An independent review has praised Surrey Police for its preventative approach to crime, protecting vulnerable people and for how it ethically consults its workforce.
The inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services also identified improvements are needed in how the force plans ahead and manages demand.
The findings are a result of HMICFRS’ PEEL inspection into effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy and covers a wide range of topics. It’s the first time the force has received an outstanding rating.
Responding to the report Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp said: “We are delighted to see that a huge amount of effort from officers and staff across the force has been recognised in this latest inspection and resulted in positive feedback by inspectors.
“We pride ourselves on being a problem-solving organisation to ensure we are on the front foot to prevent crime and solve community issues at the earliest opportunity.
“Our priority is to make this county the safest it can be. A huge part of that is taking a ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach. We do this by making sure we know our communities and have specialist officers who are experts in their neighbourhoods.”
Another area of assessment praised by HMICFRS was ethical and lawful workforce behaviour and fair treatment of the workforce.
T/DCC Nev Kemp added: “Without our workforce we would not be able to function and serve the public in the way we want. This is why it is so important to do all we can to treat our staff and officers with the respect they deserve for the huge commitment they show and sacrifices they make on a day to day basis.”
Two areas, managing demand and planning ahead, were identified as requiring improvement which are recognised as being in line with national trends.
T/DCC Kemp said: “Demand on policing is a national issue and is being addressed with the well-publicised plans to increase officer numbers across the country. This is something we already sought to push ahead with earlier this year as the council tax precept was increased to allow us to recruit more officers and staff.
“Locally, we are constantly looking at how we can manage our own workloads and have a variety of initiatives with partner agencies to collaboratively reduce demand on our services and importantly ensure that those who need support receive it from the right agency.
“We have seen great results for example from a relationship with the South East Coast Ambulance Service whereby a dedicated mental health resource works alongside officers at times that are identified as being high risk for people in crisis. Following a pilot this is being extended across wider areas of the force.
“Our problem solving approach, in collaboration with partner agencies, has also helped with demand reduction. One example highlighted by the inspection showed we had seen 969 fewer episodes of children and adults reporting missing over an 11 month period.”
In summary HMICFRS awarded the following gradings to the areas inspected:
- Preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour – outstanding
- Protecting vulnerable people – good
- Meeting current demands and using resources – requires improvement
- Planning for the future – requires improvement
- Ethical and lawful workforce behaviour – good
- Fair treatment of the workforce - good