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Gloucestershire Police improves to move out of special measures

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A police force is no longer in special measures after a watchdog found it had made improvements to services.

Gloucestershire Constabulary had been in a process called enhanced monitoring by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Services (HMICFRS) since 2021.

The watchdog said it had found vast improvements in crime recording, call handling and victim services.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Chris Nelson said: “We are developing into a high-performance organisation.”

The inspection is ongoing but early results have led HMICFRS to conclude that the force no longer requires enhanced checks.

HMICFRS said the progress made by the force had been impressive, particularly with its crime recording accuracy, which was found to be outstanding.

It means the constabulary now leaves what the inspectorate calls its engage phase, sometimes referred to as special measures.

HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Andy Cooke, said he was pleased with the progress made but there was still more work to do.

“I am reassured by the plans Gloucestershire Constabulary has in place to continue making improvements.

“The force will be inspected again later this year, when we will assess its progress to make sure the people of Gloucestershire are getting the service they deserve from their police force,” he added.

Gloucestershire Constabulary formally entered special measures in December 2021 when areas of its performance were judged to be inadequate.

These included responding to the public, investigating crime, protecting vulnerable people and missing opportunities to safeguard victims.

Inspectors also found that some investigations were not consistently supervised to a good standard and sometimes victims were not updated on cases.

Subsequent steps taken, including an increase in staff in the force control room and the introduction of a crime standards bureau to ensure crimes are recorded accurately, and in a timely manner, have had a significant impact, said HMICFRS.

Recruitment of more than 400 police officers, community support officers and front line staff, strengthening of the senior leadership team, changes to training and a new department dedicated to victim care are expected to improve performance further.

Chief Constable Rod Hansen called the news a welcome development but said there was “no room for complacency”.

“I want to pay tribute to everyone’s dedication in addressing the causes of concerns that were identified.

“I am immensely proud at how well we came together as one team in order to ensure we were doing everything we should to keep the public safe from harm,” he added.

Mr Nelson said: “For too long the force has been short of key resources, although its individual officers and staff have always performed at the highest level, giving their all to serve the public with pride.”

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