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Surrey PEEL 2014

Effectiveness

How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014
Ungraded

Surrey Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force requires improvement in investigating offending. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.

Surrey Police has seen bigger reductions in crime between June 2010 and June 2014 than across England and Wales. There is a strong prevention focus to crime and anti-social behaviour.

Neighbourhood policing remains at the heart of the force’s approach and anti-social behaviour is a key priority.

There is a good victim focus within the force and a commitment to identifying and supporting vulnerable victims. However, HMIC was concerned that there are weaknesses in the quality of investigations; HMIC found inconsistency in supervision and a lack of capacity and capability within investigation teams. Additional focus and resourcing to build capacity in this area is needed to ensure a more positive outcome for the victim.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found that there was a fragmented approach and gaps in service to some domestic abuse victims, particularly those assessed as having a standard risk of serious harm. The inspection found that there was a lack of clarity about who was responsible for safeguarding these victims through the criminal justice process and updating victims when a perpetrator is released from prison; this was a concern. The crime inspection found evidence that Surrey had made good progress to improve its response to domestic abuse.

The crime inspection found that the force had established processes for identifying and managing organised crime groups; the most serious crime groups, those who pose the greatest threat to the community, were effectively dealt with in collaboration with Sussex Police and other police partners such as the regional organised crime unit.  The force worked with partners to tackle serious offenders and safeguard victims. The force was also working with partners in addressing the risks of so-called ‘hidden crimes’ such as child online grooming and human trafficking.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

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

Surrey is already a comparatively low crime area and the county has seen some of the biggest reductions in crime in England and Wales over the past four years with a 24 percent decrease in overall crime since 2010.

Surrey Police has a focus on crime prevention. It works constructively with partners to target crime hotspots and local priorities such as domestic abuse, burglary and anti-social behaviour.

The force has a very strong ethos of victim care, led by the chief constable, and this ethos is evident at all levels throughout the force.

 

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating offending?

There is a victim focus across Surrey Police and a commitment to identifying and supporting vulnerable victims. This is not matched, however, by the quality of investigations.

There are key weaknesses in the quality and consistency of investigations. There is a lack of both resourcing and capabilities for investigations, including a lack of effective supervision for investigations. This means that the force may be losing opportunities to bring offenders to justice and secure successful outcomes for victims.

The force works with partners to tackle serious offenders and safeguard victims. There is a strong culture across the force of identifying and sharing learning and good practice.

 

Requires improvement
3

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

Anti-social behaviour is a priority for Surrey Police.

Surrey makes effective use of youth restorative justice. Its approach involves all principal partners.

Surrey uses a wide range of tactics to tackle anti-social behaviour, which are accepted and understood by everyone through training and communication. Examples of this are updating the community on action taken, use of the mediation service and reassurance through proactive patrols.

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Good
4

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

The domestic abuse inspection found that there was a fragmented approach and gaps in service to some domestic abuse victims, particularly those assessed as having a standard risk of serious harm. The inspection found that there was a lack of clarity about who was responsible for safeguarding these victims through the criminal justice process, and updating victims when a perpetrator is released from prison; this was a concern.

The crime inspection found evidence that Surrey Police had made good progress to improve its response to domestic abuse. The force’s victim-centred approach was evident in its approach to tackling domestic abuse, and there was close supervision of these cases. The inspection also reviewed Surrey’s domestic abuse action plan and found that the plan detailed activity with regard to the HMIC force recommendations. The plan developed this further by outlining the joint work between Surrey and Sussex to improve the service to victims of domestic abuse. This work covered many of the areas identified as national priorities for forces to improve their response to domestic abuse.

Ungraded
5

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

The crime inspection found that Surrey Police had established processes for identifying and managing organised crime groups; the most serious crime groups, those who pose the greatest threat to the community, were effectively dealt with in collaboration with Sussex Police and other police partners such as the regional organised crime unit.  The force worked with partners to tackle serious offenders and safeguard victims. The force was also working with partners in addressing the risks of so-called ‘hidden crimes’.

The value for money inspection found that Surrey was working with Sussex to jointly map and manage organised crime groups.

Ungraded
6

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

There was no Strategic Policing Requirement inspection for this force.

Ungraded