PCC hits out at ‘usurping’ HMIC after critical Beds Police report

PCC Olly Martins
PCC Olly Martins

Beds police and crime commissioner Olly Martins has slammed the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for “starting to usurp” his position after the body declared the force needs to make a raft of improvements.

This morning the HMIC published the findings of its PEEL inspection of Beds Police, with the force’s investigation of offending and work to reduce and prevent crime all found to fall in the ‘requires improvement’ category.

HMIC said it had “specific concerns” about the force’s dealing with domestic abuse, adding that Beds Police requires improvement if it is to “provide affordable policing in the longer term while keeping the public safe.”

Following the issue of the report Beds PCC Olly Martins has hit out at the HMIC, claiming that the body has “started to usurp the role of locally accountable police and crime commissioners.”

He said: “I despair of HMIC’s attitude towards Bedfordshire Police.

“They have a real ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ approach that is particularly unhelpful.

“Indeed their negative and injudicious use of language about the force could impact on staff morale and public confidence, and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

He added: “I find it incredibly disappointing that, rather than being a critical friend in challenging times, HMIC prefers to hit police forces with a tsunami of inspections and recommendations in a costly and time consuming process that has started to usurp the role of locally accountable police and crime commissioners.”

The HMIC is the second public body Mr Martins has criticised in the space of a fortnight, as he took aim at the Independent Police Complaints Commission two weeks ago for its “long drawn out” investigation into the death of Luton man Leon Briggs.