HC Deb 05 December 1990 vol 182 cc117-8W
Mr. Forman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish reports by Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary on its inspections of police forces.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

[pursuant to my noble Friend's reply, 23 March 1990, c. 794]: All reports of Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary inspections are now published; the Derbyshire report will be published tomorrow and copies will then be placed in the Library.

The report conveys the professional policing judgment of the inspectorate; it offers a worrying catalogue of Derbyshire county council's policies and procedures which, in the view of the inspectorate, hinder the commendable efforts of the police force to provide the best standards of policing.

No bids for extra police manpower were made for 1988 and 1989: my predecessor approved an additional 19 posts for 1990—on which 51 per cent. police grant would have been paid—but the council was unwilling to meet its share of the funding and the posts were not taken up; civilian posts are left vacant or take six months to fill; buildings are in a poor state and the police committee did not respond to a 1988 Home Office invitation to submit proposals for a building plan; budgetary processes are exceptionally cumbersome, and little control is devolved to the chief constable.

Resources for policing are allocated on the same basis throughout England and Wales. But no other police authority has merited such informed professional criticism. The issues identified in the report are the consequences of the policies of the Derbyshire authorities; I shall be watching very closely to see what action they take to make substantial improvements in their performance.

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