South Wales Police response to HMICFRS PEEL inspection
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South Wales Police has been recognised for the way in which it prevents crime and anti-social behaviour, responds to the public and investigates crime – and welcomes the opportunity to improve the way it protects vulnerable people from harm.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded the force’s performance across eight areas of policing in its 2021-2022 police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection.
Today’s report rates South Wales Police as being:
Good in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour;
Good in responding to the public;
Good in investigating crime;
Good in strategic planning, organisational management and value for money.
Engagement with and treating the public with fairness and respect, managing offenders and suspects, as well as building, supporting and protecting the workforce were rated as being in the adequate category.
Inspectors found that the way in which the force protects vulnerable people requires improvement.
Among its other findings, the report highlighted that South Wales Police has the highest charged or summonsed rate for sexual offences across all 43 police forces in England and Wales and the 3rd best charge or summons rate for all victim-based crimes.
It also found that the force champions an ethical culture with staff feeling confident and supported if they needed to challenge or report unprofessional behaviour.
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said:
“The inspectors have found that there is a requirement for us to improve the way in which we protect vulnerable people, particularly children who go missing and are at risk from exploitation. They have also recognised the good work being done by the staff and officers of South Wales Police to keep people safe, respond to those who need us most and investigate crime effectively.”
“Protecting the vulnerable from harm is my top priority and we have invested in this complex area of policing with more specialist officers working daily to protect vulnerable people than ever before. I fully accept the recommendations within the report and welcome the opportunity to improve.
“We work closely and more effectively with a range of partner agencies to spot signs of sexual abuse and exploitation far earlier, so we are able to offer intervention to support victims and bring offenders to justice.
“I am very proud of our achievements and want us to keep improving.
“We have demonstrated our commitment to protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation now and in the future, as an organisation and as an integral member of the wider network of partners who keep young people safe.”
South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said:
“It is good to see that the findings of the latest PEEL assessment recognise the hard work and high performance of the officers and staff of South Wales Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime across our communities. The report also highlights areas for improvement and we all need to work tirelessly to address the those recommendations.
“Protecting vulnerable people has been a key priority for me from the start, reflected within the South Wales Police and Crime Plan, recognising that the needs of vulnerable individuals are often complex and cannot be addressed by the police alone.
“My lead for Victims and Vulnerability works closely with policing colleagues and partners at both a regional and national level, focused upon early intervention and prevention. Investment in initiatives such as the Vulnerability Change Programme, is enabling us to strengthen opportunities to learn and adapt in partnership, influencing the training and understanding of frontline staff to be more trauma informed but this will always be a difficult and challenging area of work.
“The strong relationships that we have forged with partners over many years here in South Wales remain key to our success. We must build on the significant progress that we have made to date, seize the opportunity that this report offers and use the challenge to propel us forward in our ability to protect children and young people from sexual abuse and exploitation.”