West Midlands police are to be placed into special measures after His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the force to be failing.
HMIC has accused West Midlands Police (WMP) for conducting poor investigations into crimes which has resulted in poor results for the victims.
HMIC placed WMP into “Engage” meaning special measures, the Metropolitan Police which is the UK’s largest force has also been placed into this category along with Wilstshire and Staffordshire and Devon and Cornwall.
WMP has been accused of failing registered sex offenders and also failing to protect suspected online child abusers.
In December 2022 Craig Guilford became the new chief constable for WMP and the force thinks they have been showing results, but after an HMIC investigation they were placed into special measures.
Wendy Williams, from HMIC, said, “We move police forces into our enhanced level of monitoring, known as ‘Engage’, when a force is not responding to our concerns, or if it is not managing, mitigating or eradicating these concerns.
“The ‘Engage’ process provides additional scrutiny and support from the inspectorate and other external organisations in the policing sector to help the police force improve and provide a better service for the public.
“West Midlands police has been asked to urgently produce an improvement plan and will meet regularly with our inspectors.
“We will work closely with the force to monitor its progress against these important and necessary changes.”
Guildford made public his disagreement with the decision. He said: “Although I remain respectful of [the inspectorate] I completely disagree with their decision-making to move West Midlands police into ‘Engage’ now despite providing them with recent evidence that should inform a much more comprehensive and fair assessment of the force.
“When I joined WMP … I recognised there needed to be a significant improvement in the force’s performance, the number of offenders brought to justice and the service we provide to local communities.
“It was for this reason that I implemented a rapid overhaul of the operating model and in April 2023 we created seven new local policing areas.
“Since implementing this new model, changing Force Contact and opening two more custody suites, our arrest rate has increased by a third, as has the number of offenders brought to justice. This continues to improve each month.”
“We have gone from being one of the worst call-handling forces to one of the best in 11 months.
“We answer 70,000 999 calls each month in an average of five seconds; and have improved the proportion of emergency incidents attended within our specified targets by 25%.”
HMIC said it was “assured West Midlands police is taking steps to address these concerns, but significant and sustained improvements are required and the inspectorate will be closely monitoring the force’s progress.”