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Derbyshire 2015

Read more about Derbyshire 2015

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Derbyshire Constabulary keeps people safe and reduces crime. PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) gives you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas. It does this in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year-on-year.

The extent to which Derbyshire Constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which Derbyshire Constabulary is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which Derbyshire Constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

This year, for the first time, we have assessed leadership across the force. The assessment has led to a narrative rather than graded judgment, which is summarised below.

Read more about my assessment of Derbyshire Constabulary’s performance this year, including where I would like to see improvements next year.

Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Read the transcript of the video

Contact Zoë Billingham

HMI’s observations

I am very pleased with the performance of Derbyshire Constabulary in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The force provides a good service in identifying and responding to the needs of vulnerable people, including victims of domestic abuse. It continues to improve the quality of crime investigations and the chief officer team has reinforced its commitment to retain a strong neighbourhood presence and work with partners to keep people safe. I have been particularly impressed by the force’s outstanding work on disrupting the activity of organised crime groups.

I am reassured that the force is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has achieved the savings required over recent years, and continues to develop and refine savings plans using detailed financial analysis.

The force’s chief officers are visible leaders and have successfully promoted throughout the organisation the force’s values and a strong ethical culture. This is exemplified through the ‘Just Think’ initiative, which promotes awareness among the workforce of the importance of a professional and ethical approach.

Description of force area

Derbyshire Constabulary provides policing services to the county of Derbyshire. Although there are some areas of affluence, Derbyshire is generally poor. Around one million people live in a predominantly rural setting. Its numerous distinct urban areas include the city of Derby and the towns of Chesterfield and Matlock. The population is increased by university students and the very large numbers who visit, socialise in, or travel through the county.

The proportion of areas in Derbyshire that are predicted to present a very high challenge to the police is broadly in line with the national average. These are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.

Working arrangements

The force works well with other forces within the East Midlands and is part of a successful collaboration that provides policing and support services, such as major crime, special branch and serious and organised crime and forensics.

The force and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service will move to a purpose-built shared headquarters building in 2016. This will provide opportunities for both services to work more closely together.

Effectiveness

In our effectiveness inspection, we judged Derbyshire Constabulary to be good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has an effective approach to crime and anti-social behaviour prevention and it works extremely well with others to keep people safe, including protecting victims and the most vulnerable people. The quality of crime investigation is good and the force works well to stop re-offending. It is outstanding at disrupting the activity of organised crime groups and it has arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.

Efficiency

Derbyshire Constabulary is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. The force has plans in place to achieve anticipated savings through to 2016/17 and is starting to plan through to 2020. The force has a good understanding of the demand on its services and is developing its understanding of how it can continue to provide an effective policing service at lower cost. In last year’s value for money inspection programme, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the previous spending review period, Derbyshire Constabulary was judged to be good.

Legitimacy

The chief officer team is fully committed to the need for an ethical and inclusive workforce. The force has good arrangements in place to support wellbeing, and deals with complaints fairly and consistently. The force engages and works well with its communities. The force is not yet complying with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme but its use of Taser is fair. This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.

Leadership

Derbyshire Constabulary is a well led force. The force has strong leadership and has clearly defined and communicated the priorities and expectations. The workforce has a good understanding of what is expected of them. The senior leadership team provides visible and accessible leadership. The force’s leadership programme provides development for staff and officers at all levels.

Insights from other inspections

HMIC undertakes other inspections in addition to the PEEL programme. Since the last PEEL assessment there have been five reports published on inspections that included Derbyshire Constabulary. More detail on some of these inspections can be found under the Other inspections section.

Looking ahead to PEEL 2016

In the year ahead, I will be interested to see how the force responds to this assessment, and to the areas for improvement that HMIC has identified in the last year.

I will be particularly interested to see:

  • how Derbyshire Constabulary continues to work with the other forces within the East Midlands to develop collaboration even further;
  • how the force and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service work more closely together in their new shared headquarters building; and
  • how ever closer joint working improves the service the force provides to the people of Derbyshire.

In May 2016, like the majority of forces in England and Wales, the force will see the second elections for its police and crime commissioner.

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 18/02/2016
Good

Derbyshire Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The constabulary has an effective approach to crime and anti-social behaviour prevention and it works extremely well with others to keep people safe, including protecting victims and the most vulnerable people. The quality of crime investigation is good and the constabulary works well to stop re-offending. It is outstanding at disrupting the activity of organised crime groups and it has arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.

Derbyshire Constabulary is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. Its clear approach to prevention is well understood by officers and staff who work productively with other organisations to solve problems in neighbourhoods, including intervening early to stop them from escalating.

When a crime has occurred, the constabulary acts quickly and carries out high quality investigations, including making sure victims are safe and keeping them informed about how their cases are progressing. The constabulary works well to identify, investigate and bring to justice repeat and dangerous offenders and to stop them re-offending.

Increasingly, the constabulary is focusing on so-called hidden crimes such as domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation with a view to protecting the most vulnerable members of the community. Our inspection of how Derbyshire Constabulary deals with victims who are vulnerable in some way found good work; in particular, officers and staff are quick to put in place effective protection for domestic abuse victims. In addition, the constabulary has recently increased the number of specialist staff and officers dedicated to dealing with cases of domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation, and its central referral unit will improve the service the constabulary provides to victims.

The constabulary has an in-depth understanding of the threat posed by serious and organised crime. This, supported by its own highly skilled and experienced staff and a good relationship with the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, which provides additional specialist skills and resources, means the constabulary is outstanding at disrupting the activity of organised crime groups.

