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Metropolitan PEEL 2014

Legitimacy

Does the force act with integrity and provide a service the public expects?

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

 

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has made satisfactory progress in implementing measures to promote and instil ethical and professional behaviour. There is clear leadership from the commissioner and the chief officers and much is being done by the force to make staff aware of what is required. However, HMIC found that the message was not always clearly understood. The MPS is not dealing with unprofessional behaviour and misconduct consistently well; there was a lack of understanding by supervisors and different practices dependent on location. However, the force has excellent capability to identify corruption and those at risk of being corrupted; and proactively monitors staff activity.

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 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 less than the figure across England and Wales.

The crime data integrity inspection found that the quality of call-handling, professionalism and victim focus by operators was excellent, with the operators being polite, helpful and professional in almost all of calls assessed.

The domestic abuse inspection found that there were weaknesses in the training provided to staff in the call centre, who tended to focus on physical violence, with reduced awareness of the less obvious forms of domestic abuse. Their databases did not easily allow repeat victims to be indentified if the callers did not identify themselves as previous callers. HMIC found that there was little training for response officers to inform their understanding of the impact that taking positive action has for a victim.

As a result of the crime data integrity inspection HMIC is concerned that a notable proportion of reports of crime are not being recorded, and this means that victims are not receiving the service they should when they first report a crime.

HMIC is also concerned with the accuracy of the decisions taken by the force when making no-crime decisions (cancelling a recorded crime) as too many of these are incorrect. The force needs to take action to improve, serve the victims of these crimes and provide the public with confidence in the force’s crime data.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

To what extent does the force ensure that the workforce acts with integrity?

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is not dealing with unprofessional behaviour and misconduct consistently well. HMIC found that a lack of understanding by supervisors and different practices dependant on location were the cause for this. For gross misconduct cases, consistency is achieved through management by trained senior officers, and in the majority of hearings, the use of the same chairperson.

The MPS has excellent capability to identify corruption and those at risk of being corrupted. The force has adequate dedicated resource within its anti-corruption unit to investigate cases and develop intelligence and to protect the operational security of investigations of organised crime groups.

The force proactively monitors staff activity. HMIC found examples of integrity audits; random drug testing; checks of use of IT systems and social media to identify cases of misconduct and indications of corruption.

HMIC found there has been good progress on the four areas for improvement identified in its 2012 HMIC inspection.

Ungraded
2

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 force’s own victim satisfaction survey.

The data for the Metropolitan Police Service shows that:

Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013)

  • 62 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.
  • 62 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)

  • 79.9 percent (± 0.6 percent) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is less than the figure across England and Wales of 85.0 percent (± 0.2 percent).

Ungraded
3

To what extent does the force respond to calls for service appropriately?

The value for money inspection found the force had set a clear performance standard for response times, and this had remained the same since 2010. The inspection found that during this time, the proportion of calls attended within these standards for both ‘immediate’ and ‘priority’ calls had improved.

The crime data integrity inspection found that the quality of call-handling, professionalism and victim focus by operators was excellent, with the operators being polite, helpful and professional in almost all of calls assessed. There was increasing use made of Language Line for those callers who did not speak fluent English.

The domestic abuse inspection found that call-takers dealt skilfully and effectively with callers, gathering information to assess the risk to the victim, and ensuring the right level of police response. There were weaknesses in the training provided to staff in the call centre. While they had a broad understanding of domestic abuse, they tended to focus on physical violence, with reduced awareness of the less obvious forms of domestic abuse. Their databases did not easily allow repeat victims to be identified if the callers did not identify themselves as previous callers. HMIC found that there was little training for response officers to inform their understanding of the impact that taking positive action has for a victim. The inspection also found inconsistencies in the level and quality of supervision of this first attendance in spite of a new force-wide initiative requiring supervisors to attend all domestic abuse incidents.

Ungraded
4

To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?

The crime data integrity inspection found that of the 1428 incident records examined, 1169 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 1,169 crimes that should have been recorded, 948 were. Of the 948, 24 were wrongly classified and 11 were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed by the Home Office Crime Recording (HOCR). This indicated a need for improvement in the accuracy of crime-recording decisions.

The data included some wide variances. Burglary (140 crimes correctly recorded out of 162) and robbery (321 crimes correctly recorded out of 379) were found by inspection staff to be areas where crimes were more likely to be recorded in line with the HOCR. For other categories of crime the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) was found not to comply effectively with the HOCR .

The inspection also examined 90 no-crime records and 69 were found to be compliant with HOCR and the National Crime Recording Standard. Most errors for no-crime related to shortcomings in the attainment of additional verifiable information, some of which were based on a single telephone conversation without corroboration.

Ungraded