Police force ‘must improve’

Humberside Police is letting down victims of crime by “routinely” failing to identify vulnerable people.

The force’s most recent assessment has branded it “inadequate” in how it is protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims.

The inspection, carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in September, graded the overall effectiveness of Humberside Police as “requires improvement”.

The report, published on Thursday (March 2) and just days after chief constable Justine Curran stepped down, states: “Humberside Police requires improvement in how it keeps people safe and reduces crime” – which shows no improvement on last year’s inspection. Investigators assessed how effective the force is at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, how it keeps people safe, how it investigates crime and reduces crime, how it supports victims and how it tackles serious crime. The report was especially critical of how Humberside Police protects vulnerable people. These included victims of domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and missing persons.

The report adds: “[We] found that it routinely fails to identify vulnerable people when they contact the force, and that the level of service given to them is inadequate.

“The force’s procedures to assess the risk to victims are weak and they are not subject to effective supervision. Therefore, evidence is sometimes lost and opportunities to protect victims from further harm are missed.”

Inspectors did say the force was “good” in preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe – as well as its tackling of organised crime.

But they added the force “requires improvement” in investigating crime and reducing offending.

Temporary Chief Constable, Garry Forsyth said: “We are pleased that HMIC has recognised that we are ‘good’ in some very important areas, such as preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour, keeping people safe and responding to national threats.

“We are disappointed with the overall grading of ‘requires improvement’ and in particular the grading of ‘inadequate’ for protecting vulnerable people. However, since the inspection took place last September, we’ve made huge leaps forward in this area.

“I want the people of Humberside to know that we are there for them when they need us, especially those who are vulnerable and who need us most. We will listen and we will act.”