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Dyfed-Powys 2015

Read more about Dyfed-Powys 2015

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Dyfed-Powys Police 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 Dyfed-Powys Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The extent to which Dyfed-Powys Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The extent to which Dyfed-Powys Police is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

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 Dyfed-Powys Police’s performance this year, including where I would like to see improvements next year.

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

HMI’s observations

In its PEEL inspections this year, HMIC found some areas of serious concern in the performance of Dyfed-Powys Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime. In view of these findings, I have been in regular contact with the chief constable and I am reassured by the way that the force has acknowledged and responded to the issues we have raised. However, I do not underestimate how much improvement is needed.

The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and has good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime. However, I am concerned that suitably trained investigators are not always available, and in particular at the lack of professional expertise in the investigation of some high-risk domestic abuse cases.

The force has more to do to improve its response to vulnerable people. I am not satisfied that the risks faced by emergency and non-emergency callers are consistently understood by call-handlers. This is hindering progress that the force is making in effective safeguarding of the most vulnerable through strong alliances with Barnardo’s and other organisations.

As has been the case in recent years, the force has under-spent against its budget. However, its plans for how savings will be made beyond 2015/16 are not well-developed and need to be improved. The force’s plan to continue to provide effective policing over the very large geographical area with fewer staff needs to be developed as a matter of urgency. I would have liked to have seen more evidence that the force has incorporated the Code of Ethics into its policy and practice as part of developing a more ethical culture. I am pleased that we found evidence that the force is developing systems to provide clear direction and co-ordinate activities that will improve its engagement with the communities that it serves.

Description of force area

Dyfed-Powys Police provides policing services to the areas of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. Although there are some more affluent areas, Dyfed-Powys has a high level of poverty. Around 0.5 million people live in a predominantly rural setting. The area has distinct, small urban areas including the towns of Carmarthen, Llanelli, Milford Haven, and Aberystwyth. The resident population is increased by university students and the very large numbers who visit or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes a major sea port.

The proportion of areas in Dyfed-Powys that are predicted to present a very high challenge to the police is lower than the national average. These are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both. Providing services across the entirety of the force area is hindered by the size of the police force area and its road network.

Working arrangements

The force works collaboratively with South Wales Police and Gwent Police and is part of the all-Wales counter terrorism unit. It also has co-located services with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, Mid and West Wales’ Fire and Rescue Service, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and constituent local authorities in Llandrindod Wells.

Effectiveness

In our effectiveness inspection, we judged Dyfed-Powys Police to require improvement in the way in which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. However, suitably trained investigators are not always available. The force strives to protect the vulnerable but the risks faced by emergency and non-emergency callers are not always understood by call-handlers. There are good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime. This is the first year that HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.

Efficiency

Dyfed-Powys Police is partly prepared to face its future financial challenges. It is improving its understanding of the demands on its services and is currently able to respond to all crimes. It is investing in technology to increase efficiency. However, HMIC is concerned that, as resources reduce in the future, the force has not made enough progress in planning how it will be able to continue providing effective policing with fewer staff, nor how it will deal with some of the financial uncertainties it faces. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the previous spending review period, Dyfed-Powys Police was judged to be good.

Legitimacy

Dyfed-Powys Police has more to do to develop an ethical culture, to incorporate the Code of Ethics into policy or practice and to ensure that complaints and misconduct cases are free of bias.

We found evidence that the force is developing systems to provide clear direction and co-ordinate engagement activity. However, we are concerned that officers and staff do not understand the National Decision Model and how it should be used in day-to-day activity.

HMIC is content that Dyfed-Powys Police complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, and that its Taser use is fair and appropriate.

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

Leadership

Dyfed-Powys Police has yet to articulate an updated vision of its future strategy and policing model to achieve its required savings up to 2020, while ensuring that it meets public needs.

The force has not assessed formally its leadership capability and capacity, and therefore has only a limited understanding of the leadership skills that its workforce will require in the future. However, the force is taking positive steps to address this issue. Its leadership training for those of the rank of inspector and above is effective, as is its identification of talented individuals through the ‘Llwyio’ programme.

Insights from other inspections

HMIC undertakes other inspections in addition to the PEEL programme. Since the last PEEL assessment there have been nine reports published on inspections that included Dyfed-Powys Police. 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 the areas for improvement that HMIC has identified in the last year.

I will be particularly interested to see:

  • improvements in how the force deals with vulnerable victims, paying particular attention to how public calls are handled and the conduct of domestic abuse investigations;
  • the publication of clear and realistic plans for achieving savings beyond 2016;
  • the work to improve the overall quality of investigations across the force, showing clear evidence of appropriate supervision and progression; and
  • further work in developing a more ethical culture across the force.

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
Requires improvement

Overall Dyfed-Powys Police is judged to require improvement at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The force is considered to be good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. However, in terms of investigations suitably trained investigators are not always available. The force strives to protect the vulnerable but the risks faced by emergency and non-emergency callers are not always understood by call-handlers. There are good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

The priority to prevent crime, anti-social behaviour and to keep people safe is commonly understood across the whole force. The force can demonstrate that it works effectively with partners in achieving these aims; joint working with Barnardo’s to support runaway children is a good example.

Dyfed-Powys Police’s approach to investigating crimes has some shortcomings. The allocation of individual crimes to investigators is based on the type of offence that has been alleged and insufficient attention is paid to the vulnerability of the victim. This means that victims may not receive the service they need.

