'It is the job of police authorities to make sure that local people get the best possible policing services. We are committed to driving up force performance and these assessments are a valuable tool to help us do just that. Authorities will already know from their own performance monitoring activity what their forces are doing well and not so well. But HMIC's assessments provide a powerful lever which authorities can use to focus on those areas where improvements are needed.'
'These assessments show a great deal of good and excellent performance and we should celebrate that without allowing ourselves or our forces to be complacent. There are many areas where the police service as a whole is doing very well across the country. But there are others where collective improvement is needed. We look forward to working with HMIC, ACPO and other stakeholders to tackle weaknesses in call handling and dealing with level 2 crime, for example.'
Police authorities are also responsible for:
-setting the budget for their police force, including raising local council taxes for policing
-consulting and engaging with local communities to find out what they want the local police to tackle
-setting the strategic direction for policing locally, deciding local priorities for policing and setting their force challenging targets to drive performance higher
-appointing (and, if necessary, dismissing) the chief officer
-monitoring and managing local police performance
* The announcement of the new baseline assessments is available here.
HMIC ASSESSMENT OF POLICE FORCES - METROPOLITAN POLICE AUTHORITY RESPONSE
Commenting on the HMIC baseline assessments of police forces in England and Wales published today, Richard Barnes, acting chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority said:
'The MPA is responsible for maintaining an efficient and effective police service for London, and overall we welcome the positive assessment by HMIC of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) core policing activities. However, we will take on board the observations made in the report and continue to work with the MPS to improve the way policing is provided to Londoners.
'As the police service for London, the MPS has specific and unique policing duties, for example its 'capital city' responsibilities, such as public order, anti terrorism and royal and diplomatic protection
'London is also the most diverse city in the world and we have been working hard with the MPS to increase community confidence and trust in our police.
'Recently MPS police officer numbers exceeded 30,000, the highest ever in its history and we have recruited over 1,431 police community support officers.
'The MPS has also launched the 'Safer Neighbourhoods' strategy, whereby individual 'wards' in London's boroughs will now be policed by a team of six officers and CPSOs who will be dedicated to that specific area.
'The MPA exists to ensure that the MPS is accountable to all London's communities and we will work together to improve our policing services and make our capital safer for everyone. We recognise the importance of this baseline assessment and will ensure there is no room for complacency in our aim to make London the safest city.'