CHESHIRE Police Authority is ‘performing well’ generally but it doesn’t do enough to ensure the force delivers value-for-money policing, say watchdogs.
A new report by the Audit Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) says the authority is doing its job well overall.
On a scale from one to four, the joint inspection team assessed the authority’s performance as ‘three’ – performing well.
Inspectors say its members understand the issues that most concern residents.
By focusing on those, they ensure that policing plans reflect the concerns of the communities they serve and also the needs of vulnerable people who are most likely to become victims of crime.
They say the authority’s role in monitoring and challenging the Cheshire Constabulary keeps the force on its toes.
They also make sure the constabulary has the capacity and resources it needs to deliver agreed objectives.
But the inspectors say it needs to do more to make sure that taxpayers get good value for money.
Cheshire’s Police Authority comprises nine councillors and eight independent members and it employs eight full-time staff.
It is responsible for securing an efficient and effective police force for Cheshire and holding the chief constable to account.
Val Edmonds, the Audit Commission's spokeswoman for the joint inspection team, said: “The authority provides clear leadership for policing in the county.
“Members talk to local people, listen to their concerns and ensure local policing reflects what is important to them.
“Through good scrutiny and challenge it is helping improve the constabulary’s performance and giving local people more confidence in the police.
“Partnership working is good. Members work well with other public services, such as councils and health services, to help improve the safety of Cheshire residents.
“The authority is strengthening its focus on driving better value for money from policing but it needs to do much more – especially in the current economic climate.”
The authority members now plan to consider the report and its full implications and see what it needs to do to improve its performance in the areas where it was found wanting.