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Inspection Regime 'Is Set For Change'

Document says ‘Value For Money’ inspections and encouragement of force collaborations will be part of new remit

The new role of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will see the organisation becoming accountable to the public and Parliament – but not ministers.

In a letter to the staff associations, Home Secretary Theresa May said HMIs would also be instrumental in “shining a light” on forces and ensuring they are providing value for money.

The Home Secretary went on to point out that changes to HMIC were already laid out in the Home Office’s Policing in the 21st Century document.

This had been released in July 2010 and says that HMIC will play “a key role” in informing the public and police and crime commissioners on how their forces are performing.

This will include “Value for Money Profiles” made up of comparative data from force-to-force which will allow the public, police and crime commissioners and chief officers “to make detailed comparisons across force areas”.

Additionally it will produce “Value For Money Inspections”, the document says, which will evaluate the value achieved in a force area through police activity, the use of nationally provided contracts or services and collaborative work with other forces.

Police and crime commissioners will be able to ask HMIC to inspect their force they believe “the chief constable is unable to make sufficient progress on value for money”.

The document outlines that HMIC will produce “light touch inspection regimes” and play an active role in advice concerning collaborations between forces.

The document says: “HMIC will assess decisions by individual forces and their commissioners about where to collaborate with others and on the effectiveness of that collaboration in maintaining or improving services at a lower cost.

“We would expect HMIC to advise government on the instances where forces and commissioners have chosen not to collaborate where there are clear benefits for the wider police service.

“We will take steps to strengthen the current duty to collaborate in order that the Home Secretary can, when advised and it is in the national interest, direct forces to collaborate.”

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