Essex Police’s efficiency rated as ‘good’ in HMIC report

Police are appealing for information

Police are appealing for information

Essex Police has welcomed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMIC) report into efficiency, with the force once again graded as good.

The independent report, published today, praised the force’s “credible and realistic” plans for the future as well as its track record of delivering savings - despite being the lowest funded police force in the country.

HMIC also highlighted Essex Police’s “extensive, mature and expanding” collaboration with Kent Police and said the force is well placed to match its resource to current and likely future demand.

Last month, officers on the front-line were issued with new smartphones to help them fight crime, and the force was said to be in a good position to make the most of technological opportunities.

Essex Police was previously graded as good in its efficiency to keep people safe and reduce crime in 2014 and 2015.

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Stephen Kavanagh, Essex Police chief constable, said: “Essex is the lowest-funded police force in the country and over the last year we’ve dealt with 14% more 999 calls than the average force.

“Despite those significant challenges of more demand and less funding, today’s report shows the public can have confidence that Essex Police is planning and using its resources – our people and our assets – efficiently and effectively.

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“Whether it’s telematics devices meaning we can use police cars more efficiently, the investment we’ve made in smart phones giving officers more time to fight crime, or the analysis and prediction of crime throughout the year meaning we can put our resources where they need to be most, this independent report demonstrates that we have effective plans today and in the future to keep the people of Essex safe.”

Despite its improvement in managing current demand since last year’s inspection, HMIC stressed that the numbers of unsolved incidents and suspects to be investigated were still too high.

Inspectors noted that more needs to be done to reduce these numbers and keep them at more appropriate levels to minimise any risk to the public.

Roger Hirst, police and crime commissioner for Essex, said: “I welcome the HMIC report and the finding that Essex Police is good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. These are core responsibilities of any police force.

“The HMIC report emphasises the need for community policing to prevent crime and ensure local people remain connected with Essex Police.

“The people of our county, both during my election campaign and during our recent engagement about the Police and Crime Plan, have clearly expressed the importance they place on this work.

“More local, visible, accessible policing will be a key priority in the new Police and Crime Plan for Essex.”

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