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INSPECTION PRAISES DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY POLICE

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Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, Scotland's smallest police force, has been praised for 'excellent ongoing work ...
Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, Scotland's smallest police force, has been praised for 'excellent ongoing work on community safety', and 'commendable professionalism' during the Lockerbie trial, in a report published today.

The HMIC Primary Inspection of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, conducted during February 2002, also confirms the force is efficient and effective.

The inspection was the first to be conducted by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Roy Cameron. He was assisted by Her Majesty's Lay Inspector, Jane Irvine and Assistant Inspector, Kenneth McInnes.

Sir Roy said:

'This report shows strong evidence of excellent ongoing work on community safety with outstanding public and multi agency support. I must also commend the force on how it has responded with commendable professionalism to the exceptional demands of the Lockerbie Trial, and to the foot and mouth crisis against a background of significant conventional operational demands.

'Recently the force has had to confront serious public concerns regarding the conduct of an officer subsequently sentenced to imprisonment and dismissed from the service. The leadership has responded with positive measures which will enable more open and accessible processes for initiating complaints. These merit wider national consideration for application in other Scottish police forces as part of the current complaints arrangements.

'Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary continues to seek improvements in service delivery and the current management, with the support of the police authority, is sustaining a sound overall strategy.'

There were a number of recommendations identified by HMIC which reinforce ongoing developments in force. These include:

* refinements to the policy process in relation to more specific targets, the human resources strategy and financial services

* endorsement of active work with the local authority to upgrade the CCTV system

* developing options which may be of wider community safety interest

* improvements in crime recording and the dissemination of intelligence

* a more strategic approach to best value

In addition HMIC has taken the opportunity to highlight certain issues which are of national significance for consideration by ACPOS, including:

* the development of open and accessible arrangements for recording complaints in addition to traditional methods

* in the light of increasing drugs seizures, an review of the current approach to high levels of drugs storage in consultation with the Crown

* ensuring consistency across Scotland in the ongoing development of officer safety equipment and training

Apart from the profile on community relations, good practice is identified in respect of the use of the Intranet for effective communications, well proven procedures in emergency planning and practical use of the special constabulary.

It is anticipated that following publication of the report, the force will devise an action plan to progress the recommendations which will be the subject of future review by HMIC.

Dumfries and Galloway is Scotland's smallest police force with 471 police personnel and 261 support staff. The force serves a population of 147,000 people.

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