Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2015
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.
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.
How well does the force have a clear understanding of the current state of its leadership at every level?
HMIC examined how well forces understand the strengths and weaknesses of leadership across the force and how well the workforce understands its leadership role. Strong, clear leadership across every rank and grade is vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of a modern and capable police force.
Dyfed-Powys Police has communicated clearly the expectations it has of its workforce, however needs to do more work to ensure that its staff and officers feel able to fulfil these expectations. Senior leaders have sent clear communications relating to the force’s leadership culture, which is one that empowers individuals to ‘do the right thing’. An example of this is the force’s move away from measuring performance against targets, and ensuring the force records crime ethically. However HMIC found that Dyfed-Powys’ workforce is unaware of any overall force vision. Although the workforce had received the communication to ‘do the right thing’, some staff and officers hesitate to challenge decisions even if it is the right thing to do as they are not confident that the force would support them doing so.
Dyfed-Powys Police could also do more to ensure that it understands how its workforce perceives senior leadership and leadership in general. The force has not conducted a staff survey since 2012, and has no other effective way to capture and understand the current views and concerns of its workforce, or to establish whether the workforce has received and understood messages from senior leaders.
How well has the force provided a clear and compelling sense of the future direction of the organisation?
HMIC examined the extent to which forces have set out a clear, compelling and realistic sense of future direction, because it is important to ensure that the workforce is motivated to build for the future and that the force knows the kinds of skills it is looking to develop. We were also interested to find out how well leaders are making use of new approaches to enable forces to meet future financial challenges.
The force has a stated mission, vision and set of values that have been in place since 2008, however HMIC did not find any communication reinforcing these. The workforce was unsure what are the force’s overall mission, vision and values. Senior staff and officers were unclear whether these are still the basis for standards of behaviour throughout the force. Changes to the size of the workforce appear to have been informed by financial not organisational requirements. With the absence of a recent plan for the future, this has left many police staff concerned about their job security.
HMIC is impressed by the ambition of Dyfed-Powys Police’s digital policing initiative. The force has invested significantly in new technology to make mobile data available to all frontline officers so that they can now undertake a range of activities online without returning to a station. The force has also introduced a secure online facility which provides frontline officers with a ‘one stop shop’ for building prosecution case files and aims to ensure that they consistently achieve quality standards for case files. This offers a real opportunity to streamline the criminal justice process and make it more likely that the force swiftly and effectively brings offenders to justice.
How is the force developing leadership, motivating the workforce and encouraging staff engagement?
HMIC examined how well forces identify and develop leadership, as good quality of leadership is key to ensuring that forces overcome their challenges of reducing crime and meeting the needs of victims. We were not looking for one particular style of leadership, but focused on how well leaders motivate their workforce and improve performance to provide a quality service to the public.
The force has not yet conducted an assessment of the capability and capacity of its leaders. However, academic research underpins the content of the force training prospectus. The force has invested in providing high-quality training programmes for its workforce, which has high levels of commitment and pride in achieving positive outcomes when working with local communities. We found many opportunities for developing leadership skills, including specific leadership training for sergeants and inspectors, coaching and mentoring schemes and support for supervisors to attain external qualifications from Academi Wales.
The force’s scheme to identify and develop talented individuals for promotion (called ‘Llwyio’) allows the it to develop future leaders by focusing on positive values and standards. However, staff and officers did not always know about this opportunity.
The force uses its annual performance review process to assess individual performance, development needs and achievements. HMIC found evidence of some supervisors using the process effectively, while others did not, demonstrating that the process is reliant on the quality of the supervisor. The force also uses its performance review process to supplement Llwyio, as supervisors are encouraged to focus on performance linked to development, and to identify those with the skills and ability to be future leaders.
To what extent is leadership improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of the force?
As good quality leadership is an important factor of policing performance, HMIC examined how leaders are improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of forces through clear, reasoned and swift actions.
Leadership in Dyfed-Powys Police is partly improving the force’s legitimacy and effectiveness in keeping people safe and reducing crime. The senior team has ensured the workforce is aware of its responsibilities in relation to crime recording and achieving appropriate outcomes for victims. The force has demonstrated some positive leadership in setting ethical behaviours and expected standards, such as the formation of an ethics committee and ethics working group. These have been given the task of simplifying the message relating to the development of a new force vision, the Code of Ethics and challenging inappropriate behaviour. However, as yet the force has no clear and concise vision which is understood by all the workforce, and some of those we spoke to during our inspection were still referring to an outdated force vision. HMIC acknowledges that the force is aware it needs to update its vision and has clear plans in place to develop this, having established its ethics committee.
Many police staff and officers stated that they had received no formal training on the code, and the force explained that this decision was taken on the basis of the relative cost of training.
More positively, senior leaders in the force take workforce wellbeing seriously and we found a range of policies to advise and support police officers and staff.