Soham force named among Britain's worst

Cambridgeshire and Humberside police forces, which face heavy criticism over the investigation of the Soham murders, were named among the country's poorest-performing yesterday.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary also gave its lowest ratings to the Cleveland, Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire forces. Sir Keith Povey, the Chief Inspector, said: "In comparison with their peers, they still have a long way to go."

The highest accolades were given to Kent, Lancashire, Northumbria, Staffordshire and Suffolk. Merseyside and West Midlands, two of the busiest urban forces, were also commended.

Inspectors gave each English or Welsh force a rating of excellent, good, fair or poor against 16 criteria, including the handling of "volume crime" such as burglary, traffic policing and reassuring the public.

Humberside and Cleveland had the highest number of poor ratings, with six each. Cambridgeshire was ranked poor in four categories, Nottinghamshire in three and West Yorkshire in two.

Humberside and Cambridgeshire forces are expecting scathing criticism in Sir Michael Bichard's inquiry into how Ian Huntley evaded checks to land a school caretaker's job. His report will be handed to the Home Office within days. Humberside admitted deleting Huntley's records, including allegations of sex crimes in the past, while Cambridgeshire appears to have given him the all-clear to work in the school without checking on him under his real name.

Tom Lloyd, the Cambridgeshire Chief Constable, said the assessment was "a snapshot in time and doesn't fully reflect the turnaround in performance that we have seen in Cambridgeshire in the last 12 months".

Sir Keith said there was no force whose overall performance was so poor that the Home Secretary could use his new powers to replace Chief Constables with Home Office troubleshooters. But, he added: "If there was no improvement or a massive deterioration over a period of months, that might attract some sort of response."

Handling of emergency calls was identified as one of the major weaknesses across the country, along with forces' ability to tackle cross-border and region-wide crime such as drug-trafficking.

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin