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Metropolitan PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force requires improvement in investigating offending. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.

The level of overall crime is higher in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) area than anywhere else in England and Wales. The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime has set an ambitious target for the force to cut the crimes that matter most to local communities by 20 percent by 2016. Crime has fallen at a similar rate to England and Wales as a whole over the last four years, and in the year to June 2014 has fallen by a higher percentage.

HMIC found evidence that although the force’s approach to investigating crime is good in parts, there are inconsistencies in the quality of investigations. This means that the MPS may be missing opportunities to gather the best possible evidence to secure a successful outcome in some cases. We also found that although the force leadership has made a strong commitment to put the victim at the centre of police work, there are inconsistencies in the extent to which, in practice, this is happening systematically across the force.

Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for MPS, and the force is working well at a strategic and an operational level to provide a good service. Good progress has been made: anti-social behaviour levels are falling in London, and the force is on track to achieve its target of a 20 percent reduction by 2016.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found the MPS provided clear leadership in its response to domestic abuse, which was translated into activity at a borough level. The inspection found that the MPS used the terminology ‘domestic violence’ and this, together with a lack of training for key staff, led the force to concentrate on the violence element of domestic abuse to the detriment of other forms of domestic abuse, such as controlling behaviour.

The custody inspection found that police custody in the MPS varied widely, with some examples of excellent provision (e.g., in Barking and Dagenham) and some of poor provision that needed to improve (e.g., Newham).

In relation to organised crime, the crime inspection found evidence of a consistently high level of emphasis on tackling serious and organised crime and gangs, with covert operators, detectives and neighbourhood officers closely involved and working together in organised crime group disruption. The MPS worked with the Home Office to gather intelligence about UK nationals seeking to travel abroad with the intention of abusing children.

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that the MPS had the necessary capability and capacity to tackle all of the Strategic Policing Requirement threats including that of a large-scale cyber incident.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

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

The level of overall crime is higher in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) area than anywhere else in England and Wales, but has fallen at a similar rate to England and Wales as a whole over the past four years, and in the year to June 2014 has fallen by a higher percentage.

The force has been set an ambitious target to reduce the crimes that matter most to local communities by 20 percent. It uses a wide range of proactive and reactive tactics available to it, alongside preventative measures to cut crime and prevent offending across the capital city.

Providing an effective service to victims is a high priority for the MPS. It works well with partners to share information and provide a co-ordinated approach to safeguarding victims, particularly those whom it identifies as vulnerable. The force communicates with hard-to-reach communities across London to encourage the reporting of previously ‘hidden’ crimes.

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

The overall quality of investigation is good in parts, but there are inconsistencies in the quality of initial investigations which means that the force may not always be gathering the best evidence it can to bring offenders to justice.

The force recognises the importance of assessing risks to victims, and providing them with a good service throughout an investigation. However, we found that there are areas for improvement, both in officers’ understanding of their responsibilities for victim care, and in their commitment to placing the victim genuinely at the heart of the investigation.

The integrated approach with partners to managing the most harmful offenders is effective and the force is increasing the efficiency of its approach.

The force has a range of processes and resources dedicated to the sharing of ‘what works’, but it has not yet successfully connected all of this activity in a force-wide framework.

 

Requires improvement
3

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

Reducing anti-social behaviour is a clear priority for the Metropolitan Police Service, and there is a strong commitment to tackling it effectively which is evident at all levels in the force.

There has been good progress towards achieving the target of a 20 percent reduction in reported anti-social behaviour by 2016.

The dedicated police resources in each ward enable effective communication with local communities and also with local partner agencies. This ensures that community priorities are understood and acted upon.

There are good processes in place to manage risk and ensure that high-risk victims of anti-social behaviour receive a co-ordinated response from the police and partners.

 

Good
4

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

The domestic abuse inspection found the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) provided clear leadership in its response to domestic abuse, which was translated into activity at a borough level. The inspection found that the MPS used the term ‘domestic violence’ and this, together with a lack of training for key staff, led the force to concentrate on the violence element of domestic abuse to the detriment of other forms of domestic abuse, such as controlling behaviour. The MPS recognised the need to identify repeat and vulnerable victims, but this was not assisted by the force’s computer systems.

The crime inspection found evidence that the MPS considered domestic violence and abuse to be a priority. It was closely monitoring the level of domestic abuse reported and undertaking analysis to understand the factors affecting the recent rise in reported incidents. The inspection also reviewed the MPS’ domestic abuse action plan and found it outlined activity that was in line with the agreed national priorities for forces to improve their response to domestic abuse. There was no direct reference to the HMIC force recommendations but there was information that supported the activity required by those recommendations.

The custody inspection found that police custody in the MPS varied widely, with some examples of excellent provision (e.g., in Barking and Dagenham) and some of poor provision that needed to improve (e.g., Newham). An example of this variability could be found in the provision of medical assistance. In one case (Islington) a nurse was on site 24 hours a day, supported by a forensic medical examiner to provide support to those in custody and in another case (Newham) detainees often had to wait over two hours to be seen by a forensic medical examiner.

Ungraded
5

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

The crime inspection found evidence of a consistently high level of emphasis on tackling serious and organised crime and gangs – both force priorities – with covert operators, detectives and neighbourhood officers closely involved and working together in organised crime group disruption. Covert internet investigators, forensic examinations and covert human intelligence sources were used to identify key locations where networks of offenders met to exchange indecent images of children and arrange the commission of child sex offences. The Metropolitan Police Service worked with the Home Office to gather intelligence about UK nationals seeking to travel abroad with the intention of abusing children.

Ungraded
6

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

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) understood his role as specified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. The MPS had assessed the scale and nature of the terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised, public disorder and a large-scale cyber incident threats. This had enabled the MPS to identify how much resource it needed to manage and respond to these threats. Public order has a nationally agreed requirement for resources and the MPS is able to provide the necessary agreed amount.

The inspection found that the MPS had the necessary capability to tackle all of the Strategic Policing Requirement threats, including that of a large-scale cyber incident.

The MPS was able to operate effectively, together with other police forces and emergency services, to respond to public order and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

In the MPS the inspection found that connectivity with other forces was effective for responding to terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder. Arrangements for the provision of cross-border support to forces to tackle a large-scale cyber incident were still being developed following the transition of national responsibility from the MPS to the National Crime Agency.

Ungraded