PEEL report turnaround highlights Tory PCC's failings

13 Mar 2024
Paul Kennedy outside Guildford police station

Cllr Paul Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat challenger to the Conservative incumbent in May’s police and crime commissioner elections, has welcomed news that Surrey Police has dramatically improved its performance in responding to 999 and 101 calls.

The improvement was prompted by a ‘Police Effectiveness Efficiency and Legitimacy’ (PEEL) inspection report from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in December, in which the inspector had expressed serious concerns about Surrey Police performance across a range of areas.

Commenting on the improvement, Paul said:

"I congratulate Surrey Police on turning around last year's unacceptable 999/101 performance, after December's scathing PEEL inspection report.

Their quick turnaround exposes the failure and irrelevance of Surrey's Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who had been in denial about deteriorating police performance for two and a half years.

It shouldn't take an external inspection to expose and address poor performance. 6 out of 7 repeat assessments had deteriorated since 2021/22.

I warned about call delays during the 2021 PCC elections. If I’d won, I’d have fixed the problem, and more besides.

Instead I came second with 112,000 votes.

So thousands of callers have waited nearly 12 minutes on average to get their 101 calls answered, with many crimes not reported at all. And precious seconds have been lost in saving lives and catching criminals as nearly half of 999 calls missed the national target response time.

All because we had a Tory PCC who wasn't doing their job.

A Tory PCC who chose to divert Surrey Police funding to employ a deputy, an expanded media team to promote them, and a national policy adviser to support their role on the national association of PCCs - while Surrey Police were forced to cut essential operational staff.

A Tory PCC whose muddled 4-year plan consists of slogans rather than measurable objectives, and who for two years has refused to include anything in her annual reports about police performance against that plan.

A Tory PCC whose focus has been on securing a parliamentary seat for the next general election, while delegating performance monitoring to her deputy.

A Tory PCC whose initial response to longer call waiting times was to support increasing the target response time from 3 minutes to 5 minutes.

A Tory PCC who only started holding community meetings with the public in the run-up to May's PCC elections.

Surrey residents pay the highest council tax in the country for our police service, and from April we will pay nearly £700,000 a year more just for our Tory PCC's office than in 2021. We deserve so much better.”


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