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Northumbria PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

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

Northumbria has seen bigger reductions in crime over the last four years than across England and Wales as a whole. The police work well with partners to prevent crime and reduce reoffending.

Neighbourhood policing remains the bedrock of policing in Northumbria. Neighbourhood policing teams use a range of effective tactics to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, while ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected. Victim satisfaction with policing services in Northumbria is among the highest in England and Wales.

Tackling anti-social behaviour is a clear priority for the force, recognised by staff and partners alike, with good work taking place in the neighbourhood teams to tackle anti-social behaviour. However, the force could do more to learn from what works in crime fighting and crime prevention.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found that tackling domestic abuse was a clear priority and staff had received training commensurate with their needs. However, it recommended that a review of the recent changes in the use of risk assessment should be undertaken to understand whether victims were still being properly risk assessed. The crime inspection found evidence that Northumbria had made good progress to improve their response to domestic abuse. The custody inspection found that some improvements were necessary. Individual detainee and officer interaction was respectful and sensitive in most cases but risk assessments were routine and mechanistic and handovers could be subject to incorrect recording of risk information.

The crime inspection found clear oversight and co-ordination for tackling organised crime by senior managers and the force has existing regional arrangements in place for serious and organised crime, which have achieved improvements in service.

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that Northumbria 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?

Northumbria Police has an effective strategic threat and risk assessment that aims to improve the service to victims, supported by a force priority to put victims first.

The force has a strong focus on protecting vulnerable members of the community and works effectively with partners to ensure that the most vulnerable victims receive a joined-up service from all agencies. HMIC found good evidence of frontline staff working with partners to find ways to divert offenders and prevent crime.

There has been a 20 percent reduction in crime in Northumbria over the last four years, which is a greater reduction than the figure for England and Wales and the force has one of the highest victim satisfaction rates in England and Wales.

The force is changing the way in which repeat and prolific offenders are identified and tackled, however key partners and staff have not been engaged in the process for change and are unclear what the future arrangements will be.

 

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

Northumbria Police places a strong emphasis on improving the service to victims of crime and anti-social behaviour and works closely with partners to protect the vulnerable within communities.

The force commitment to attend all calls received in relation to crime and anti-social behaviour provides significant support to victims and provides clarity for all staff within the force.

The standard of investigations reviewed by HMIC was good and the force has effective arrangements in place to deliver further improvement. However, 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?

Northumbria Police has a very strong commitment to neighbourhood policing and the neighbourhood policing teams have a good understanding of local concerns and priorities. Neighbourhood policing officers work well with local people in tackling anti-social behaviour and are committed to ensuring the most vulnerable in their communities are protected.

Senior leaders place a strong emphasis on the importance of tackling anti-social behaviour, which is clearly recognised by staff and partners alike.

Partnership working for tackling anti-social behaviour is strong and effective. The force works well with local authority partners in understanding local anti-social behaviour concerns and finding solutions.

Outstanding
4

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

The domestic abuse inspection found that tackling domestic abuse was a clear priority for Northumbria and this was recognised by officers and staff throughout the organisation. Most staff had received training commensurate with their needs. However, the inspection recommended that a review of the recent changes in the use of the domestic abuse, stalking and harassment and honour-based violence (DASH) risk assessment should be undertaken to understand what difference they had made and whether victims were still being properly risk assessed. The inspection found that there was good work with partner agencies.

The custody inspection found that police custody in Northumbria required some improvements. Inspectors were pleased to find that individual detainee and officer interaction was respectful and sensitive and there were cases of exceptional individual attention. However, inspectors were concerned to find that in most cases, risk assessments were routine and mechanistic; handovers could be subject to incorrect recording of risk information; and clinical governance of health care had not improved since the 2011 inspection.

The crime inspection found evidence that Northumbria had made good progress to improve their response to domestic abuse. The inspection also reviewed Northumbria’s domestic abuse action plan and found the action plan submitted follows the national action plan template outlining activity which was in line with the agreed national priorities for forces to improve their response to domestic abuse. This included the HMIC force recommendations.

Ungraded
5

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

The crime inspection found clear oversight and co-ordination for tackling organised crime by senior managers as part of Operation Magnet. Action to dismantle organised crime groups is predominantly carried out by the force’s priority and organised crime team, with support from officers in road policing teams, the dog section and armed response. Neighbourhood policing teams also carry out activities to disrupt organised crime groups in their areas.

The value for money inspection found that the force had existing regional arrangements in place for serious and organised crime which had achieved improvements in service. Regional and national requirements were also considered to assist in tackling issues such as serious and organised crime, or threats to other forces that require support.

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 her role as specified in the Strategic Policing Requirement.

Northumbria Police had assessed the scale and nature of the terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime threats, public disorder and that of a large-scale cyber incident. This had enabled Northumbria to identify the resources it needed to manage and respond to these threats, with the exception of a large-scale cyber incident where its plans were still under development. Public order has a nationally agreed requirement for resources and Northumbria was able to provide the necessary agreed amount.

The inspection found that Northumbria 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. Northumbria was able to operate effectively with other police forces and emergency services to respond to public disorder and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

Connectivity with other forces was effective for responding to terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder. The response to a large-scale cyber incidents requiring Northumbria to work with other forces had not been tested.

Ungraded