Derbyshire PEEL 2014
Does the force act with integrity and provide a service the public expects?
Derbyshire Constabulary has invested in a wide range of measures to promote and instil ethical and professional behaviour. It is very effective in protecting the organisation from threats such as corruption. It has made good progress against previous HMIC recommendations. There is ongoing scrutiny of all investigations by the senior managers within the professional standards department (PSD).
Further insights on legitimacy
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013) found that the proportion of respondents who think that the force does an excellent/good job was broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales. The same survey over the same period also found that the proportion of those that agree the force deals with local concerns was broadly in line with the figure for England and Wales. The force’s own victim satisfaction survey (12 months to June 2014) found that the proportion of victims that were satisfied with their experience was greater than the figure across England and Wales.
The crime data integrity inspection found that operators answering calls from the public were polite, helpful and professional. The domestic abuse inspection found that there were good systems and practices in place in the control room to identify victims of domestic abuse and ensure an appropriate police response. However, officers sometimes arrived at incidents without having a proper picture of the history of the victim or the perpetrator.
The force has good crime-recording procedures in place when receiving reports of crime, meaning that victims of crime receive the service they should when they first report a crime.
HMIC is also impressed with the accuracy of the decisions taken by the force when making no-crime decisions (cancelling a recorded crime), nearly all of which are correct.
This means the public can have confidence in the way the force records crime.
To what extent does the force ensure that the workforce acts with integrity?
The force has made excellent progress in implementing ethical and professional behaviour. There is clear leadership from both the chief constable and the deputy chief constable (DCC). Staff interviewed by HMIC are aware of the standards required of them, and generally feel confident to challenge and report wrongdoing.
The force has in place policies and effective working practices to ensure integrity through officer declarations of secondary employment and business interests, and notifiable associations. Registers are co-ordinated within the counter-corruption unit (CCU), which also conducts enquiries and follow-up checks. Details of registers are made public.
In terms of anti-corruption; the force has invested in a well-resourced CCU. The force’s approach to allocating intelligence development to all investigators within the department ensures that there are sufficient resources to deal with the flow of intelligence.
The force is proactive in its use of systems and equipment to monitor staff activities. HMIC found examples indicating proactivity in every aspect of vulnerability for the force including; integrity audits of all departments and divisions; random drugs testing; checks on use of computer systems; checks on use of social media; secondary employment checks and investigations; and financial checks on staff.
What are the public perceptions of the force?
HMIC considers that there are two sources of data that give an insight into the public’s perceptions of their police force: the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and the Victim Satisfaction Survey.
The data for Derbyshire Constabulary show that:
Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013)
- 57 percent of adults surveyed think that the police do an excellent/good job, which is broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales of 61 percent.
- 57 percent of adults surveyed agree that the police deal with local concerns, which is broadly in line with the England and Wales proportion of 60 percent.
Victim Satisfaction Survey (12 months to June 2014)
- 88.0 percent (± 1.4 percent) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is greater than the figure across England and Wales of 85.0 percent (± 0.2 percent).
To what extent does the force respond to calls for service appropriately?
The value for money inspection found that Derbyshire Constabulary does not gather information on the time it takes officers to respond to emergency or urgent calls. This meant that HMIC was unable to assess the effectiveness of how the force responded to these calls for service from the public.
The crime data integrity inspection found that operators answering calls from the public were polite, helpful and professional.
The domestic abuse inspection found that call-handlers were skilled and confident in dealing with callers, and there were good systems and practices in place in the control room to identify victims of domestic abuse and ensure an appropriate police response. However, call-handlers’ knowledge of coercive and controlling behaviour was inconsistent, which meant that victims may not have been identified. Officers sometimes arrived at incidents without having a proper picture of the history of the victim or the perpetrator. Officers and staff had received domestic abuse risk assessment training and some staff had received training in coercive control, so-called honour-based violence and stalking and harassment. However the training was delivered on an ad hoc basis, and there was not a co-ordinated training plan, nor was there understanding of the training needs for the force. The crime inspection found that Derbyshire has made progress to improve its response to domestic abuse.
To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?
All calls from members of the public are answered within the force contact centre (FCC). If necessary, this contact is recorded as an incident report on a command and control computer system. This may subsequently be recorded as a crime when a decision has been made that, on the balance of probability, a notifiable offence has occurred.
We examined 109 incident records and found that 94 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 94 crimes that should have been recorded, 85 were. Of the 85, all were correctly classified and 3 were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR). Overall, this is a good result for the force. The force is good at recording crime which means that victims of crime are more likely to receive the service they deserve (because, for example, certain victim support services are only triggered when a crime is recorded).
The force has a centralised crime recording facility within the FCC through which all crime is recorded. This unit records reports of crime made directly from members of the public that do not require the creation of an incident record; this accounts for about 28 percent of all recorded crime. We reviewed 26 calls from the public and found that of the 27 crimes that should have been recorded, 26 were recorded correctly. This is an effective approach to crime recording for the force in respect of this element of the process.
We examined 77 no-crime records and found 74 records to be compliant with HOCR and the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS). The quality of the no-crime decisions was of a good standard and HMIC noted that there were checks made of these decisions in each of the three categories of crime HMIC audited. This is good practice.