“Devon and Cornwall Police needs to improve at keeping people safe and reducing crime, an official watchdog has ruled.
The force was given the rating of ‘requires improvement’ in its annual report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
In particular, it received poor grades in two key areas – investigating crime and preventing reoffending and protecting vulnerable people.
The findings come with inspectors raising “major concerns” over the stress police forces across the country are under, with “cracks beginning to show” due to budget cuts.
For 2017, Devon and Cornwall Police received a ‘good’ grade for tackling serious and organised crime, and for preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour.
But it received a ‘requires improvement’ grade for both investigating crime and protecting vulnerable people.
That meant the force received an overall grade of ‘requires improvement’ this year.
The report showed that recorded crime in Devon and Cornwall was up 17 per cent for the 12 months to June 2017 compared with the 12 months to June 2016.
This is compared to a national rise of 14 per cent.
Although Devon and Cornwall Police was seen to have made progress in some areas since 2016, its performance in other areas has deteriorated.
Inspectors found that the force needs to provide better support to officers and staff investigating crimes with vulnerable victims.
It also needs to improve its understanding of the way it protects some victims of domestic abuse.
Similarly, the force requires improvement in some aspects of investigating crime and reducing re-offending, as while victims generally receive a good service, rising demand has undermined the quality of some subsequent investigations. …
In total, 12 of the 43 police forces are considered to require improvement overall – including Devon and Cornwall – although none were seen to be inadequate. …
Performance is still below standard in nearly half of all forces. …”