Thursday 2 March 2017

Police Officers Are Deliberately Downgrading 999 Calls To Cover Up Slow Response Times'


Some officers are so bad, they fail to carry out their prime duties - catching crooks, preventing crime and keeping people safe, the report claimed.

A growing shortage of skilled detectives is now a nationwide crisis and will get worse unless chief officers take action, says the police inspectorate.

Some inquiries are “shelved” without proper investigation and there is evidence of fewer arrests, says Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Forces were given a stern warning against “rationing services” as they struggle to cope with budget cuts.

The majority of constabularies in England and Wales do a good job in safeguarding the public, the report says.

Two thirds of forces are graded as “good” with Durham rated as “outstanding.”

But the report into police effectiveness also identifies 13 forces which “require improvement.”

One constabulary, Bedfordshire, is condemned as “inadequate.”

Budget cuts mean the service is less effective at preventing crime.

But a minority of forces artificially suppress demand by “down-grading” emergency calls to justify slower response times, says the report.


Her Majesty’s Inspector Zoë Billingham said: “Over the last few years, HMIC has said consistently that police forces were managing well in increasingly difficult circumstances.

“Nonetheless, today, I’m raising a red flag to warn forces of the consequences of what is, to all intents and purposes, an unconscious form of rationing of police services.

“We’ve seen how some forces are attempting to reduce pressure on their teams by artificially suppressing or downgrading calls upon their service, reducing their ability to take the most effective and prompt action.

“We think this is often an unintended consequence of recent changes forces have made, frequently in response to the challenge of austerity, and as they struggle to respond to increasing and ever changing levels of demand.

“Consequently, some basic things are not being done: we found evidence of fewer arrests being made, some crimes are being shelved without proper investigations taking place and suspects are not always being relentlessly tracked down.

"It is vital that police leaders take action now before these problems become more widespread and acute – so that the public are properly protected.”

The HMIC says the shortage of detectives is a national crisis.

Many investigators are suffering stress due to excessive workloads.

Forces fail to carry out more than one in five investigations because the “victim does not support police action.”

The proportion is higher in domestic abuse cases, says the HMIC.

But the HMIC wants the policy reviewed so victims receive the justice they deserve even if they do not want police to act.

The inspectorate is concerned that there is no coherent national picture of threat posed to communities by organised crime groups.

Decisive action needs to be taken to address this, the HMIC said.

Each of the 43 forces in England and Wales were judged how effective at:

• Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour

• Investigating crime and managing offenders

• Protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims

• Tackling serious and organised crime

One force was graded “outstanding,” 28 were “good,” 13 were “requires improvement” and one “inadequate.”



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