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Nottinghamshire PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

Nottinghamshire Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending, and is good at tackling anti-social behaviour. However, it requires improvement in the way it investigates offending.

Crime in Nottinghamshire has reduced over the last four years, with rates now much closer to those seen across England and Wales as a whole. Nottinghamshire Police has a strong focus in on reducing offending and supporting victims.

The force has excellent partnership arrangements in place. These bring together local organisations to work jointly to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and reduce the types of offending that cause most harm within communities.

However, HMIC is concerned that there are some important weaknesses in the way the force investigates offending. This means that the force cannot be confident that investigations are consistently carried out to the required standard. HMIC found a lack of proper supervision. Some staff do not have an adequate level of professional training. Of particular concern is the current lack of capacity in the public protection team which deals with child protection and domestic abuse. The force needs to address this with some urgency.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found that Nottinghamshire’s approach to tackling domestic abuse was effective in some areas, but there were important aspects of the service the force provides to victims that required further improvement. The crime inspection found evidence that Nottinghamshire had made domestic abuse a priority with some evidence of an improvement in its performance.

The crime inspection found positive and highly regarded partnership work with a range of effective outcomes, e.g. work within schools towards reducing gang and youth violence as well as spotting the early signs of organised crime group activity.

The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that Nottinghamshire had, or had access to through collaboration with other regional forces, 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?

People in Nottinghamshire have experienced very high levels of crime for many years, and rates were previously much higher here than in England and Wales as a whole. Since 2010 there has been a relatively large reduction in crime in the county and levels are now closer to that seen across England and Wales.

The force has an effective process to assess systematically the extent of current and emerging threats and risks to its communities. This ensures that police resources are targeted at dealing with the areas of greatest risk and preventing crimes that matter most for local people.

The force has excellent partnership arrangements which bring together all principal organisations to work jointly to prevent crime and reduce the types of offending that cause most harm within communities.

HMIC found some excellent examples of constructive partnership initiatives focused on burglary and violence and working with schools to prevent young people from becoming involved in criminal gang membership, drugs and violence.

 

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

HMIC found that Nottinghamshire Police has a strong focus on the victim. The force places the victim at the heart of how it delivers policing. Every call for police help is assessed on the individual needs of each victim. However the force needs to ensure that it is consistently carrying out its responsibilities under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.

HMIC is concerned that there are some weaknesses in the management of investigations. There is room for improvement in the quality of evidence gathering; supervision of investigations is also inconsistent, and some staff conducting criminal investigations do not have an adequate level of professional training and skills. Of particular concern is the current lack of capacity within the public protection team which is undermining the force’s ability to carry out effective investigations. The force needs to address this issue urgently as the public protection staff are responsible for dealing with high-risk and vulnerable adults and children.

The force works well with partners to identify and work with serious repeat offenders to prevent them from continuing to commit crime and cause harm to their communities.

 

Requires improvement
3

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

Fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour occur per 1,000 population in Nottinghamshire than across England and Wales and although there has been a slight increase in the last 12 months, rates remain lower. Tackling anti-social behaviour is a most important and long term priority aim for the force and its partners. The force works well with partners at both a strategic and a local level to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour.

The force has a clear direction and works positively to identify risk and vulnerability in victims of anti-social behaviour. The effective assessment and management of risk to the victim continues from the first point of contacting the police.

Mature and effective partnership structures have led to some productive projects and initiatives. Neighbourhood action teams, where police and partners work together to identify anti-social behaviour at an early stage, take joint action to prevent it increasing and developing. The force needs to do more to ensure that it reviews and evaluates its activities systematically so that it can understand better what works and share good practice widely.

 

Good
4

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

The domestic abuse inspection found that Nottinghamshire Police’s approach to tackling domestic abuse was effective in some areas, but there were important aspects of the service the force provides to victims that required further improvement. The inspection found that victims assessed as high risk (of serious risk of harm or murder) received a better standard of service from officers and specialist staff, but victims assessed as of medium or standard risk received an inconsistent service from the police.

The crime inspection found evidence that Nottinghamshire had made domestic abuse a priority with some evidence of an improvement in its performance. There is now a shared risk assessment with partners which has improved the sharing of information. However, officers spoke of a lack of training and this is compounded by vacancies and a lack of accredited specialist domestic abuse staff. HMIC found good use of domestic violence protection orders but there is limited use of victim personal statements in prosecutions. HMIC has made an initial consideration of the action plan submitted by Nottinghamshire. The force has assessed its approach to all the areas described above and provided evidence to support its own assessment. It has also set out how it is responding to HMIC recommendations and has published a version of this plan.

Ungraded
5

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

The crime inspection found positive and highly regarded partnership work with a range of effective outcomes, e.g., work within schools towards reducing gang and youth violence as well as spotting the early signs of organised criminal activity and identifying vulnerable offenders who may themselves become victims of crime.

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. Nottinghamshire 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 the resources 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 Nottinghamshire is able to provide the necessary agreed amount.

HMIC found that Nottinghamshire had, or had access to through collaboration with other regional forces, the necessary capability to tackle terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder but not a large-scale cyber incident.

Nottinghamshire were able to operate effectively with other police forces and emergency services to respond to public disorder and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

In Nottinghamshire 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.

Ungraded