Statement on HMICFRS commissioned report into Thames Valley Police
Following the arrest of Luke Horner in June for this awful offence, I commissioned His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to carry out a targeted inspection into Thames Valley Police’s management of this individual.
My thoughts remain with the victim and her family as they continue to deal with the impact of this abhorrent crime. I am pleased that Luke Horner is now serving a prison sentence following a successful investigation by Northamptonshire Police.
As Police and Crime Commissioner, I need to be satisfied that Thames Valley Police has appropriate processes in place in the vetting and performance management of its officers and staff to effectively root out corruption and misconduct. I thank HMICFRS for conducting this inspection and in delivering practical recommendations for improvement, which add real value in helping me hold the Force to account.
While HMICFRS concluded that the crime committed by Luke Horner could not have been anticipated by Thames Valley Police, it is apparent from its report that there are a number of areas of learning for the Force to improve how it manages intelligence and information.
I have always stressed the importance of vetting, which remains vital, but as highlighted in today’s report, to effectively ensure the highest standards in policing requires strong supervision and the need to look at individuals records’ as a whole. In the case of Luke Horner, it is clear that a range of incidents which, when examined together, and importantly with the benefit of hindsight, indicate concerns about his integrity, honesty, performance and therefore his suitability as a police officer.
I expect the Chief Constable to be acting on the learning points identified through the inspection and will be monitoring the implementation of those changes over the coming months.
I also welcome HMICFRS’s decision to visit Thames Valley Police in 2024 to look at its vetting, professional standards and counter-corruption arrangements in more detail.
We will all be appalled by the crimes committed by former Police Constable Luke Horner, and that shock is felt by officers across Thames Valley Police. I am confident that the vast majority of our police officers serve our communities with integrity and commitment, but I will continue to expect the Chief Constable to ensure that high standards of conduct are upheld by police officers and staff.