Force is praised for its overall performance in keeping communities safe and reducing crime

West Midlands Police has been praised for its overall performance in keeping its communities safe and reducing crime. 

The positive endorsement follows the third annual overall assessment by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC), which examines all 43 police forces across England and Wales and compares how effectively, efficiently and legitimately they are performing. 

The so called 'PEEL' reports are designed to give local communities information about how their local police force is performing in a number of important areas and is continually updated through a number of independent inspections. 

West Midlands Police has been judged as 'outstanding' in its efficiency and 'good' in both how effective and legitimately it performs. 

The force has been praised for how it deals with preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour and has been singled-out for the sound understanding it has of the concerns of the people it serves, including those who would not routinely talk directly to the police. 

It was assessed as good at investigating crime and reducing re-offending, praising the new crime recording process which ensures victims are regularly updated. Offender management has also received consistent reductions in re-offending by serial offenders and the force also has a good understanding of the threat posed by serious and organised crime. 

The report praises the way the force manages resources to meet demand, by prioritising early intervention and prevention, along with partner agencies and matching resources and budget to those priorities in a variety of effective ways. It also acknowledges the force's comprehensive change 2020 programme and acknowledges the comprehensive financial plans the force has in place and its strong record for generating savings and improving services. 

Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: "We are delighted that our overall assessment is good and that the hard work of our officers and staff has been recognised, as we continue to strive for improvement through WMP 2020, our ambitious force modernisation programme. 

"We acknowledge improvements still need to be made in protecting vulnerable members of our society and we continue to invest in our Public Protection Unit, which has significantly increased in size in recent years and continues to do so, including the introduction of a team dedicated to finding missing people." 

The force has also been tasked with improving sickness rates for officers and staff, and has recently introduced a range of health and well-being initiatives to tackle this.

West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: "I welcome these reports showing that West Midlands Police is effective at keeping people safe, preventing and reducing crime. I recognise that there are improvements that need to be made to safeguarding and will work the force bring them about.

"I am particularly pleased that these reports recognise that West Midlands Police has done an outstanding job in the face of disproportionate cuts. 

"Without the efficiencies and tough decisions taken I would not have been able to announce the recruitment of 800 police officers, 200 specialist staff and 150 PCSOs."