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Kent PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

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

Kent Police has seen larger increases in the levels of recorded crime over the last four years than elsewhere in England and Wales. This is mainly due to the changes the force has made to ensure that crime-recording is in line with national recording standards. These changes stem from concerns raised by HMIC as a result of the police and crime commissioner for Kent commissioning a review into the force crime figures.

The force works well with partner organisations, particularly at a local level, and has worked hard to develop community safety units across the county.

There is a clear commitment from the force to put the victim at the centre of the way it provides services; this is led by the chief officer team. The levels of victim satisfaction are higher than the average across England and Wales. The force has made good progress in steps to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected, but still has work to do to improve the service it provides to the public.

Reducing anti-social behaviour is one of the priorities for the force, and the force has invested in this area including introducing a case management system to increase effectiveness.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found that responding to, and preventing, incidents of domestic abuse was a priority for Kent and this was recognised by staff. The inspection found that, while there were some good ways of working, there were some areas which required improvement in order to provide a consistent quality of service and minimise the risks to victims. The crime inspection found examples of high quality investigations for victims considered to be high-risk; however for those assessed as medium and standard-risk it was inconsistent.

The crime inspection found that organised crime groups were managed through the joint Essex and Kent serious crime directorate who had a rigorous approach to identifying and closely monitoring the highest risk activity. However, there was limited understanding and activity to disrupt organised crime groups at a neighbourhood level. The inspection also found officers had a strong awareness of so-called ‘hidden crimes’ and found some good examples of local officers identifying potential offences of child sexual exploitation.

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that Kent 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?

Kent Police has a victim-centred approach and a strong focus on ensuring that the most vulnerable victims receive a comprehensive service from all agencies. HMIC found good evidence of frontline staff working with partners to find ways to divert offenders and prevent crime.

The force has introduced predictive analysis, or ‘pred pol’, which allows it to analyse crime patterns and ensure that resources are targeted at preventing crime.

The force has undertaken an extensive programme of staff training in crime prevention. Kent Police has also embarked on long-term initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

There is a strong focus on the victim in the way Kent Police provides services. The force has developed the way it identifies repeat and vulnerable victims. It provides a good service to those who are most at risk but needs to do more to support those who are assessed as medium and standard-risk. This is particularly so in cases of domestic abuse.

HMIC found the force has undertaken training of supervisors in order to increase the quality of investigations and the standard of case files submitted for presentation at court.

The force needs to improve procedures to manage criminals who are likely to reoffend and cause the most harm in society.

The force needs to do more to learn from what works in crime fighting and crime prevention tactics.

 

Good
3

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

Kent Police has developed its response to community policing by working with partners including local councils and voluntary agencies. Across Kent there has been an investment in community safety partnerships, which allows the force to work together to deal with community issues and identify creative solutions.

The safer neighbourhood teams have a good understanding of local concerns and priorities. Neighbourhood officers are visible in their community and responsive to local concerns. They are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected.

Across the county there have been reductions in the levels of reported anti-social behaviour. HMIC found that the force, with partners, has invested in a case management system that allows them to identify best practice in tackling anti-social behaviour locally.

When good practice is identified, the force could do more to ensure that it is shared more widely so that all can learn from good practice.

HMIC found good local practice of engagement with ‘emerging’ and ‘hard-to-reach’ communities. However, HMIC feels there is more scope for effective co-ordination at strategic level.

 

Good
4

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

The domestic abuse inspection found that responding to, and preventing, incidents of domestic abuse was a priority for Kent Police and this was recognised by staff. The inspection found that, while there were pockets of good practice, there were some areas which required improvement in order to provide a consistent quality of service and minimise the risks to victims. The force generally responds well to high-risk victims of domestic abuse. However, the response to standard and medium-risk cases is less well developed and the force could do more to manage serial perpetrators.

The crime inspection found examples of high-quality investigations for victims considered to be high-risk. However, the inspection also found that, for those assessed as medium and standard-risk, investigation was inconsistent which reinforced earlier findings. The inspection also reviewed Kent’s domestic abuse action plan and found the force had submitted a tactical plan that contained satisfactory detail of what the force would do to improve its response to domestic abuse. The force had carried out a full self-assessment against the national requirements to ensure that its action plan was fit for purpose.

Ungraded
5

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

The crime inspection found that organised crime groups were managed through the joint Essex and Kent serious crime directorate (SCD) which had a rigorous approach to identifying and closely monitoring the highest risk activity. They used intelligence to disrupt criminal activity. However there was limited understanding and activity to disrupt organised crime groups at a neighbourhood level. The inspection also found officers had a strong awareness of so-called hidden crimes and found some good examples of local officers identifying potential offences of child sexual exploitation.

The value for money inspection found that the Essex and Kent SCD had been in existence for four years. As well as enhancing operational effectiveness and resilience, the collaboration continued to achieve savings year on year.

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. Kent Police had assessed the scale and nature of the terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder threats, but not that of 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 Kent is able to provide the necessary agreed amount.

The inspection found that Kent 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.

Kent 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 Kent we 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