Police and Crime Commissioners across the East Midlands region have welcomed the findings of a major report which highlights the effectiveness of the region’s counter-terrorism team.
In June 2014, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) was commissioned “to inspect the effectiveness and efficiency of managing counter terrorism funding arrangements across the East Midlands region through a single counter terrorism grant rather than through separate funding streams”.
Derbyshire PCC Alan Charles commissioned the work on behalf of himself and his fellow Commissioners in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
Mr Charles said today: “We all agree with the report conclusion that the single counter-terrorism grant arrangement is a more efficient and effective use of public money than separate and individual ways of funding this type of work.
“We want people to be confident that the appropriate governance and resource management is in place to deliver counter-terrorism services effectively and swiftly – and we believe that the single grant helps ensure this. It’s not just a question of what funding is available, it’s about having greater financial flexibility on operational performance for the region as a whole.
It was, Commissioner Charles added, “a good report with recommendations that reflect our own views on the funding and provision of counter-terrorism services.”
Nottinghamshire’s PCC, Paddy Tipping, said: “It makes sense to pool budgets and I’m pleased that the HMIC recognises this. For my part, I recognise that residents in Nottinghamshire are concerned about terrorism activity, particularly in the Middle East.”
The PCCs particularly welcome a recommendation that highlights the need for them to be briefed on terrorist threats in their area. HMIC recommended that within three months the East Midlands Special Operations Unit special branch (EMSOU SB) should provide a briefing document in a standardised format. This, says the report, should be shared in a consistent way with the East Midlands’ PCCs on the threat and risk from terrorism in their force area.
Mr Charles commented: “It is vital that PCCs are well-briefed with relevant updates in these more volatile times where the security status is heightened, and that we are all brought up to speed in a consistent manner, so we are very pleased that HMIC recognises this.”
On the matter of grants, HMIC found that the single counter-terrorism grant provides managers with the authority and flexibility to make the best use of available resources without having to seek the permission of individual budget holders.
The report concludes: “There is good evidence to show that the single counter-terrorism grant arrangement is a more efficient and effective use of public money than the separate grant arrangements and should be considered as an approach to be adopted as normal practice in the EMSOU SB. In addition, consideration should be given to a wider roll-out across the counter-terrorism network once certain conditions have been met.”
It goes on: “The inclusion of the combined PCC grant for force Special Branch units further complements this single grant. It allows better management and deployment of resources to mitigate the threat and risk from terrorism because it improves the ability to bring together, allocate and deploy resources quickly.”
HMIC also concluded that the single counter-terrorism grant contributes towards stronger working relationships across the counter-terrorism disciplines, helping to promote more standardisation in the region and subsequently creating a wider pool of resources to respond to demand. There are, it noted, “effective safeguards in place which ensure that regional activity continues to work to national priorities and the constituent forces respond effectively to the strategic policing requirement.”
Reference was also made to an interview with a senior police officer who told the inspector: “You would never build an organisation which totally ring-fences resources as you need to look across your threat and risk and allocate resources accordingly.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 10th December 2014