Nottinghamshire Police put into special measures and asked to 'urgently produce an improvement plan'

Nottinghamshire Police has been moved into an “enhanced level of monitoring” Credit: PA Images

Nottinghamshire Police has been put into special measures following concerns about how it carries out investigations and deals with victims.

The force has been told to "urgently produce an improvement plan" by a watchdog.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) announced the move on Monday which sees the East Midlands force subjected to what the body – which scrutinises the performance of forces in England and Wales – calls an “enhanced level of monitoring” under what is known as the “engage” process.

Nottinghamshire joins five other forces currently in special measures, including the Metropolitan Police, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Devon and Cornwall, and Wiltshire.

The reasons behind the decision have not yet been laid out, but will be detailed in an inspection report due to be published later this year.

The move has been welcomed by the families of Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, who died were stabbed to death by Valdo Calocane in Nottingham last year.

The HMICFRS has confirmed that the decision is not related to the force’s handling of the Valdo Calocane case.

In a statement, the Webber and O’Malley-Kumar families said: “Our criticisms are aimed at the leadership of both forces and also the management and failures of the senior investigating officer in the Nottinghamshire force in charge of our own case.

“We welcome the news today that the HMICFRS recognise that Nottinghamshire Police require intervention and urgent improvement and that they have effectively been placed into ‘special measures’.

"As families we have been very clear in the concerns we have raised regarding Nottinghamshire Police.

“Not only in the investigation itself into the murder of our loved ones, but also in the failures, missed opportunities, lessons and poor communication before, during and after.

“The IOPC are carrying out investigations into Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire constabularies and we have our first meeting with them on the March 26.

“During this meeting we intend to provide thorough detail and evidence to back up all of our concerns.”

An HMICFRS spokeswoman said: “This decision is not related to the force’s handling of the Valdo Calocane case,” adding: “We did not look at the specific circumstances of this case.”

The under-fire force is already facing probes from regulator the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the College of Policing amid accusations of a series of failings in the wake of Calocane’s killings.

Valdo Calocane was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order last month for stabbing to death university students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, as well as school caretaker Ian Coates, 65, in the early hours of June 13 last year.

He admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility and pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of three people who were hit by a van stolen from Mr Coates, after Nottingham Crown Court heard he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

But there was an outcry of anger from the victims’ families after prosecutors decided not to pursue murder charges for Calocane, prompting Attorney General Victoria Prentis to order a review of how the Crown Prosecution Service handled the case and ask the Court of Appeal to review the sentence.

Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said: “We move police forces into our enhanced level of monitoring, known as engage, when a force is not responding to our concerns, or if it is not managing, mitigating or eradicating these concerns.

“The engage process provides additional scrutiny and support from the inspectorate and other external organisations in the policing sector to help the force improve and provide a better service for the public.

“Nottinghamshire Police has been asked to urgently produce an improvement plan and will meet regularly with our inspectors. We will work closely with the force to monitor its progress against these important and necessary changes.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I am obviously disappointed that Nottinghamshire Police is being placed under enhanced monitoring. However, I welcome the opportunity this process will provide the Force to focus on the areas of concern and continue their immediate actions to put things right.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, it is my duty to hold Nottinghamshire Police to account on behalf of the public and ensure we have the best policing service possible.

“HMICFRS performs an important and independent assessment role and this robust enhanced monitoring process will support our broader arrangements to ensure continuous improvement in the policing service that the people of Nottinghamshire should expect.

“The effective supervision of investigations and ensuring the right support for victims are both vitally important to providing an effective policing service. Since HMICFRS raised their concerns with me, I have held urgent discussions with the Chief Constable and her team. I have sought assurances about the action being taken and the plans the Chief Constable has for improvements.

“I was assured to learn that the Force had already taken immediate action. This should provide Nottinghamshire’s communities with confidence that the Force takes these concerns very seriously and is committed to making swift improvements.

“I am determined to support and oversee the Force’s progress with addressing all HMICFRS’ recommendations and have asked for weekly updates from the Chief Constable. I am confident Nottinghamshire Police will emerge a much stronger organisation as a result of the ‘engage’ process.”

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