Police force must improve the way it treats people

Northumbria Police is one of five forces in the country which requires improvement, according to a report on whether people are treated fairly and ethically.

Thursday, 11th February 2016, 3:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th February 2016, 3:39 pm
Chief Constable Steve Ashman

The Legitimacy inspection, published last Thursday by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, examined all 43 forces in England and Wales on whether they operate fairly, ethically and within the law, how they engage with their communities and their use of stop and search and tasers.

Thirty-seven police forces were graded as good, and one, Kent Police, achieved an outstanding grade.

Additionally, there were five police forces that were graded as requires improvement, including Northumbria, while none was inadequate.

Northumbria Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: “We accept most of the findings and acknowledge that at the time the inspection took place there were areas for improvement in Northumbria Police.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It is reassuring to note the positive comments of the HMIC regarding the way our officers engage so positively with our communities, however, we recognise the need to make further improvements in our compliance with the best use of Stop and Search scheme. We have already taken active steps to ensure we become fully compliant with HMIC recommendations and are now seeking to make further improvements.”

He added: “The report highlights the fact that the inspection took place in the spring of 2015, since when a significant amount of change has taken place. I am confident that we have made real progress in changing the culture of the organisation to one which welcomes challenge and encourages innovation.

“I look forward to this year’s inspection as an opportunity for us to show exactly where we are now.”

“We want to reassure people that we take the policing power of stop and search very seriously in Northumbria as we recognise it is an issue that can cause concern in our communities if it is not carried out appropriately, courteously and professionally.

“However, it is a valuable tool which we use when necessary to tackle crime in our communities, it helps us to eliminate innocent people from our inquiries as well as enabling officers to protect the public.”