HAMPSHIRE police are performing well but must improve in crucial areas.
That is the verdict from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.
It has completed reports over the last 12 months into effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy, and has now drawn them together in a final report.
HM Inspector Zoe Billingham said: ‘This year I have expressed some deep concerns about Hampshire Constabulary’s practices relating to some victims of domestic abuse. However, since our inspection the force has taken active steps to address its falling arrest rates for perpetrators of domestic abuse, and is working hard to understand why approaching two-thirds of investigations into domestic abuse do not progress because it is said that the “victim does not support police action”.’
In the PEEL report she said there had been improvements.
Ms Billingham praised the force in other areas.
n Effectiveness: requires improvement. In March inspectors said the force needs to address low arrest rates for domestic abuse and a ‘disproportionately high’ number of investigations that see victims withdraw support.
n Efficiency: good. Inspectors said in November the force has sound financial plans and is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime, with progress on so-called hidden demand, including child sexual exploitation.
n Legitimacy: good. In December HMIC said the public were treated with fairness, with good arrangements for identifying risks to the integrity of organisation.
Sara Glen, deputy chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘Looking after vulnerable people is a major focus for us all, and whilst we are getting it right in our neighbourhoods, on child sexual exploitation, mental health, and tackling modern slavery, we are all disappointed that our efforts in some areas of domestic abuse have been found to require improvement. This only makes us more determined.’