Humberside PEEL 2014
How well the force tackles crime
Humberside Police requires improvement in reducing crime and preventing offending. The force requires improvement in investigating offending. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.
Humberside has seen crime reduce in the force area over the last four years although, in common with other forces in England and Wales, there are signs of the rate of reduction slowing down. Some crime types are currently showing an increase above the national average, and an increase when compared to similar forces. Also, the likelihood of being a victim of anti-social behaviour is less in Humberside than most areas in England and Wales. Victims of crime report being satisfied with the service provided by Humberside, with satisfaction levels being broadly in line with the rate for England and Wales.
The effort to reduce crime and prevent known offenders committing further offences in Humberside is helped by strong partnership activity at the local level including, for example, with the probation service, health, local authorities and charity groups. Humberside recognises that there is more to be done to instil a common policing model across the force area, and forge deeper strategic alliances with its four unitary authorities in its policing area. The new policing model, or ‘One Force’, is due to be fully implemented by April 2015.
HMIC considers that the introduction of ‘One Force’ will present an opportunity for Humberside to address areas for improvement highlighted in the crime inspection report. These focus principally on the quality and standard of crime investigations and the service provided to victims. A common theme found in the inspection was the existence of pockets of excellence with inconsistent practices in the different policing areas in Humberside.
A combination of the existence of local partnerships, introducing and monitoring best practice for victim care and investigation of crime at force-wide level will leave the force better placed to serve its communities.
Further insights on effectiveness
The domestic abuse inspection found that although domestic abuse was a priority for Humberside, there was a fragmented and inconsistent approach across the force and victims may not have received the level of support they needed. The crime inspection found evidence in Humberside that activity around domestic abuse remained varied across the force.
The crime inspection found that the force’s identification of organised crime groups was being supported through a monthly meeting and the adoption of a tracker, with some evidence of tasking through the tactical tasking co-ordination groups. Although the potential for child sexual exploitation organised crime groups to be operating in the force area was highlighted during inspection, they did not seem to have been prioritised at an organisational level. The force was addressing this with its partners.
The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that Humberside 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.
How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?
The force’s policing style is flexible and scalable. It reflects the priorities of local communities and also extends to national threats and emerging crimes.
There is daily reappraisal at divisional level of these priorities and the alignment of resources to them. However, this lacks monitoring at force-wide level by chief officers.
The ‘One Force’ vision of more consistent policing and enhanced partnership activity is an area where partner service providers would welcome more consultation.
The force’s ambition to be ‘victim-centred’ is clear, yet the service provided to victims is inconsistent.
How effective is the force at investigating offending?
There are practices in place to identify low, medium and high-risk victims of crime.
There are safeguarding arrangements in place to support some, but not all, vulnerable victims.
An examination of crime investigations highlighted little record of supervisory oversight and review.
The use of plans to direct investigations to a satisfactory outcome is inconsistent.
Organisational learning and development is reliant on the goodwill of committed individuals rather than a structured approach to continuous improvement.
How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?
The force has developed strong partnerships with the statutory and voluntary sectors. This is based on routine sharing of information, timely assessments of needs of victims and active participation of partners. The force’s role is pivotal in uniting public services to support the most vulnerable.
Call centre operatives are skilled in determining the needs of victims and the type of response that is required by the police at the point of first contact.
The use of ‘restorative justice’ as an alternative to prosecution is a priority of the police and crime commissioner and is used effectively by Humberside Police.
How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?
The domestic abuse inspection found that, although domestic abuse was a priority for Humberside, there was a fragmented and inconsistent approach across the force and victims may not have received the level of support they needed. The inspection found that high-risk cases were generally dealt with well, but there was concern about standard and medium-risk cases, particularly repeat cases where the true level of risk may not be understood.
The crime inspection found evidence in Humberside that activity around domestic abuse remained varied across the force. The inspection also reviewed Humberside’s domestic abuse action plan and found that the action plan outlined activity in line with the agreed national priorities. However, there was no clear evidence to highlight how the force had met the vast majority of the requirements. The force had provided information around ongoing activity to demonstrate a forward-looking approach and intention, but not included clear evidence of what they had been doing since the HMIC inspection and report publication in March 2014. There was also no clear reference to the HMIC force recommendations within this submitted plan.
How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?
The crime inspection found that, in response to the police and crime commissioner’s drive to reduce crime, the force’s commitment to tackle violent crime sees issues such as child sexual exploitation, rape, organised crime groups, and terrorism and domestic extremism included in the control strategy. The force’s identification of organised crime groups was being supported through a monthly meeting and the adoption of a tracker, with some evidence of tasking through the tactical tasking co-ordination groups. Although the potential for child sexual exploitation organised crime groups to be operating in the force area was highlighted during inspection, they did not seem to have been prioritised at an organisational level. The force was addressing this with its partners.
The value for money inspection found that since autumn 2013, the force had been collaborating with the Yorkshire police forces through a lead-force approach to serious and organised crime, and other areas.
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 her role as specified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. Humberside Police had assessed the scale and nature of the civil emergency and public disorder threats, but not that of serious organised crime or a large-scale cyber incident. To understand the terrorism threat, Humberside applied the national risk assessment. This had enabled the force to identify how much resource it needed to manage and respond to some of the threats. Public order has a nationally agreed requirement for resources and Humberside is able to provide the necessary agreed amount.
HMIC found that Humberside 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.
Humberside 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 Humberside, 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.