An inspection has confirmed that North Wales Police continues to be good at reducing crime and keeping people safe, including the way it protects vulnerable people.
The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services revealed the inspectors also gave the force a ‘good’ overall grading across a range of areas, including planning and the ethical way officers and staff behave.
In addition, the report highlighted that the force had kept up its high standards in relation to preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, investigating crime, tackling serious and organised crime; meeting current demands and using resources.
The inspection found that the force has a good overall understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability and that officers and staff are good at protecting vulnerable people.
They singled out North Wales Police for praise for its use of domestic violence protection notices (DVPNs) to prevent domestic abuse, with the highest amount issued per head of population in 2018/19 out of all 43 forces in England and Wales.
DVPNs are usually applied in the immediate aftermath of violence, to give the victim a vital window of safety and space, to engage with police and support services to obtain advice.
Deputy Chief Constable Richard Debicki said: “North Wales Police has a strong work ethic to protect vulnerable people; clear leadership direction is being provided from the senior officers and everything we do as a force has the aim of making North Wales the safest place in the UK.
“Since the findings of the inspection were presented to the force, a significant amount of further work has been undertaken in those areas identified for improvement."
The Firearms Alliance between North Wales Police and Cheshire Constabulary was identified as an effective joint working arrangement to provide armed policing with assured deployments, training and command of armed operations in both forces.
North Wales Police’s new approach to budgeting was recognised as enabling the force to better meet demand and the priorities set for policing.
Meanwhile, the restructuring of operational policing departments has increased the number of investigators within the force and has improved the visibility and response rates of front line policing.
Mr Debicki added: “North Wales Police is committed to treating all of the communities that it serves with fairness and respect and is working hard to become more representative of those communities.
“The well-being of officers and staff is a priority and the force was found to handle workforce concerns well, with the inspectors identifying useful areas for improvement.
“As a force we have worked hard to improve the way in which we engage with local people and I am pleased that the inspectorate has recognised the good work that is being undertaken.
“The findings also accord with the latest public confidence surveys which are telling us that local people believe that our service is improving and confidence in North Wales Police remains high - 86% of people feel safe from crime and disorder, and 92% think we treat people with respect. ”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “Tackling domestic abuse and supporting vulnerable people are major priorities in my Police and Crime Plan which sets the blueprint for the way in which the region is policed.
"Domestic violence is a hideous crime and a scourge on society and I am glad to see that the use of domestic violence protection notices in North Wales is making a real difference in terms of protecting victims.
"The fact that seven victims of domestic violence are killed every month in England and Wales makes it an obvious priority.
"There’s an emotional cost, there’s a cost to society and there’s a financial cost and I think it’s a responsibility to us all to prioritise things of this nature.
"I would certainly encourage victims to come forward, either by reporting the matter directly to the police or by getting in touch with a partner agency."
Her Majesty’s Inspector Wendy Williams said: “I commend North Wales Police for the progress it has made over the past year. This provides a strong foundation for continuing improvement in the year ahead.”