PCC and Chief Constable Welcome Good HMIC report on Hertfordshire Constabulary
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has welcomed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s ( HMIC) report of Police Legitimacy for Hertfordshire Constabulary which has rated the Constabulary’s overall performance as “Good”.
Commissioner Lloyd was referring to HMIC’s Police Legitimacy report, published  on 11th February, which says; “Officers and staff across Hertfordshire Constabulary engage well with the public and understand how this promotes police legitimacy.   The chief officer team takes the need for an ethical and inclusive workforce seriously; the constabulary has a good understanding of its communities and engages positively with the public.
The report continues, “Decision making by taser-trained officers is fair and proportionate however the force needs to do more in order to comply with the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme.  Overall Hertfordshire Constabulary meets the public’s expectation that a force should be legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime.”
Mr Lloyd said: “This HMIC report recognises the extensive work that the Constabulary has carried out to achieve this good result.  As I have strived to protect local policing in the county, I am particularly pleased that the role local officers play in engaging with the people it serves has been praised.”
He continued: “As always, there are improvements that can be made, and the report helps by identifying where I will focus my attention to ensure that the Chief Constable continues to improve policing in Hertfordshire. Whilst stop and search is an important and effective policing tool, it needs to be used correctly with due respect for those being searched.  This is why last year I set up a new Independent Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel in Hertfordshire. Its members are wholly independent of police and represent a broad cross section of the community of Hertfordshire.  They meet regularly to examine where officers have used these powers and do not hesitate to raise occasions where they think officers have not met required standards. I use their findings and observations to help me monitor the use of these powers and to hold the Chief Constable to account”
Chief Constable Andy Bliss said: “This positive report reflects the hard work of my colleagues in the Constabulary and it is encouraging to receive a ‘Good’ rating.  We have effective policing across Hertfordshire, helped by the good relations we have across all of the communities we serve.  Whilst the power to stop and search people is an important one to help us tackle crime, I am clear that our officers must always use these powers properly and fairly and that will be our focus moving forward.”
Her Majesty’s Inspector Zoë Billingham said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary treats people fairly and with respect. The force is developing a good ethical culture, well led by the chief constable. The force is working hard to ensure that the wellbeing of staff is properly promoted. It is encouraging that the force is planning to standardise how misconduct allegations are dealt with, to avoid any instances of police staff being treated more harshly than police officers.
“Officers and staff across Hertfordshire Constabulary engage well with the public and understand how involving the public promotes police legitimacy. The force has a sound understanding of the communities it serves and this is developed through a range of methods including meetings, surveys, community impact assessments and a commitment to listening and providing feedback to the public. Social media is also used appropriately to provide further opportunities for keeping the public informed and in touch.
“The force is not yet compliant with the Home Office’s Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. Police officers told us that they are not confident in using stop and search, and the last training was run in 2013, prior to the scheme’s launch. This is an area of improvement for the force.
“The force’s use of taser is fair and proportionate. Its use is generally appropriate and there is a robust process for selecting taser officers.”