Crime Commissioner says force will ‘continue to improve’ as he defends damning inspection report

Police and Crime Commissioner Councillor Jason Ablewhite

Police and Crime Commissioner Councillor Jason Ablewhite - Credit: Archant

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire has defended a damning report on the force, saying they will improve over the coming months.

Cambridgeshire police was told it ‘requires improvement’ after government inspectors slammed them for ‘deteriorating in important areas’.

But Councillor Jason Ablewhite, PCC for Cambridgeshire, stated the inspection came last summer at a time of ‘unprecedented demand’.

In a post linking to the report on Facebook, Cllr Ablewhite said that the force will ‘endeavour to continue to improve over the coming months’.

He explained in the post: “Firstly, the inspection was last summer at a time of unprecedented demand just after the terrorist attacks which naturally created nervousness and many more calls for service.

You may also want to watch:

“The emergency response times have never been over 15 hours and have been confused in the media with ‘prompt calls’ which have no threat to life or high risk.

“Emergency calls that require an immediate response are graded at 15 minutes and should not be confused with prompt responses. That said an effective police force should not take as long as it did to respond to some of these calls as it did and we totally acknowledge that.

Most Read

“The latest figures which are not reflected in last years inspection, are that emergency response is still targeted at 15 minutes and prompt calls are now an average of 67 minutes (not 15 hours) and half of those calls are currently under the hour.”

The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), released yesterday, found that the service needed to ‘improve their approach to keeping people safe and reporting crime’.

It also noted that ‘crimes were not always investigated to a high standard’ and more work was needed to be done on re-offending.

It comes as the force announced they are to recruit more than 50 new officers - bringing the number up above that of 2013.

Cllr Ablewhite added: “You may recall that both the chief constable and I were very honest about the issues we were facing last year and were talking of unsustainable levels of demand.

“Since then the police have undergone a Local Policing Review which has reduced command structures, increase the size of specialist teams and increased the number of constables.

“Recruitment is well underway and the force is actually growing for the first time since 2005.

“We will endeavour to continue to improve over the coming months as more officers come in to support their colleagues.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter