The force was given the rating for its effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime, which is one part of the HMIC ‘Peel’ inspection.
The report was particularly critical of how the force identifies victims and vulnerable people at the first point of contact.
David Lloyd said:
“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I’m the voice of victims and there to make sure they’re at the heart of the criminal justice system. When this doesn’t happen, I’m disappointed – and I’ve requested a full report from the new Chief Constable on what he intends to do to fix this.
This failure to identify the risk to certain individuals correctly could – unless the force puts this right - damage the public’s confidence in our force and this must not happen.”
The area of most concern to Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary was the initial contact with the police and the way the force processes the call. This has led to some victims not being properly identified as needing immediate help.
The Commissioner said: “Sadly the problems highlighted in this report will not come as a surprise to the force. After a previous inspection I was reassured measures had been taken to improve the situation, but HMIC have found the system is still not working.
The grading of “Inadequate” in the strand relating to supporting the vulnerable victims is frankly unacceptable, and disappointing.
The new Chief Constable has reassured me steps have already been taken to fix this, and I’ve now added this as an objective for his annual appraisal.”
HMIC has said it will return later this month or in April to re-inspect the control room, and assess the system the Constabulary uses to process the calls, known as THRIIVES*.
This is an operational decision taken by the force, but the Commissioner has requested a formal report into its effectiveness.
David Lloyd: “I’ve asked the new Chief Constable to conduct a report on THRIIVES. HMIC has clearly identified serious systemic failings and I need to know it is fit for purpose, in order to ensure victims are not let down.”
The Commissioner is also concerned that victims aren’t being fully briefed on their rights under the Victim’s Code of Practice, and so don’t always know what options are open to them.
Hertfordshire has a dedicated victim care centre, Beacon, which has won praise for the support it provides to victims once they are in the system. The PCC would like to see this level of professionalism applied throughout a victim’s journey.
HMIC did praise the work of the force in other important areas, and singled it out for commendation for maintaining a strong focus on community policing - which is a key pillar of the PCC’s Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan. It was also praised for its approach to serious and organised crime, rural policing and the way it works with partner agencies, particularly in areas such as crime prevention and tackling anti-social behaviour.
The Commissioner said: “Overall Hertfordshire police continue to provide an excellent service and perform to the high standards which the people of Hertfordshire have come to expect. That is why it is important to respond effectively when there is any sign that those standards have slipped in any area. I am pleased that HMIC acknowledges that the swift action now taken will lead to significant improvements.”
Link to inspection report here.
* Definition of the THRIIVES model:
Threat – an indication of imminent danger
HARM – actual or potential ill effects or danger
RISK – the likelihood that harm will occur
Intelligence – any available intelligence
Investigation- the opportunities for meaningful lines of enquiry
Vulnerability – indication of specific needs of victim
Engagement – opportunity for community reassurance, multi-agency approach?
Specified Need – defined by each force i.e. dwelling burglary
Presentation on THRIIVES here.