Skip to content

Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2015

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.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

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 there is an inconsistent view among staff on whether they feel able to challenge decisions or inappropriate behaviour.

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

There has been no effective training on the Code of Ethics, and little or no evidence was found of the code having been used to inform policy and practice. Knowledge of the code is inconsistent.
While our case file review showed no evidence of unfairness in dealing with public complaints and misconduct, it is clear to us that the force has made almost no attempt to ensure decisions are consistent or free of bias.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The chief officer team should set out clearly the expectations and behaviours required for all officers and staff across Dyfed-Powys Police, and ensure this is clearly communicated. Leaders at all levels should reinforce these messages to ensure good understanding from the workforce.
  • The chief officer team should ensure that all officers and staff in Dyfed-Powys Police are aware of and understand the Code of Ethics. The chief officer team should also reinforce continually the need for ethical behaviour; not assume that it is understood within the force.
  • The chief officer team should ensure that appropriate processes are in place to ensure that complaints and misconduct cases are dealt with consistently and fairly, for officers and staff, and those with protected characteristics. All complaints and misconduct cases must be conducted in accordance with IPCC statutory guidance, Home Office guidance, and other relevant legislation.
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?

HMIC found that Dyfed-Powys Police recognises the relationship between public engagement and legitimacy. There is evidence that the force is developing systems to ensure effective direction and coordination of engagement activity. A comprehensive engagement framework exists to support communication at both force and local levels. Some use is made of community impact assessments to address local concerns.

The force uses a number of methods of engagement; these include both traditional face-to-face meetings as well as the opportunities offered by modern social media. There was little evidence of formal neighbourhood profiles being used and too much reliance may be being placed on individual knowledge of communities. There is limited evidence of a structured approach to gathering and updating information about neighbourhoods and communities. Officers and staff rely instead on the knowledge or understanding of their colleagues. While this may work in some areas, it is unlikely to be effective overall. The force should reassure itself that neighbourhood teams have reliable access to relevant and structured information about the places and communities they serve.

HMIC is concerned that a number of officers and staff do not understand the National Decision Model and how it should be used in day-to-day activity. The force should seek to quickly address this.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The chief officer team should ensure that the force’s officers and staff have a good understanding of the National Decision Model, and how to use it in day-to-day activity.
4

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

HMIC is pleased to see that Dyfed-Powys Police complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, but officers are unaware of the full requirements of the Scheme. The force is delivering training on stop and search to supervisors, but is awaiting completion of the national College of Policing training package before extending this to all officers.

The force has introduced electronic recording of all stop and search encounters, and has improved data collection so that the outcome of the search is recorded. This now enables them to publish information which shows the occasions where officers have conducted a search, the occasions where the expected object of the search was found or where the search failed to discover the suspected item. This data is published on the force website.

The force should ensure that Taser forms are completed accurately and in accordance with the College of Policing guidance, using the National Decision Model where appropriate.

Taser use is fair and appropriate in Dyfed-Powys Police.

Good

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 it supervises adequately the accuracy of its stop and search records and ensures they contain the required information in respect of reasonable grounds for the force’s use of this power.