GLOUCESTERSHIRE Constabulary has “really inexperienced” young officers facing increasingly high workloads, according to police bosses.
The force gave an update on its progress after recovering from being placed into special measures by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in December 2021.
The Constabulary has made huge strides to address their shortcomings and the watchdog found vast improvements in crime recording, call handling and victim services.
And while the force was taken out of special measures in September this year, police chiefs spoke of potential barriers to an effective recovery at the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel on November 24.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Ocone told councillors that many of the issues would not come as a surprise to them.
“We’ve got a really inexperienced workforce,” he said. “We’ve got high workload demands on those young officers because they are required to do a degree, generally.
“There’s some demand there as well. We’ve got a really complex situation around our case files so we are grateful for the HMICFRS coming and talking to us about case file preparation.”
He also spoke of the financial pressures the force is facing as well as the cost of living crisis which is affecting employees.
“We’ve got some economic and financial pressures ongoing in the system. Actually when I say that I don’t just mean the organisation I mean the people that work for us as well.
“Obviously, we’ve got some impacts nationally that you’ll all know about the impact on morale within the organisation.”
However, he also told the committee of the praise the force received over the summer which include the National Police Wellbeing service award, being regional winners of the Police Federation of England and Wales Bravery Award and National Police Chiefs’ Council Awards for tackling violence against women and girls.
Assistant Chief Constable Ocone also spoke of how the force still needs to focus on reducing the number of calls to 101 which are abandoned.
The rate of abandonment has decreased around six per cent since last year but still sits at around 40 per cent.
“With 101 we’ve still got too high a rate of abandonment,” he said. “That’s why that particular cause for concern is not yet discharged,” he said.
“The 999 answer times are effectively dealt with. They are now consistently under ten seconds.
“I don’t think it will ever be zero but we want to get it as low as we can. We think we’ve made significant progress here and we deserve to be released from Engage. I’m pleased to say they agreed with us.”