Additionally, the availability of experienced detectives lacks resilience. A lack of coverage out of hours potentially means that vulnerable victims are not being provided with full support and the necessary expertise.

Dyfed-Powys Police has a strong ethic to protect the vulnerable. However, this is overshadowed by difficulties that call-handlers have in identifying vulnerability at the first point of contact. Additionally, the service to some domestic abuse victims falls short of acceptable standards.

More positively, the force has three integrated offender management (IOM) units. HMIC found these to be well managed and their staff are highly motivated and their systems and ways of working are effective at curbing the offending behaviour of the most prolific offenders in Dyfed-Powys.

The force’s response to serious and organised crime is characterised by a good understanding of organised crime groups operating in Dyfed Powys. These groups are mapped and scored in accordance with best practice; when operational interventions have been completed, organised crime groups are re-scored to reflect the threat that they continue to pose to communities. However, the force could work more closely with partner organisations to develop a joint response to this type of offending.

The force is assessed to be in a good state of readiness to counter the national threats articulated in The Strategic Policing Requirement.

 

View the four questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

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

Last updated 20/10/2015
Requires improvement

HMIC found that Dyfed-Powys Police is partly prepared to face its future financial challenges. It is improving its understanding of the demands on its services and is currently able to respond to all crimes. It is investing in technology to increase efficiency. However HMIC is concerned that as resources reduce in the future, the force has not made enough progress in planning how it will be able to continue providing effective policing with fewer staff, nor how it will deal with some of the financial uncertainties it faces. In last year’s value for money inspection programme, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Dyfed-Powys Police was judged to be good.

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

HMIC judges Dyfed-Powys Police to require improvement. The force currently has the resources to meet demand and is able to attend every crime. However future reductions in police officer numbers will require the force to understand the future demand for its services better and manage its resources more efficiently.

HMIC is impressed by the ambition of Dyfed-Powys Police’s approach to using new technology in order to improve efficiency and provide better services.

Dyfed-Powys Police has, since 2010, managed its savings with a very small reduction in the number of police officers. It has changed the way it provides frontline policing very little over this period. However, HMIC is concerned that despite planning further reductions in police officer and staff numbers, the force has not yet developed a future workforce model. Changes to the size of the workforce have been driven by finance rather than by the organisational requirements. The force had a technology programme in place to support the workforce plan; however, future change plans were not well developed as the force’s understanding of demand and resource profiling was not developed sufficiently to inform these plans. It is not clear how the force will continue to manage the budget reductions required and maintain effective policing.

The force has a good track record of achieving savings to date but the plans for anticipated savings beyond 2015/16 are undeveloped. In addition, HMIC is concerned that there are a number of risks and uncertainties about future income for Dyfed-Powys Police which may mean it has under-estimated the future savings needed and the force has not made any contingency plans to address these risks.

 

View the three questions for efficiency

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 11/02/2016
Requires improvement

HMIC considers that Dyfed-Powys Police has not done enough to develop an ethical culture, to incorporate the Code of Ethics into policy or practice, or to ensure complaints and misconduct cases are free of bias.

We found evidence that the force is developing systems to provide clear direction and coordinate engagement activity. However, we are concerned that officers and staff do not understand the National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged) and how it should be used in day-to-day activity.

We are pleased that Dyfed-Powys Police complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, and that its Taser use is fair and appropriate.

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

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

Dyfed-Powys Police was in a period of transition, between the previous change programme, and the development of a new force vision. However, it is clear to us that officers and staff are unaware of its existence. HMIC found that staff do not consistently feel able to challenge decisions or inappropriate behaviour.

The force monitors the psychological and physical wellbeing of police officers and staff. The force’s occupational health unit is well-established, and those spoken to are clear about how and when referrals should be made to this unit.

The force has not provided effective training on the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics, and we found little or no evidence of the force using the code to inform policy and practice.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and engages with all the people it serves, we found evidence that the force is developing systems to provide clear direction and coordinate engagement activity. A comprehensive engagement framework exists to support communication at both force and local levels. The force makes some use of community impact assessments to address local concerns.

Officers and staff we spoke to during the inspection do not understand the National Decision Model and how it should be used in day-to-day activity.

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 that the police use them fairly and appropriately. HMIC is pleased to see that Dyfed-Powys Police complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. The force should ensure that it completes Taser forms accurately and in accordance with the College Of Policing’s guidance. Taser use is fair and appropriate in Dyfed-Powys Police.

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.

Dyfed-Powys Police has yet to articulate an updated vision of its future strategy and policing model to achieve its required savings up to 2020, while ensuring that it meets public needs.

Further, the force has not assessed formally its leadership capability and capacity, therefore has only a limited understanding of the leadership skills that its workforce will require in the future. However, the force is taking positive steps to address this issue. Its leadership training for those of the rank of inspector and above is effective, as is its identification of talented individuals through the ‘Llwyio’ programme.

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

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 Dyfed-Powys Police.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

4,230 square miles

Population

0.52m people 4% local 10 yr change

Workforce

79% frontline 78% national level
3.6 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
7% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

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

Cost

54p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

The force area’s 515,114 residents are spread over 4,188 square miles, which is over half the land mass of Wales.

The four counties that make up the force area have a vibrant tourist industry that draws large numbers of visitors each year.

Police and crime plan priorities

The six priorities of Dyfed-Powys PCC Christopher Salmon are: Preventing and dealing with incidents and crime; Protecting vulnerable people; Bringing people to justice; Enhancing access to policing services; Ensuring high standards of professionalism; and Spending wisely.