Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
01234 842208
BEDFORDSHIRE PCC SAYS JOINT WORKING IS THE WAY AHEAD
PCC responds to Police Watchdog report and agrees joint working with partners is the key to tackling Serious Organised Crime and safeguarding the vulnerable.
 
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner - Kathryn Holloway, has commented on the findings of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in its latest report as follows: “The problem with all HMIC reports is that they’re published months later by, which time the Force can have made substantial progress which is precisely the case here. For example, the report welcomes the introduction of new four days on four days off shift patterns for 999 response officers which has already started, at the beginning of September.
 
“It also welcomes the reorganisation of the Force’s detectives into specialist teams to better meet specialist demand. These new teams devoted, for example, to rape, child sexual exploitation and abuse, human trafficking and the reduction of gang and gun crime have now been agreed and delivered with extra officers deployed in some areas, as in the CSE team.”
 
While the report was unchanged from its 2015 assessment in finding the Force “requiring improvement”, the following significant improvements were all noted:
 
-Invested in the Public Protection Unit to better protect the most vulnerable
-Actively recruiting new constables
-Praised for identifying and prioritising risks – counter terror, modern day slavery, child sexual exploitation and abuse, honour-based violence, female genital mutilation and serious sexual offences
-Work with mental health services is singled out – the mental health street triage service putting a police officer, paramedic and mental health nurse in a single response car to help those in crisis
-An improved response to rural crime
-“Commended” for its joint working with Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Police and “Futures’ Team” planning to meet the demand that lies ahead (with all the above evident in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan)
-Has explored good national practice
-Closely monitors the effects of the new structural changes in shifts and detective sections to make sure they bring improvements
-Is cutting back on meetings that may duplicate activity
-Has a good plan to provide the right IT
-“Effective” joint learning and development training with its partners in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Police
 
The Commissioner agrees with HMIC’s observation that ever closer joint working with partners like local authorities is the key to better protection of victims and crime prevention and points to the Multi Agency Service Hub (MASH) - which the Force is setting up with Luton Borough Council, along with her own efforts and those of the Chief Constable to extend this to Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils.
 
Commissioner Holloway continued: “I’m particularly pleased that the report has recognised the work being done to work with all the departments of our local councils and put them together with the Force’s Serious Organised Crime Team to use all our civil and crime powers together to prevent or disrupt organised crime gangs and better safeguard the vulnerable.
 
“The Chief Constable and I want to introduce this in the county in a real ‘Team Bedfordshire’ approach along the lines of the celebrated Operation Challenger in Manchester -where all the local authorities, police and other agencies like Health, HMRC and Borders and Immigration all get together to tackle crime.”
 
Note to Editors:
 
The data covered in this HMIC report on Efficiency covers the 12 month period to the end of March 2016. The Commissioner took up her role in Bedfordshire on 12 May 2016 following the PCC election on 5 May.

The Bedfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner Police and Crime Plan can be viewed at www.bedspcc.org
 
For further information or to request an interview with Kathryn Holloway, contact the OPCC press office by calling:  01234 842199 or email: Julie.maddocks@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk
 
Kathryn Holloway was elected Bedfordshire’s Police Crime Commissioner on 5 May 2016.  As the PCC she has a hands-on approach in order to understand the challenges faced by the police, and to help find practical solutions.  Kathryn spends time out on the frontline with Bedfordshire Police, in the custody suites and cells, accompanying officers on emergency response patrols and in the Night Time Economy vans, and attending 999 events across the county.