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12 March, 2024

North Yorkshire Police “Improves its performance” says His Majesty’s Inspector

Zoë Metcalfe, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, welcomes the latest report from His Majesty’s Inspectorate highlighting that North Yorkshire Police have made improvements in how it keeps people safe, reduces crime and provides victims with an effective service.

Since the last inspection report was published in March 2023, and following the latest inspection in October 2023, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) identified that North Yorkshire police have made improvements in almost all areas they inspected.

The Inspectorate graded the force across nine areas of policing:

  • Good – Crime Data Integrity*
  • Good – Treating the public with fairness and respect
  • Good – Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and reducing vulnerability
  • Adequate – Responding to the public
  • Adequate – Investigating crime
  • Good – Protecting vulnerable people
  • Good – Managing offenders and suspects
  • Adequate – Building, supporting and protecting the workforce
  • Adequate – Leadership and force management

* Not graded in 2022

HMICFRS said the force has improved its approach to protecting vulnerable people. It has an established domestic abuse scrutiny panel, which works to improve public confidence in the force’s approach to domestic abuse and rape, and it makes good use of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. Inspectors also said that the force has invested significantly in its control room, and observed improvements in call handling and how quickly it arrives at emergency and priority incidents.

However, the inspectorate said the force needs to do more to ensure it consistently achieves appropriate outcomes for victims. HMICFRS also said that the force needs to better understand its demand, so it can manage it more effectively.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Michelle Skeer said:

“I have been impressed with North Yorkshire Police’s response to the findings of our last inspection in 2021. The force has worked quickly to improve the policing service it provides to the communities of North Yorkshire. Because of this, it has made progress in all the areas of improvement identified in our last inspection.

“Chief officers have made well thought out changes and investments to make sure the force has the resources to meet the public’s demands. The force’s management has significantly improved its services to the public, with the leadership of Chief Constable Lisa Winward playing a key role in the positive progress made. I wish her well in her retirement.

“There are still areas in which North Yorkshire Police must do better. However, I am optimistic that the force’s leadership and management will continue to build on the improvements that we have seen during this inspection.”

Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe said:

“HMICFRS reports are an independent and rigorous assessment which I use to intensify the level of scrutiny to ensure North Yorkshire Police achieve the goal that I have set in my Police & Crime Plan, for the Force to deliver exemplary policing services.

“I am extremely pleased about the phenomenal progress that the force has made in such a short space of time, and I want to thank the outgoing Chief Constable Lisa Winward, her senior leadership team and every officer, member of staff and volunteer, who has made this happen.

“I also want to thank my staff at the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner who support me with the scrutiny and oversight of North Yorkshire Police and who will support the Mayor to undertake this essential role, later this year.

“Further improvements have been achieved since the inspection was carried out in October 2023 but, as the report highlights, there is still room for improvement as they journey towards an outstanding service.

“I am pleased to see a much-improved increase in the performance of customer contact and the reduction in waiting times for both 999 and 101. Call answering times has been high on the public’s list of priorities and my own. I have invested £2.4m in the Force Control Room, however, the force still needs to improve on how they record the information and the actions they take following the call.

“Our joint strategy to tackle violence against women and girls sets out what we want to achieve, so it’s great to see that the Inspectorate’s report recognises the good work of the Rural Task Force with their close working with independent domestic abuse services, to ensure they can spot the signs of abuse and provide support to victims of domestic abuse in rural areas.

“The report also recognises that North Yorkshire Police is good at recording crime and highlights areas where improvements need to be made. It is imperative to victims that when they report a crime it is recorded correctly and dealt with appropriately and I will be looking for improvements in this area immediately.

“My Office will continue to scrutinise the work of North Yorkshire Police and the public are invited to take part at my online public meetings where the police provide progress updates on issues raised by His Majesty’s Inspectorate. This reporting happens at every meeting and will continue with the new Mayor as it forms an essential part of the oversight and scrutiny of my role.

“The progress North Yorkshire Police have made over the past twelve months, and to have their cause of concern lifted is great news.

“This is a good report and lays the foundations for North Yorkshire Police to become an “outstanding” force, which is what I expect them to achieve at the next inspection.

“On the 25 March at 2pm I will be holding an Online Public Meeting with North Yorkshire Police to look at this report in detail and to hear their plan of action to tackle the areas for improvement identified in the report. To find out more about the Online Public Meeting and how to ask your question, visit my website.”

Delivery and Assurance

Delivery Plan

In February 2023 my Office published its Delivery Plan. The Plan sets out what my Office does to deliver the Police & Crime Plan, Fire and Rescue Plan and the Violence against Women and Girls Strategy, and more importantly, the services that we will deliver to improve public confidence in policing, assist victims to cope and recover from crime and to address the root causes of crime and antisocial behaviour in our communities.

Assurance Framework

Underpinning the Delivery Plan is the Assurance Framework, which clearly sets out how I hold the services to account for delivery. Part of this was a refreshed terms of reference for my live streamed Online Public meetings which from May 2023 have included a standing agenda item for the Chief Constable to report on progress against the HMICFRS improvement plan in a public forum. This means the improvements can be closely monitored by the public and that I can seek assurance on behalf of the public that positive progress.

My and my office’s scrutiny work does not stop at these meetings and will continue in every Scrutiny Panel, Executive Board, HMICFRS Improvement Board, Risk and Assurance Board and other frequent interaction I have with Chief Officers where I will expect to receive assurance and evidence that the services are on track with their plans.

I have not accepted what I am told; my team and I require evidence of transformation in all areas for improvement.

My office has a close working relationship with HMICFRS colleagues, through regular meetings with the Force Liaison Lead that also works closely with North Yorkshire Police. I also personally liaise with our local HM Inspector.

Read the report, and more