Gloucestershire Police ‘failing’ at investigation and victim support

Information from the BBC. Image Gloucester Constabulary  –  Rod Hansen became chief constable in 2017

A police force has been graded “inadequate” in five out of 10 key performance indicators in a new report.

Gloucestershire Police was found to be failing in victim support and how it investigates crimes.

Domestic abuse crimes were also “of particular concern” with 77% of a sample of 30 cases closed due to lack of evidence or victims withdrawing.

Chief Constable Rod Hansen said the report was only a “partial picture” of its work.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said other areas of concern were the force’s recording of crime data and spending.

In the year ending 30 September 2020, Gloucestershire Police flagged repeat callers in 412 incidents – equivalent to less than three in every 1,000 incidents and below the average across other forces, inspectors found.

They said it was likely the force was not identifying repeat victims and potentially leaving vulnerable people at risk.

HMICFRS also said officers were failing to record crimes as domestic abuse, behavioural crimes and offences linked to antisocial behaviour, meaning victims were not getting an appropriate service.

Inspector Wendy Williams claimed Gloucestershire Police was not able to respond effectively to calls to its control room or when it deploys officers.

“The force’s service to victims of crime is inadequate and it isn’t recording crime effectively,” she said.

The report also flagged concerns about the force’s spending, with a projected shortfall of more than £1.4m for the year 2021-22, possibly hitting £10m by 2025.

Gloucestershire Police’s management of offenders was rated “adequate” by inspectors and the report found the force was delivering good performance when it came to preventing crime and disrupting serious organised crime, as well as developing a positive workspace.

Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: “There are lots of examples of very good and innovative practice identified in this report but I do recognise there is much work still to be done to address the concerns the inspectorate has.

“…this only represents a partial picture of the work we do to keep people safe from harm and that we were inspected during the biggest emergency [Covid pandemic] this country has seen since the Second World War.”

Mr Hansen added Gloucestershire was now undergoing a massive recruitment drive, including for an additional eight detectives for its rape and serious sexual offences team.