West Yorkshire third highest in England and Wales for serious crime as new report congratulates police performance
West Yorkshire Police has been congratulated for its excellent performance in a challenging policing environment, the police inspectorate has said.
The West Yorkshire Police PEEL 2020/21 report looks at police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy and the force was
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded West Yorkshire Police’s performance across 10 areas of policing and found the force was ‘outstanding’ in four areas, ‘good’ in four areas and ‘adequate’ in two areas.
In the year ending 31 March 2021, West Yorkshire Police (WYP) recorded 312 incidents per 1,000 population on its command and control systems. This is higher than the average
rate across all forces, which is 245 incidents per 1,000 population.
In the same time period it recorded 31.3 domestic abuse incidents per 1,000 population. This is much higher than the average rate for England and Wales, which is 19.1 per 1,000 population and for all offences WYP recorded in the year ending 31 March 2021, the force’s Crime Severity Score is 18.
This is the third highest of all forces in England and Wales and the score accounts for harm caused by each crime rather than just the number of crimes. This suggests that crime committed in the West Yorkshire Police area is more serious than anywhere in England and Wales other than in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester force areas.
The inspection graded as adequate at investigating crime and supporting victims.
Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said: “I congratulate West Yorkshire Police on its excellent performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. I have graded the force as outstanding in four areas of policing, which properly reflects its high level of performance in a challenging policing environment."
In his report he said he was impressed by the force’s well-established approach to community engagement, working with its communities to understand their diversity and to solve local policing issues; its investment into significantly developing its neighbourhood policing model since the last inspection and that resources aren’t routinely abstracted away into other areas of policing.
He noted the value that the force places on early intervention, especially in supporting children and young people to divert them away from offending and the force's innovation into tackling serious and organised crime threats by working with other agencies.
Mr Cooke said the force had also done significant work to analyse its stop and search activity, and in the overwhelming majority of cases there are reasonable grounds for that activity to take place with good governance in place to make sure that stop and search is scrutinised properly by senior leaders.
However, he said the force needs to improve how it identifies vulnerability at the first point of contact because its risk assessments aren’t always effective and don’t always accurately consider the need for support or safeguarding.
He added: "While I congratulate the officers and staff of West Yorkshire for their efforts in keeping the public safe, I will monitor the progress towards addressing the areas I have identified where the force can improve further.”
In publishing the report on Wednesday, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said: “I congratulate West Yorkshire Police on its excellent performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. I have graded the force as outstanding in four areas of policing, which properly reflects its high level of performance in a challenging policing environment.”
West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins QPM said: “This is the best inspection report in the Force’s history. It is all the more impressive considering we are one of the largest and most complex police force areas in the UK and we also hold more national and regional responsibilities than any other force in the country.
“The women and men of West Yorkshire Police deserve the credit for this outstanding performance. It is the police officers, staff and volunteers who day in, day out are delivering the best possible service they can to victims, witnesses and those who need our help. They do this whilst under significant financial, resourcing and demand pressures.”
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