NOTTINGHAMSHIRE: Review praises police collaboration in region
Mr Tipping and commissioners in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Northamptonshire have been overseeing the current collaboration arrangements since being elected in November 2012, forming a Regional Collaboration Board chaired by Leicestershire Commissioner Sir Clive Loader for the purpose.
Collectively, they took the decision to invite Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to review the current arrangements earlier this summer to seek assurances on quality and effectiveness. As well as seeking independent verification of the current system and identifying possible areas for improvement, the move was also aimed at delivering accountability and transparency to the public.
The PCCs also shared a desire to present the HMIC with the work they are undertaking to provide better value for money for local residents so their efforts could be assessed in comparison to other similar schemes nationally. In the East Midlands, collaborative policing is delivered by the East Midlands Police Collaboration Programme and the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
The report published today (12th November) said the five forces within the East Midlands had showed “great vision” as well as “strong and cohesive leadership” in establishing the collaboration programme, which was described as “ahead of its time”. It added that the project continued to reap significant benefits in terms of resilience in some major operational areas such as serious and organised crime and major crime and that so far, joint working had produced an average cost saving of 20 per cent.
In a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening the current work taking place, the HMIC said it was crucial that what had already been created by the programme was preserved and that chief constables continue to work collectively in the future to utilise all the opportunities available for joint-working.
The HMIC found the EMSOU had a number of strengths including its “efficient and effective structure” which provides greater resilience for dealing with serious and organised crime and its ability to manage operations well.
“The forces have a strong history of dealing with serious and organised crime groups. Collaboration in this area is effective,” the report added.
But the inspectorate said there was room to improve further and recommended the development of a clear programme of work which builds on the current success and sets out how forces can offer different levels of service to their communities within the arrangement. It also recommended the creation of a detailed business plan setting out costs and future benefits to the public.
Mr Tipping said: “We are already looking to the future and how we might all help each other in order further to address mutual problems and protect our residents from risk and harm. But while we have shared aims and objectives, this doesn’t mean that one size fits all - we need to deliver the best possible service for each of our areas whilst also taking account of their differing needs. Collaboration needs to be of as much benefit locally as it is regionally or even nationally.”