YP Comment: Failings in very basic policing '“ Humberside chief '˜retired' before damning report

NOW the reason for 48-year-old Justine Curran's decision to take early retirement and resign with immediate effect last week as Humberside's chief constable is clear '“ a damning staff survey followed by an equally damning report by the police's inspectorate.

Justine Curran 'retired' before a damning HMIC report into Humberside Police's failings.

Victims at risk of harm because of evidence going missing, investigations carried out to varying degrees of quality and a lack of supervision for ‘inexperienced’ investigators’.

Three basic police failings highlighted in 2015, HM Inspector of Constabulary, Mike Cunningham, said it was “disappointing” that these recurring issues were unresolved and that the force “routinely fails to identify vulnerable victims at their first point of contact with the police”. How fundamental is this?

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The shortest serving police chief in the force’s history, it’s regrettable that Ms Curran can’t now be held accountable for her flawed management style and strategy – she’s not the first public servant to escape such scrutiny and, sadly, will not be the last.

Further reason to review such processes, equally perturbing are the criticisms of South Yorkshire as the force tries to rebuild its reputation following a succession of national scandals. Given the turnover of senior staff, crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings should draw little comfort from a report that says “substantial improvements” are needed to neighbourhood policing. The fact that recent organisational changes have been described as “a step backwards” does not inspire any confidence.

That said, it would be churlish not to acknowledge West and North Yorkshire’s more positive reports. Individual officers do have a thankless task and deserve our gratitude. However, when victims are being ignored or put at risk, 
such shortcomings must 
be highlighted – the 
public interest continues to demand nothing less.

Credibility gap – Corbyn’s flaws at PMQs

THERE are many words to describe Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership but the latest barbed criticism from the Prime Minister may well just stick – incredible.

Theresa May has not had a sudden political conversion and joined the ranks of Mr Corbyn’s admirers in Momentum when she made the assessment of his abilities at Prime Minister’s Questions. Instead she was reflecting the nation’s incredulity that he is Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Corbyn had a strong hand to play at PMQs after Government was accused of sneaking out plans to strip benefit entitlements from 160,000 disabled people, but he failed – yet again – to make his mark.

Rather than having to properly address the genuine concerns about a policy due to affect military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, stroke victims and dementia sufferers, Mrs May was able to simply turn the spotlight back on the beleaguered Labour leader’s qualities.

She revealed Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams failed to respond for four days after being informed about the disability changes out of courtesy by her Conservative counterpart Damian Green. And perhaps even more damningly, Mrs May noted that shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth admitted that his party had no financial plan in place to meet the costs of reversing the Government’s policy.

Labour is currently in no fit state to govern the country, never mind act as an effective Opposition. Mr Corbyn’s leadership is indeed an incredible gift to the Prime Minister at this moment in time.

Great innings

IT remains one of the great cricketing mysteries that John Hampshire did not enjoy a more distinguished international career after being an integral member of Yorkshire’s all-conquering side of the 1960s – his reward in 1969 for becoming the first Englishman to score a century on Test debut at Lord’s was to be unceremoniously dropped.

A powerful stroke player whose presence at the crease illuminated so many summers, Hampshire became a victim of Yorkshire’s civil war before establishing himself as a much-respected international umpire.

However the proud son of Thurnscoe saw his illustrious career go full circle with his proud elevation to the presidency of the club where he made his name. How sad that 
his personal innings should end shortly before his 
term of office was due to reach stumps – he fulfilled his duties in the best traditions of Yorkshire CCC, despite his ailing health, and will be much missed when the new cricket season dawns next month.