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Cumbria PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

Cumbria Constabulary is good reducing crime and preventing offending. The force is good at investigating offending. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.

Cumbria experiences a lower level of crime than other areas of the country. The police work well with partners to prevent crime and reduce re-offending.

Neighbourhood policing and anti-social behaviour are central priorities for the force. Neighbourhood policing teams communicate well with communities, and understand their concerns and priorities.

HMIC found that there is a strong focus on the victim and vulnerability, and that victims generally receive a good service, but that contact with victims by officers is occasionally inconsistent. However, victim satisfaction with policing services is higher in Cumbria than the average for England and Wales.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found that, although much effective work was being done to tackle domestic abuse in Cumbria, there were several areas for improvement for the force to address before it could be confident that a consistently good service was provided to victims of domestic abuse across the whole force area.

The crime inspection found that the force had expanded and further developed its capability in responding to the challenge of tackling online criminality which targets children and vulnerable people. The force was also working at a regional level to understand the level of risk and impact associated with cyber-crime.

The value for money inspection found that Cumbria, as part of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit collaboration, had a collective capability to tackle serious organised crime that crosses county borders within the region.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?

The force has a well-established process in place to prioritise the use of resources across each of the three territorial policing areas via the daily morning meeting which drives force and local policing activity.

The force has strong local partnership arrangements, particularly in relation to preventing young people from entering the criminal justice system. This is evident in effective multi-agency information sharing and joint action with young people to discourage offending behaviour at an early stage.

The force has developed its consultation and engagement approach with communities in Cumbria. It is testing new methods of engagement including a ‘cop in a shop’ initiative in supermarkets to understand better the needs of local communities.

 

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

There is good focus on victims and the need to protect those most at risk. This was evident at both a strategic and an operational level in the commitment shown by officers and staff to consider the victim at all stages of the investigation.

There is a good basic level of investigative capacity within the force. However, there is insufficient support for the continuing professional development of some staff.

The force has developed its own covert investigation facility and is expanding its capability in this area, responding to the challenge of tackling online criminality which targets children and vulnerable people.

Currently, offenders being monitored as part of the integrated offender management process are predominantly owned by individual officers within each of the territorial
policing areas. There is an opportunity to involve wider elements of the constabulary in the management of these offenders to improve scrutiny applied to their rehabilitation.

 

Good
3

How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?

Cumbria has a strong commitment to neighbourhood policing and a good understanding of local concerns and priorities. Neighbourhood policing officers and police community support officers tackle anti-social behaviour effectively, and are committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable people in their communities are protected.

The force has a strong focus on understanding and tackling anti-social behaviour as part of its local neighbourhood policing approach. This involves the use of dedicated officers as ‘problem solvers’ and neighbourhood policing staff, often working in partnership with other agencies.

The use of restorative justice is scrutinised by the out-of-court disposals board which provides external and independent validation of decisions taken to deal with first time offenders.

 

Good
4

How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?

The domestic abuse inspection found that, although much effective work was being done to tackle domestic abuse in Cumbria, there were several areas for improvement for the force to address before it could be confident that a consistently good service was provided to victims of domestic abuse across the whole force area. Staff demonstrated a high level of commitment and awareness, and they exercised appropriate discretion and worked well with partners.

The crime inspection found that there were three well-established multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARAC) held within the force area. These regular meetings involved a good range of partner organisations and helped the force to manage high-risk cases of domestic abuse in a co-ordinated way. The inspection also reviewed Cumbria’s domestic abuse action plan and found the force had produced an action plan, outlining activity which is in line with the agreed national priorities for forces to improve its response to domestic abuse. Although there did not appear to be direct reference to HMIC force recommendations in the plan, evidence within the action plan supports most activity required from the HMIC recommendations.

Ungraded
5

How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?

The crime inspection found that the force had developed its own covert investigation facility and was expanding its capability in this area, responding to the challenge of tackling online criminality which targets children and vulnerable people. Also, the force was working at a regional level to understand the level of risk and impact associated with cyber-crime.
The value for money inspection found that the force was part of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit collaboration. This resulted in a collective capability to tackle serious organised crime that crosses county borders within the region.

Ungraded
6

How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?

There was no Strategic Policing Requirement inspection for this force.

Ungraded