Although Kent Police has performed well in some areas, further improvements are needed, particularly in dealing with ‘domestic abuse’ the police inspectorate has said in its recent report.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Kent Police’s performance across nine areas of policing and found the force was ‘outstanding’ in one area, ‘good’ in four areas, ‘adequate’ in one area and ‘requires improvement’ in three areas. HMICFRS said the areas requiring improvement include how the force responds to the public, how it investigates crime, and how it manages offenders and suspects.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said: “I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of Kent Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but there are areas where it needs to improve.
“Kent Police is outstanding at recording crime with very effective crime recording processes. The force is good at both preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour and treating people fairly and with respect.
“The force promotes an ethical and inclusive culture, and generally supports its workforce. The force is also good at achieving savings and improving productivity.
“I recognise that Kent Police has faced some unique difficulties in relation to Brexit and channel crossings, because of the county’s geographical location. But there are some improvements needed, particularly in its service to victims of crime and the way it responds to calls from the public.
Protecting public from harm
“Kent Police needs to improve its ability within local policing to arrest and manage suspects and offenders to protect the public from harm. It also needs to review its policy for people released on bail and while under investigation.
“The force must ensure that all crimes are allocated promptly to officers who have both the capacity and capability to investigate them properly. Opportunities to achieve positive results for victims are being missed because some investigations are poor, or because officers haven’t maximised evidential opportunities. This lets victims down.
Domestic abuse is of particular concern
“Kent Police’s response to domestic abuse is of particular concern. The force is rightly proud of some of its work protecting vulnerable people. However, domestic abuse investigation teams have not been properly resourced with suitably qualified staff. As a result, some victims have received an unacceptable level of service and have continued to remain at risk. Investigations have often been delayed or are of a poor quality, reducing opportunities to achieve positive outcomes for victims. I am pleased to acknowledge that the force recognises these concerns and is already taking steps to improve its response.
“I acknowledge the good work Kent Police has already undertaken, and I will monitor the force’s progress towards addressing the areas where it can improve.”