Image: Chief Constable Mike Barton, with PCVC Ron Hogg
Durham Constabulary is the best Police Force in the country, according to a new report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
In the report, HMIC graded Durham as ‘outstanding’ - the only Force in the country to gain this accreditation. This follows the announcement in November that Durham is one of only two Forces to be graded ‘outstanding’ for efficiency, and an extremely praiseworthy report of an inspection into the leadership of the Force, also last year.
Commenting on the inspections, Police Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg said:
“This is the third year in a row that Durham Constabulary has been the best force in the country. I would like to congratulate all members of Durham Constabulary on these tremendous results.
“The Force benefits from excellent leadership from its Chief Constable, Mike Barton, and I was delighted last year when he agreed a contract extension until 2021. But this accolade is also a testament to the men and women of Durham Constabulary who are working with communities and victims every day to keep them safe.
“We will not rest on our laurels and will continue to be innovative and learn from other forces so we can carry on improving. I will continue to hold the Force to account to make sure that everything possible is being done to maintain this excellent standard of performance.
Ron also expressed caution about the future funding of police forces, adding “we know that Government are reviewing the formula which is used to calculate how much grant funding police forces receive from Government. I recently met Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis MP and highlighted the importance of the Government recognising the needs of areas like County Durham and Darlington.”
Ron gave the Minister a briefing paper which showed that 55% of properties in Durham and Darlington are in Band A. That means that the yield from the Police precept is very low compared to more affluent areas with more properties in the higher Council Tax bands. The paper also set out the range of work which the Police do which is about keeping people safe and preventing crime from happening in the first place.
Ron concluded “it is important that Durham Constabulary’s excellent performance in recent inspections is not threatened by cuts in funding. We have already had to lose nearly 400 officers since 2010, which is a larger chunk of the workforce than almost any other force in the country. Some have lost virtually none. The new funding formula should not reduce our income further”.
Notes to editors:
Posted on Thursday 2nd March 2017