An inspector’s report due to come out in September will not make ‘pleasant reading’ for Northamptonshire Police – but its chief constable says it is a ‘snapshot in time’ that doesn’t reflect where the force currently is.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) carried out an inspection of the force that began in 2018 and ended in early January this year.
Although the findings of the inspectors are not due to be published for another couple of months, Chief Constable Nick Adderley and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Stephen Mold told members of a county council Police and Crime Panel last Wednesday (July 17) that the report would not be a good one.
But the duo insist that the report is also an old one, and doesn’t truly reflect where the force is now nearly seven months after the inspectors concluded their visit.
Mr Adderley said: “This report won’t make pleasant reading, but we have to bear in mind this was under a previous model and I had only been in place for four weeks when the inspectors came in.
“The report will say that the force doesn’t have the capacity to deal with demand. On the day they were in, that was a fair comment, but it will be unfair by the standards that we have today.
“But it’s not going to be a good report, and my hope is that the public will recognise that this is an old report looking at an old model. I am confident that we are moving at pace in the right direction.”
The inspector will assess the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe; how it operates efficiently and sustainably; and how it treats the public and its workforce legitimately.
Mr Mold admitted that he was concerned at the effect the report may have on staff, but that he was confident Mr Adderley – who was appointed last August – was steering them in the right direction.
He said: “I have had some very dark days in this job where I wondered if Northamptonshire Police could turn the corner. I don’t worry about that now.
“However, the inspection report that Northamptonshire Police will receive in September will show that there is still a need to improve in certain areas. But it is a snapshot of that time. It doesn’t reflect where the force is now, I believe that the force has moved forward considerably since then. But I take the prospect of this report very seriously and I am working with the chief constable to ensure there is measurable improvement in performance.
“When the inspection took place, chief constable Adderley had just started with the force and was beginning to get to grips with what needed to be done to improve and address performance issues and assemble a leadership team.
“I have confidence that Nick and his team will deliver the planned improvements in performance that will satisfy the inspectors that we are a good force. Nick and I are engaging regularly with the inspectorate on these plans and we welcome their support.
“I am confident that a programme is under way to take the force forward and that we are already seeing a change for the better in the areas that matter to people.”