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Hertfordshire PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

Hertfordshire Constabulary, in general, is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force is good at investigating crime. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.

Hertfordshire has invested in crime prevention initiatives which have had a positive effect in terms of keeping crime levels down and protecting the public from harm.

The force is focused on the needs of victims, and has implemented good arrangements for ensuring that the quality of victim contact is consistent. The victim satisfaction rate in Hertfordshire is higher than the figure for England and Wales.

The force understands vulnerability, and a broad range of tactics is used appropriately to tackle crime. However, its partnership engagement could be improved in relation to youth crime and youth anti-social behaviour. Vulnerable adult victims in particular would benefit from the formation of at least one multi-agency safeguarding hub in Hertfordshire.

Investigation of crime in the county is of a good standard. Integrated offender management is effective at tackling prolific burglars. Anti-social behaviour is a priority for the force and is well integrated within daily activity in neighbourhood teams. Victims of anti-social behaviour are risk assessed carefully, and the ‘SafetyNet’ system functions well as a tool for managing cases. The system could be used more widely by partners, and more fully exploited as a means of capturing ‘what works’.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found that victims who were assessed as high risk received support and safety planning from specialist officers. However, the inspection found that there was a disjointed approach for medium and standard-risk cases. The crime inspection found evidence that Hertfordshire had made good progress to improve its response to domestic abuse.

The crime inspection found a focus on offenders rather than offences enabled the force to exploit a fuller range of tactical options in order to combat crime, e.g. an organised criminal could be pursued for traffic offences in order to disrupt their activity. The value for money inspection found the force had recognised that resources needed to be allocated to new areas of demand, such as child sexual exploitation and cyber-crime.

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that Hertfordshire had, or had access to through collaboration with other forces regionally, the necessary capability to tackle terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder, but not a large-scale cyber incident.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

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

Hertfordshire Constabulary has a sound and effective approach to preventing crime and reducing offending. It is proactive in its approach which means problems are resolved before they escalate.

The force has invested in crime prevention initiatives which have had a positive impact on communities. It is focused on the needs of victims, and has implemented good arrangements for ensuring that the quality of victim contact is consistent. The victim satisfaction rate in Hertfordshire is higher than the figure for England and Wales.

The force has a strong partnership with children’s services, but a multi-agency safeguarding hub could improve its ability to protect vulnerable adult victims of crime.

 

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

Vulnerability is well understood in Hertfordshire Constabulary, and vulnerable victims – particularly elderly victims – receive a good service.

The quality of investigation is good overall with a high level of specialist capability, particularly in relation to the investigation of rape and sexual offences, although the level of supervision applied to all investigations is variable.

The integrated offender management approach is well accepted and understood, and is effective, although it is predominantly applied to prolific burglars. The ‘Choices and Consequences’ scheme is a particularly good example of effective multi-agency intervention.

 

Good
3

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

Community contact is good in Hertfordshire in the context of anti-social behaviour, and the force’s community focus desk plays an important role in ensuring that victims receive a high quality service.

The SafetyNet system is used effectively to record actions in cases of anti-social behaviour, but it could be more fully exploited as a learning resource and used more widely by partners.

Some victims of anti-social behaviour in Hertfordshire have had to wait longer for a police response because neighbourhood officers normally based in their community have had to cover shifts elsewhere. This is a manageable risk of which the force is aware, and the public receives a good overall service on anti-social behaviour.

 

Good
4

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

The domestic abuse inspection found that victims who were assessed as high risk received support and safety planning from specialist officers. However, the inspection found that there was a disjointed approach for medium and standard risk cases. This meant that these victims may not have received the level of service from police that they needed, and the risk posed to them may have been missed.

The crime inspection found evidence that Hertfordshire Constabulary had made good progress to improve its response to domestic abuse. The inspection also reviewed Hertfordshire’s domestic abuse action plan and found the plan sets out the force response to tackling domestic abuse, which is in line with the agreed national priorities. There was no direct reference to the specific recommendations HMIC made for the force, but information contained within the plan details the activity required by these recommendations.

Ungraded
5

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

The crime inspection found a focus on offenders rather than offences was driven by senior officers and was well understood by frontline police practitioners. This enabled the force to exploit a fuller range of tactical options in order to combat crime, e.g. an organised criminal could be pursued for traffic offences in order to disrupt their activity. The force is also working with partner agencies, e.g. local councils, to use non-police powers to disrupt effectively the criminal activities of such groups.

The value for money inspection found that the force gave due consideration to national requirements, particularly in relation to the regional and national impact of serious and organised crime originating in the force area. Also the force had recognised that resources needed to be allocated to new areas of demand such as child sexual exploitation and cyber-crime.

Ungraded
6

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

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that the chief constable understood his role as specified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. Hertfordshire Constabulary had assessed the scale and nature of the terrorism, civil emergency and serious organised crime threats but not that of public disorder or a large-scale cyber incident. This had enabled the force to identify how much resource it needed to manage and respond to these threats with the exception of a large-scale cyber incident. Public order has a nationally agreed requirement for resources and Hertfordshire is able to provide the necessary agreed amount.

HMIC found that Hertfordshire had, or had access to through collaboration with other forces regionally, the necessary capability to tackle terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder but not a large-scale cyber incident.

Hertfordshire was able to operate effectively with other police forces and emergency services to respond to public disorder and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

In Hertfordshire HMIC found that connectivity with other forces was effective for responding to terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder, but not large scale cyber incidents.

Ungraded