Inspectorate praises Norfolk Police
Norfolk Police has been praised following an inspection into police response to Covid-19.
It was one of five police forces nationwide where custody responses during the pandemic were assessed by the Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.
The assessment cites Norfolk Constabulary as a positive example, highlighting how the force “put planning at the centre of its continuous improvement programme”.
It also found forces, including Norfolk, responded quickly to ensure there were enough custody officers and staff to maintain services.
The report notes that in spite of the total number of detainees entering custody between April and August, 2020, decreasing slightly, the work of custody staff increased. This was due to additional demands including supporting remote remand hearings, supervising remote legal advice, and using video and audio technology in a more regular manner.
In Norfolk, work had started to embed virtual court processes that had been running for the last five years. This meant Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies were in a good position to protect staff and detainees at the height of the pandemic and beyond.
Norfolk Chief Constable, Simon Bailey said: “As a blue light service that responds to people in emergency and crisis, we’ve had to find ways to adapt and continue with the job of protecting the public, while keeping our staff and officers as safe as we possibly can.
“It hasn’t been easy, but what has been consistent throughout has been their commitment to protecting and supporting our communities, and each other.
“I’m extremely proud of the way we have responded to this challenge.
“So many self-sacrifices have been made to retain our staff on the frontline, keep people feeling safe and reassured and keep bringing offenders to justice.
“It has been a team effort in keeping the organisation ticking; everyone has had a role to play.
“This has been particularly evident in our responses in custody and I’m pleased with the findings in this report.
“There can be little doubt that like many organisations, this pandemic has forced us to think and work differently, and it will change the way we work in some areas of business for the future.”