Worst police forces named

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The Independent Online

The worst performing police forces in England and Wales are Humberside and Northamptonshire, it was disclosed today.

The two counties came bottom of a league table compiled from official Home Office statistics.

They came joint bottom with three points out of a possible 21, followed by Nottinghamshire with four points.

All three forces were also the worst performers in last year's figures, although Humberside and Nottinghamshire have pulled their score up from minus figures.

The best performing force was Staffordshire with 18 points, followed by Northumbria with 17.

The Metropolitan Police - by far Britain's largest police force - improved significantly from four points last year to 12.

Today's league table was calculated by the Press Association from the Home Office's Police Performance Assessments, which rate forces either excellent, good, fair or poor in seven categories.

The Home Office has previously insisted that compiling a league table from its data would be "unhelpful and inaccurate".

The figures for 2005/06 included new targets for forces to improve the amounts of resources spent on front line policing.

Today's report showed only a "slight improvement" of less than 1 per cent in the latest figures compared with the previous 12 months.

It said: "2005/06 is the first full financial year under which forces have had to operate against targets for improvements in front line policing, as set by police authorities.

"While the results show a slight improvement, from 62.3 per cent in 2004/05 to 63.2 per cent in 2005/06, this is equivalent to an additional 1,186 full-time officers carrying out front line duties."