The leadership has strong oversight of the force’s ability to respond to national threats, such as terrorism, serious cyber-crime incidents and child sexual abuse. Its own arrangements for ensuring it can meet its national obligations in this regard (such as planning, testing and exercising) are good.

 

View the four questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

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

Last updated 20/10/2015
Good

HMIC found that Derbyshire Constabulary is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. The constabulary has plans in place to deliver anticipated savings through to 2016/17 and is starting to plan through to 2020. The constabulary has a good understanding of the demand on its services and is developing its understanding of how it can continue to provide an effective policing service at lower cost. In last year’s value for money inspection programme, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Derbyshire Constabulary was judged to be good.

HMIC judges Derbyshire Constabulary to be good. It has achieved its required savings of £24.2m over the spending review period and has well-defined plans to achieve its savings up to 2016/17. Financial management is effective with good controls in place over expenditure.

The constabulary is looking beyond this period and through the work of its change programme, called Moving Forward, is designing a new way of providing policing services which is affordable and sustainable, while retaining the principle of locally-based neighbourhood policing teams.

The constabulary understands well the demands on its services. Its priority-based budgeting analysis enables the constabulary to understand how it can provide better policing services at lower cost so that it can continue to reduce crime, keep its communities safe, and maintain high levels of victim satisfaction with reduced resources. It plans, for example, to increase investment in public protection and to change a number of police officer posts where police powers are not required, to staff posts. The constabulary understands the range of skills, experience and capability across the organisation. Extensive work has been conducted within investigations, on understanding the skills it needs for the future and succession planning, and there are plans to improve investigation skills throughout the organisation.

The constabulary works closely with other public sector organisations to develop effective ways of managing and further reducing demand.

 

View the three questions for efficiency

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 11/02/2016
Good

The chief officer team is fully committed to the need for an ethical and inclusive workforce. There are good arrangements in place to help support staff wellbeing, and complaints are dealt with fairly and consistently. The constabulary engages and works well with its communities but HMIC found that the force is not complying with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. It is not recording the full range of outcomes – only recording where the stop and search encounter results in an arrest, but not the reason for the arrest. However, there are advanced plans to introduce a new stop and search form. There is also an inconsistent understanding among officers using stop and search about the scheme, and the constabulary has more to do to record the reasonable grounds for stopping and searching someone.

In Derbyshire, Taser is only used by a small number of highly-trained officers. Taser use is assessed as being fair and appropriate. However, the constabulary must ensure that Taser-trained officers properly record their decisions using the National Decision Model (NDM).

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

In Derbyshire Constabulary, the chief officer team is committed to the need for an ethical and inclusive workforce. Although the Code of Ethics is not fully understood by everyone, the force’s ‘Just Think’ initiative ensures that all staff are aware of the importance of a professional and ethical approach. This code was launched in April 2014 and sets out nine policing principles that should be applied by all officers and staff.

HMIC found that the constabulary provides support for the wellbeing of its staff and there are a number of examples to support this. Public complaints and allegations of misconduct are generally being dealt with in a fair and consistent way.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and engages with all the people it serves, we found that the importance of policing legitimately is understood at all levels. This is demonstrated by examples of safer neighbourhood teams engaging well with all communities, including diverse ones. As a result, the force has a good understanding of the needs and concerns of the public. The majority of officers and staff in Derbyshire treat people fairly and with respect when they come into contact with them.

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. The constabulary is not complying with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme in relation to recording and publishing the outcomes, including the connection between the outcomes and the items searched for. There is more to do in respect of recording reasonable grounds for stopping and searching someone. Also, while some officers understand the principles and features of the scheme, others do not. HMIC concludes that the constabulary needs to ensure its officers are clear on how to use stop and search, in order to reassure the public that it is using these intrusive powers fairly.

Taser is only used by a small number of highly-trained officers, however, the constabulary must ensure that Taser-trained officers properly record their decisions using the National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged). The model is a framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged. Overall, Taser is used fairly and appropriately by the constabulary.

View the four questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMIC carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Leadership

Last updated 25/02/2016

As part of HMIC’s annual all-force inspections into police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) in 2015, HMIC assessed how well led forces are at every rank and grade of the organisation and across all areas inspected in PEEL. We reviewed how well a force understands and is developing its leaders; whether it has set a clear and compelling future direction; and how well it motivates and engages the workforce.

Derbyshire Constabulary has strong leadership and has clearly defined and communicated their priorities and expectations with the workforce, which means it has a good understanding of what is expected of them. The senior leadership team provides visible and accessible leadership.

The constabulary’s leadership programme provides development for staff and officers at all levels within the organisation. While many staff and officers we spoke to are clear that their leadership training is beneficial, the constabulary has no formal assessment of how well this programme improves its leadership capability.

View the four questions for leadership

Other reports

Last updated 22/02/2016

This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Derbyshire Constabulary.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

1,013 square miles

Population

1.03m people 5% local 10 yr change

Workforce

76% frontline 78% national level
3.1 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
10% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.05 per person 0.05 national level
Local 5 year trend National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

45p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

Derbyshire had over 830,000 calls for service last year; with an average of 10,000 emergency calls a month.

The county ranges from the city of Derby to former mining communities and the Peak District National Park attracting millions of visitors each year.

Police and crime plan priorities

The Derbyshire Police & Crime Plan sets out 6 objectives. Supporting victims of crime; working with partners; keeping people safe from crime and ASB, particularly the most vulnerable; making sure resources are where they need to be; continuous improvement in performance; and tackling drug & alcohol related crime and harm.