Derbyshire Constabulary is one of only two police forces across the country to be rated as ‘outstanding’, a new report says.
The annual PEEL (police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy) inspection, carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), examined the extent to which forces treat people with fairness and respect, the extent to which they ensure their workforces act ethically and lawfully, and the extent to which those workforces themselves feel they have been treated with fairness and respect by the force.
HMIC graded Derbyshire and Kent police forces as ‘outstanding’, 36 forces as good and five as requiring improvement. None were graded as inadequate.
Derbyshire police was rated ‘outstanding’ in how it legitimately keeps people safe and reduces crime, for treating all the people it serves with fairness and respect and for ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. The force was rated as ‘good’ for treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
HM Inspector of Constabulary, Zoë Billingham, said: “I am delighted to report that Derbyshire Constabulary has again achieved an ‘outstanding’ grade in our 2016 legitimacy inspection.
“The force has improved in a number of areas since our inspection in 2015, when it was judged as ‘good’.
“I would like to commend Derbyshire Constabulary on achieving such a high standard in the area of legitimacy that we inspected.
“The people of Derbyshire can be assured that their police are operating fairly and respectfully, underpinned by strong ethics and integrity.”
According to the report, the Derbyshire police workforce is made up 3,099 people including 1,766 officers, 1,183 staff and 149 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), as of March 31 this year.
In terms of diversity, 4.1% of the workforce is made up of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, as of March 31 this year.
In terms of gender diversity, 44 per cent of the workforce is made up of women, with 29 per cent being officers, 66 per cent being staff and 49 per cent PCSOs, as of March 31.
And on average, the force received 229 public complaints per 1,000 workforce in the 12 months up to March 31 2016. The force average for England and Wales is 268.
Victim satisfaction for their overall treatment by Derbyshire police for the 12 months up to March 31 2016 is 92.9 per cent. The force average for England and Wales is 93.4 per cent.
HMI Mike Cunningham, who led the inspection, said: “We know that, despite the unprecedented period of change, our police forces have managed to maintain public confidence. Our inspection backed that up, with victims’ satisfaction in the way they’re treated by their police force remaining high, and evidence that forces are working hard to improve their services in response to feedback and learning. Forces generally continue to clarify and reinforce high standards of professional behaviour and seek the views of their workforces, and they are taking positive steps to improve the wellbeing of their work forces.
“However, for the first time, we looked at how well forces are tackling the problem of officers or staff abusing their positions of authority for sexual gain. This is the most significant corruption challenge for the police, as it betrays the trust of the public – particularly some of the most vulnerable people in society. Forces need to become far more proactive in rooting out this most serious form of corruption, rather than only dealing with it once it has been reported, and ensure every preventative measure is being taken if they are to continue to hold the trust of the public.”