Thames Valley Police graded 'Good' for Legitimacy


"This institutional racism will only serve to further undermine any remaining trust or respect that these young people have for the police".

A report by watchdog Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said the difference was "troubling".

"I joined Cleveland Police in June 2013 as Deputy Chief Constable to bring change to the organisation and work to improve the service which is delivered to the communities we serve". This is largely consistent with the overall legitimacy judgments in 2016.

Chief constable Iain Spittal said: "We have made significant improvements and I am pleased that HMICFRS has highlighted that, as a force, we ensure that our officers and staff understand the importance of treating people with fairness and respect". Legitimacy is required for the police to be effective and efficient and it also motivates the public to co-operate with the police and respect the law.

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"We assessed well over three quarters of forces as either "good" or "outstanding" in this regard".

White suspects are more likely to be found with drugs during police stop and searches, yet black people remain eight times more likely to be targeted.

Six forces - Northamptonshire Police, Cleveland Police, City of London Police, West Midlands Police, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police - were marked as "requires improvement" and none were found to be inadequate.

"Through a review of the professional standards department, the force is also working to ensure that its processes are fair for its workforce".

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"Cleveland Police continues on its journey, making improvements, examining past conduct and behaviours, and working with our communities to ensure that we act in a way which both supports them and makes them stronger". Forces are increasingly providing training in unconscious bias and communication skills to improve their interactions with the public and enhance the public's perception that they are treated fairly and with respect.

Finally, Inspectors found a clear focus on wellbeing, including the emotional and mental health of all of the Constabulary's officers and staff.

Police officers can use stop-and-search powers if they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect someone is carrying items such as drugs, weapons or stolen property. Forces should publish their analysis and any resulting action taken at least on an annual basis from July 2018.

The Inspectorate lauded that "the number of stop and searches carried out by forces in England and Wales has fallen from more than 1 million a decade ago to 300,000". The report recommends further consideration of their use and suggests that national advice or guidance would be beneficial.

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Instances of police racism-from stop and search to deaths in custody-are not due to a few bad apples in the police force. Forces are assessed on their effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. Last year the force was judged as requiring improvement; this year it is judged to be good.