments, including raising the (council tax) police precept (by 1.997% in January) to create an extra 12 police staff posts to help tackle domestic abuse and we gave a £1.2million grant to the Lighthouse Women’s Aid (a charity which helps domestic abuse victims).

“Significant progress has been made since then, but we will monitor performance over the coming months.”

1 comment

  • Perhaps the HMIC would like to refer to recent government cuts?

    Report this comment

    Captain Slog

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police work the scene of an aggravated burglary at the Old Rectory house in Sible Hedingham.

Two men have been jailed for a burglary described by a judge as “every householder’s utter nightmare” in which a millionaire businessman was blasted in the leg with a sawn-off shotgun through his locked bedroom door.

Richard Ajayi has been jailed for more than six years after being convicted of Class A drugs offences in Leiston

A crack-cocaine and heroin dealer has been jailed for more than six years after a police drugs operation in Leiston.

Fatal accident just outside the village of Hitcham on the B1115.

A cyclist who lost his life in a road crash just outside Hitcham last year died from multiple injuries including a severe head wound, an inquest has heard.

The crash happened in Lowestoft. Credit: Mike Page Aerial Photo Library

A woman has reported suffering neck injuries after a crash in Suffolk.

The young Ed who stars in Ed Sheeran's video

Ed Sheeran’s new video for Castle on the Hill - his “love song for Suffolk - is packed full of references to the county.

Framlingham Castle appears at the end of Ed Sheeran's video

Ed Sheeran has released the video for his “love song for Suffolk” - which was filmed in the county at the end of last year.

The man who appeared to be 'acting indecently' at a business in Duke Street

A grey-suited man “appeared to be acting indecently” while visiting a shop in Duke Street, Ipswich, police have said.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24