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City of London PEEL 2015

Legitimacy

How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 11/02/2016
Good

City of London Police has effectively promoted the Code of Ethics and incorporates the code into its policies and practice. These ethical principles are clearly understood by staff. The force has a good understanding of the people it serves. Officers use a range of effective approaches to identify public views, and use social media to engage with local residents and businesses.

HMIC found that City of London Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. It does not publish all the required outcomes, and has an insufficient understanding of the impact of these powers on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people. Although its use of Taser is generally fair and appropriate, the force does not appear to understand sufficiently the reasons for its apparent high use of Taser against black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.

HMIC found that City of London Police has effectively promoted the Code of Ethics and incorporates the code into its policies and practice. These ethical principles are clearly understood by staff.
The force works well to promote the wellbeing of its staff. The service offered by the occupational health unit is comprehensive and staff who used the service spoke very highly of it. However, on occasions, there are delays in accessing the service.

In respect of complaints and misconduct cases, HMIC was pleased to see that the force has put in place some measures to improve consistency.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and successfully engages with all the people it serves, we found that the force has a good understanding of the people it serves. Officers use a range of effective approaches to identify public views, and social media is used by officers to engage with local residents and businesses.

Chief officers have set clear expectations about the behaviour expected of members of City of London Police, and officers and staff treat the public fairly and with respect.

Stop and search and Taser are two ways that the police can prevent crime and protect the public. However, they can be intrusive and forceful methods, and it is therefore vital the police use them fairly and appropriately. HMIC found that City of London Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. The force does not publish all the required outcomes, and has an insufficient understanding of the impact of these powers on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Although its use of Taser is generally fair and appropriate, the force does not appear to understand sufficiently the reasons for its apparent high use of Taser against black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

To what extent does practice and behaviour reinforce the wellbeing of staff and an ethical culture?

HMIC found that City of London Police has effectively promoted the Code of Ethics and incorporates the code into its policies and practice. These ethical principles are clearly understood by staff.

The force conducted a staff survey in 2014 and was effectively dealing with concerns raised by staff. The force has made its promotion process more open and transparent, for example by including Police Federation and staff associations as observers on its promotion boards.

The force works well to promote the wellbeing of its staff. The service offered by the occupational health unit is comprehensive and staff who used the service spoke very highly of it. However, on occasions, there are delays in accessing the service.

In respect of complaints and misconduct cases, HMIC was pleased to see that the force has put in place some measures to improve consistency, including a quarterly review of all cases by the professional standards department and the human resources department.

Good
2

To what extent are forces recording crimes in accordance with the Home Office Counting Rules?

This question has not been inspected or graded in 2015.

Ungraded
3

How well does the force understand, engage with and treat fairly the people it serves to maintain and improve its legitimacy?

City of London Police has a good understanding of the people it serves. It has developed good profiles of local areas and it appropriately analyses public surveys. The force clearly understands the importance of engagement in building police legitimacy. We found a robust system to identify and resolve community tensions.

Officers use a range of effective approaches to identify public views. They use social media to engage with local residents and businesses. We found that officers and staff attend meetings and engage effectively with the public at a variety of events and venues. We consider that the force could do more to encourage public participation in policing.

Most officers and staff understand well the National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged) and use it to deal with high-profile events and incidents and to support ethical and effective daily decision-making.

Chief officers have set clear expectations about the behaviour expected of members of City of London Police, and most officers and staff consistently treat the public fairly and with respect.

Good
4

To what extent are decisions taken on the use of stop and search and Taser fair and appropriate?

City of London Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. It does not publish all the required outcomes, and has an insufficient understanding of the impact of these powers on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Independent scrutiny of its use of stop and search powers is not sufficiently developed. The force should improve its recording of reasonable grounds to search, along with the supervisory arrangements it has in place to assess whether it uses the power correctly.

Taser-trained officers understand how to apply the National Decision Model when considering whether to use Taser. However, while the force’s use of Taser is generally fair and appropriate, the force does not appear to understand the reasons for its apparent high use of Taser against black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that its stop and search records include sufficient reasonable grounds to justify the lawful use of the power, and that officers understand fully the grounds required to stop and search.
  • The force should ensure that adequate supervision takes place to ensure that its stop and search records are accurate and contain the required information in respect of reasonable grounds.
  • The force should comply with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme in relation to recording and publishing outcomes; and monitoring the impact of stop and search on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.
  • As chief officers have decided to increase the coverage of Taser to meet identified risks, HMIC considers that force-wide oversight and scrutiny of its use should be introduced. Specifically, the force must be able to demonstrate whether it is used fairly and appropriately on people with protected characteristics.
  • It was clear that non-Taser-trained officers have little understanding of Taser tactics or how they could best assist at the scene of a Taser deployment. More training about Taser should be included in personal safety training, to enhance the protection of public and police.