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National State of Policing report published today

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green has welcomed the annual State of Policing report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) today.

The report by Sir Thomas Winsor, which looks at policing across England and Wales, identifies that effectiveness and efficiency are improving, but calls for better forward planning to meet the challenges of increasing and changing demand.

In response to the report, PCC Lorne Green said: “Sir Thomas Winsor recognises in his report that, nationally, against a backdrop of financial austerity and a rise in crime, our police service is doing a good job. He says the hard work and dedication of our police officers is key to that – a view with which I wholeheartedly agree.

“He does, however, suggest that it is that hard work and a sense of duty that is, in fact, masking failure by senior officers to assess demand and plan for the future.

“As the report says, our police do not have unlimited resources and, as such, cannot be expected to meet all the demands placed upon them. It is down to chief officers to make the difficult choices, plan and restructure their services and have the honest conversations with their communities about what can and can’t be done.

“If not, it’s the welfare of police officers and staff, and the safety of communities which suffer.

“Our communities can be proud of the forward-looking, strategic focus of Norfolk Constabulary. We have a Force fit for the challenges of today and tomorrow, which has helped us remain one of the safest counties in the country with a police service assessed nationally as one of the most efficient.

“Our senior officers here in Norfolk have not shied away from those difficult decisions and honest conversations. Assessed by inspectors as ‘outstanding’ for understanding demand and ‘good’ for planning for the future, our Force has undertaken extensive review and is now transitioning to the Chief Constable’s new policing model.

“It’s a time of massive change and there is no questioning that, added to the day-to-day pressures of the job, our police officers and staff have a lot on their shoulders.

“As Sir Thomas says, welfare support - both for physical and mental wellbeing – is vital. That’s why I have bolstered the mental health team in our police control room, in part to increase capacity for responding to the mental health needs of our own officers and staff. And I am supporting the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill to bring about tougher sentences for those who assault our police, and have equipped officers with bodyworn cameras which gather evidence of the way they are treated by those they dedicate their working lives to protecting.

“As well as body worn cameras, I have ensured our Constabulary has other necessary 21st Century tools to be effective and efficient, including smartphones and tablets for mobile working, drones and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.

“The State of Policing report covers a lot of ground and I believe there is much – good and not so good – that can be taken from it and built upon. As the report quite rightly states, there must be more focus on prevention going forward, not least when it comes to the crimes which cause the most harm in our communities. Prevention is one of the cornerstones of the Police and Crime Plan I set for the county when I was elected two years ago and it will remain high on the agenda as I continue to closely monitor policing performance and hold Norfolk's Chief Constable to account.”

The full 'State of Policing: Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2017'report can be found on the HMICFRS website