Bedfordshire Police have been rated as ‘inadequate’ at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
It is believed it was the only force in the country to be given the ‘lowest’ rating of inadequate.
In the latest inspection by HMIC, it was stated that the force ‘demonstrates little understanding of the communities it serves.’
Despite the force reporting a three per cent increase in police-recorded crime over the last year, compared with an increased 7.3 per cent across all other forces over the same period, the report has critically plucked out areas that need improvement.
These include understanding communites, preventing crime, monitoring anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe.
However according to the police watchdog, the public report seeing less foot and vehicle patrols in their communities than they did last year.
The report stated: “This is of concern as it may reflect a lack of public confidence in policing in areas of the force where there is little or no visible uniformed presence.”
Bedfordshire Police have responded to this and said it does not have the resources for foot and vehicle patrols in communities where crime demands are low.
Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said: “Since I came into the role of PCC, I have had one main priority – to increase the visibility of your police and make them more accessible.
“Very disappointingly this work cannot be reflected in the latest inspection.
“A HMIC inspector can only take work into account which is already complete and after evidence can prove that it is producing improvements.
“I want to reassure you that it is well under way. By November 2017, I am assured that six new intakes of PCs will start.”
HMIC also stated that Bedfordshire Police is inadequate in its approach to the prevention of crime and antisocial behaviour and keeping people safe.
However the force reiterated that this is not a reflection on specific police officers and staff who, day to day ‘are doing their best with the limited resources’ to keep the public safe.
Despite areas of concern, the report did acknowledge the positive development Emerald team who support victims of domestic abuse, sexual assaults and rape.
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