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Nottinghamshire PEEL 2014

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

 

Nottinghamshire Police has invested in a range of measures to promote and instil ethical and professional behaviour. It is effective in protecting the organisation from threats such as corruption and analysts identify potential vulnerability and trends. There is ongoing scrutiny of all investigations by senior managers within the professional standards department although more robust recording of rationale in case files would be beneficial.

 

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 less than 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 less than 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 greater than the figure across England and Wales.

The crime data integrity inspection found that frontline officers and staff, including call-takers, understood the importance of meeting the needs of the victim when considering crime-recording and investigation. The domestic abuse inspection found that those dealing with domestic abuse victims were competent, confident and empathetic. Control room staff were trained to gather relevant information from the caller and carry out checks for any previous police involvement; this enabled them to assess the risk and send the right level of response. Staff understood the importance of identifying repeat victims although they sometimes relied on force computer systems rather than asking the caller. Domestic abuse incidents were given priority response and would either be attended as an emergency or within an hour depending of the threat of harm to the 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 by the force. This means that victims of crime are not receiving the service they should when they first report a crime. However, the accuracy of the decisions taken by the force when making no-crime decisions (cancelling a recorded crime) is generally acceptable.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

The force has made good progress in ensuring that officers and staff are fully aware of the boundaries between unprofessional and professional behaviour. There is clear leadership from both the chief constable and the deputy chief constable. Staff interviewed by HMIC are aware of the standards required of them and staff generally feel confident to challenge and report wrongdoing.

Ethical and professional behaviour has been incorporated into most policies and procedures. The force has a rolling programme to review them as they become due. This ensures they will all reflect required ethical and professional standards. The new Code of Ethics will also be included over time to reflect the new ethical standards.

HMIC looked at a small sample of misconduct files and found that there is more limited recording of rationale to support decisions; e.g., in the initial severity assessment and gate-keeping decisions in criminal cases.

The force has a backlog of cases due to the time taken to complete some investigations, and there is a strong perception among the majority of officers spoken to that investigations take too long. Some cases are also delayed beyond the recommended number of days for local resolution. The force accepts that it has had a number of complex cases that have affected the overall timeliness of investigations and has put measures in place to improve.

There is evidence that staff report unprofessional behaviour of others, either to a supervisor or to the professional standards department. However, staff have only limited understanding of the support available to them should they report a colleague for misconduct. The force needs to take action to address any reluctance amongst staff to report wrongdoing due to being unaware of the support available to them.

The force ensures that the counter-corruption unit has sufficient capability and capacity to provide a proactive element. Staff within the unit feel that they are well resourced and have the capability to operate efficiently and effectively.

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 Victim Satisfaction Survey.

The data for Nottinghamshire Police show that:

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

  • 56 percent of adults surveyed think that the police do an excellent/good job, which is less than the figure across England and Wales of 61 percent.
  • 55 percent of adults surveyed agree that the police deal with local concerns, which is less than the England and Wales proportion of 60 percent.

Victim Satisfaction Survey (12 months to June 2014)

  • 87.1 percent (± 0.9 percent) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is greater 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 these had remained the same since 2010. The inspection found that during this time the proportion of calls attended within these standards for ’emergency’ calls had remained broadly the same, but had declined for ‘priority’ calls.

The crime data integrity inspection found that frontline officers and staff, including call-takers, understood the importance of meeting the needs of the victim when considering crime-recording and investigation.

The domestic abuse inspection found that those dealing with domestic abuse victims were competent, confident and empathetic. The inspection found that the force worked hard to make victims safer from the first point of contact. Control room staff were trained to gather relevant information from the caller and carry out checks for any previous police involvement; this enabled them to assess the risk and send the right level of response. Staff understood the importance of identifying repeat victims although they sometimes relied on force computer systems rather than asking the caller. Domestic abuse incidents were given priority response and would either be attended as an emergency or within an hour depending of the threat of harm to the victim.

Ungraded
4

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

HMIC examined 122 incident records and found that 122 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 122 crimes that should have been recorded, 104 were. Of the 104, three were wrongly classified and six were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR). This is a matter of concern as it means some victims’ crimes are not being recorded and they are not getting the service they deserve (because, for example, certain victim support services are only triggered when a crime is recorded).

We examined 91 no-crime records and found 84 records to be compliant with HOCR and the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS). The force’s approach to no-criming is generally acceptable.

Ungraded