Publication of Inspectorate report on West Midlands Police

His Majesty's Inspectorate has published its report based on the police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy inspection of West Midlands Police, which was carried out earlier this year.

The inspection identified a number of concerns which led to HMICFRS’ decision last month to move the force into an enhanced level of monitoring.

Many of the issues identified developed as a result of the previous operating model, and are based on data which does not reflect the improvements  achieved since the launch of West Midlands Police’s new operating model in April 2023. Chief Constable Craig Guildford said:

“When I joined WMP in December 2022 I set some clear priorities as I recognised there needed to be a significant improvement in the force’s performance and the service we provide to local communities.

“I am pleased that HMICFRS has recognised the rapid action that we have taken and that it will take time to have the effect we want and that we are determined to deliver.

”It is also important they have acknowledged the scale of the challenge we face in securing the funding and resources we need to meet demand and prevent crime and protect the public effectively.

“We have been working very hard over the past 12 months to improve the force and we changed our operating model in April this year. We have already made substantial and sustained improvements and we look forward to engaging with HMICFRS in 2024."

Since implementing the new local policing model, changing Force Contact and opening two more custody suites,  their arrest rate has increased by more than 40%.

The Force have also increased the number of offenders brought to justice and this continues to improve each month. West Midlands Police have now gone from being one of the worst call-handling forces to one of the best in 11 months and now ranking third in the country, answering 96% of calls in 10 seconds in November with an average response time of three seconds.

The Force have also improved the proportion of emergency incidents attended within specified targets by 25%, and are now arriving at the most serious incidents in an average of 12 minutes which is two minutes faster than in March. As a result of the changes  made,  data is showing some significant reductions in crime.

Overall crime is 9% lower than 2023 year to date and there are reductions in burglary and vehicle crime. The Force are working hard to improve investigations and  now have a detailed plan which is already delivering improvements - 4,000 more detections (30% more) in the first nine months of year.

The number of rapes solved has also increased significantly, and HMICFRS recognised West Midlands Police work to help develop national practice to improve how the police respond to and investigate rape and other serious sexual offences. Chief Constable Guildford said:

“West Midlands officers and staff remain focused on doing their very best to keep the public safe and bring offenders to justice. I have every confidence that we will continue to deliver sustained improvements for local communities in 2024 and evidence this to HMICFRS.”


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