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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 April, 2005, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Murder police ordered to improve
Chief Constable Steve Green
Chief Constable Steve Green's comments were criticised
The home secretary has said significant improvements must be made in the way Nottinghamshire Police deals with serious violent crime and murder.

Charles Clarke was responding to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary's (HMIC) report into the force's record.

It was set up after Chief Constable Steve Green told a newspaper he may have to "farm out" murder inquiries.

A senior police officer from the West Midlands is being brought in to support Mr Green.

"Intensive support"

Mr Clarke said: "As the report highlights, the force has made significant progress in reducing volume crime but significant improvements must be made in addressing serious violent crime and murder.

"HMIC and the Police Standards Unit will continue working closely with the force to improve its performance in this area."

The force faced an unusually high volume of crime but was too passive in preventing major and organised crime, the report said.

The excellent work of the Operation Stealth team and significant reductions in shootings prove that we have been anything but passive in this area
chief Constable Steve Green

In particular the number of murders has increased by nearly 30% in the last year.

"Intensive support" will be needed if the force is to move forwards, the inspectorate said.

Nottinghamshire Police named Deputy Chief Constable Chris Sims, from West Midlands Police, as the officer who would be providing support to Mr Green following the report.

Mr Green said: "I am pleased that the report acknowledges the real progress on reducing crime, capping drug trafficking and reducing shootings.

Armed police
Armed police patrol the streets of Nottingham

"The report says that has not been the case in relation to murder and organised crime.

"Whilst we want to examine every option in preventing murders we would argue that the excellent work of the Operation Stealth team and significant reductions in shootings prove that we have been anything but passive in this area."

The team from HMIC was sent to Nottinghamshire following Mr Green's controversial remarks in a national newspaper.

The report highlights these statements as being alienating to other agencies in the area and a source of conflict.

Nottingham has been branded by national newspapers as a gun crime hotspot, this is seen as damaging to the region.

Mr Green later said he was wrong to accept that his force was in crisis and added that the interview was not his "finest hour".

Further scrutiny

The "Strategic Advisor" from the West Midlands "will increase the capability and capacity" of the Nottinghamshire force, the report said.

Funding levels were found to be an issue but were not thought to at the heart of problem.

The team concluded that metropolitan forces commonly experienced pressures with a high volume of serious crime but accepted it was unusual for a force of Nottinghamshire's size to face similar problems.

Mr Green welcomed the introduction of Mr Sims, a former colleague and highlighted the similarities between the challenges faced his officers and those in the West Midlands.

He said: "His experience of a big city environment will be invaluable to us.

"The executive officers will co-operate in any way we can to deal with serious and organised crime."

The Inspectorate will return in three months, to assess how the force is progressing.




SEE ALSO:
Top officer to 'bring expertise'
05 Apr 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Clarke awaits Notts police report
04 Apr 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Jeweller's widower attacks police
21 Mar 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Home Office denies Green vendetta
20 Mar 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Downing Street enters police row
14 Mar 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Living in 'Gun City'
13 Mar 05 |  UK


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