Police rated

SUFFOLK police have received three “poor” ratings in an inspection report due to be released tomorrow.The force was rated “good” or “fair” in 20 of the 23 categories examined but its performance was not up to standard in three areas.

SUFFOLK police have received three “poor” ratings in an inspection report due to be released tomorrow.

The force was rated “good” or “fair” in 20 of the 23 categories examined but its performance was not up to standard in three areas.

One of those - managing critical incidents and managing crime - was identified as an issue in a paper compiled for Suffolk Police Authority last week.

In that paper authors, including Chief Constable Alistair McWhirter, said the force was not keen to implement a Major Investigation Team (MIT) because they did not think it would improve service or performance.

It also suggested the force may be pressured to launch an MIT in order to avoid criticism by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Home Office.

And, in tomorrow's inspection report by HMIC, concern is expressed about a lack of resilience to deal with major crime because there is no dedicated MIT.

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The force also received “poor” ratings for tackling serious and organised criminality and protecting vulnerable people.

Ch Con McWhirter said: “It must be recognised that this report is somewhat dated as it deals with our performance up to the end of March this year.

“As such, we have already done a lot of work on areas of improvement.

“However, it is still disappointing to get 'poor' grades, particularly in the area of protecting vulnerable people, where a huge amount of work and investment has been put into supporting vulnerable people and the force met all but one of the criteria in this category.”

The force was ranked “good” in the continuous improvement category and had seven areas where it had improved, with 12 staying stable and two declining.

Ch Con McWhirter emphasised it was a “strong report” and acknowledged the force's success in making Suffolk one of the safest counties in the country.