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Greater Manchester 2015

Read more about Greater Manchester 2015

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which Greater Manchester Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which Greater Manchester Police 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 Greater Manchester Police’s performance this year, including exceptional events and where I would like to see improvements next year.

Michael Cunningham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Read the transcript of the video

Contact Michael Cunningham

HMI’s observations

I am pleased with the performance of Greater Manchester Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

I particularly welcome the progress the force has made in protecting the most vulnerable people. This reflects the considerable effort and resources that the force has invested following HMIC’s 2014 domestic abuse inspection. The force also has good arrangements in place to identify and disrupt organised criminality, and it works well to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. However, the force needs to improve the quality and supervision of investigations of those crimes assessed as ‘non-complex’.

I was reassured by the force’s sound understanding of the demand for its service, especially given the complexity of the policing environment in which it operates, and I am pleased that it is developing this further. However, based on the plans available at the time of our efficiency inspection in spring 2015, the force’s projected workforce model is not sustainable or affordable beyond 2015/16. The force had developed various options for a workforce that addresses this, all of which were at an early stage of design at the time of inspection.

I feel that the force has made strides into improving the culture within the organisation, although some staff representative groups have expressed concern that the force leadership has been slow to respond to historic issues of unfairness. I was impressed by some excellent examples of engagement and close working with the diverse communities of Greater Manchester. I was also pleased to see that the force has made progress in its use of stop and search, having introduced an improved recording system.

Description of force area

Greater Manchester Police provides policing services to the metropolitan area of Greater Manchester. Although there are areas of great affluence, Greater Manchester has a high level of poverty. Around 2.7 million people live in an urban setting. This major conurbation includes Manchester and Salford, as well as the large surrounding towns. The residential population is ethnically diverse, with 16 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by very large numbers of university students and the large numbers who visit, socialise in, commute into, or travel through the region. The transport infrastructure includes major rail stations and a major airport.

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

Exceptional events

A number of protests and demonstrations have taken place following suggestions that so-called fracking sites may be licensed in Greater Manchester, and the force mounted the security operation for the Conservative Party conference in October 2015.

In December 2015, there were major floods and the force was instrumental in protecting life, property and livestock in parts of Greater Manchester.

Working arrangements

The area of Greater Manchester is one of the first areas in the UK in which all public bodies will be managed at a local level. As such, the role of the police and crime commissioner will now be undertaken by the elected Mayor. The devolution of public bodies aims to improve outcomes and reduce public spending through joint working across the public, private, community and voluntary sectors reducing duplication and improving the coordination of services. Greater Manchester Police has been recognised as being the main driver for greater integration. An excellent example is Project Challenger, in which local authorities work directly with the police to tackle serious and organised crime.

There have been significant changes to the chief officer team. The new chief constable (the former deputy chief constable) was appointed in October 2015 and a new deputy chief constable in January 2016. Further appointments will be made to assistant chief constable vacancies in 2016.

Effectiveness

In our effectiveness inspection, we judged Greater Manchester Police to be good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime. It works well to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. The force is also good at protecting vulnerable people from harm. However, the way in which the force investigates crime could be improved, most notably its investigation of non-complex crime. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so a year-on-year comparison is not possible.

Efficiency

Greater Manchester Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has a good understanding of the demand for its service and is developing this further. It has a good track record of achieving savings and has set a balanced budget for 2015/16. However, plans to develop a new workforce model are in the early stages and the force needs to agree a model that will meet demand beyond 2016 within its available budget. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the previous spending review period, Greater Manchester Police was judged to be good.

Legitimacy

The force recognises that it needs to improve the force’s ethical culture, moving from one which was focused on numerical performance targets, to a culture capable of delivering improved service with diminishing resources. The majority of police officers and staff we spoke to felt that the culture was improving.

We found many examples where neighbourhood teams had successfully worked closely with their communities, with some excellent examples of local engagement in diverse communities.

Greater Manchester Police complies with most elements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, having recently introduced a new recording system. The use of Taser by officers across the force 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

Greater Manchester Police is a well led force with a clear understanding of the capacity and capability of its leadership. The force has communicated clearly its expectations of leaders, and has made a concerted effort to empower its staff and officers in taking decisions.

While the force provides extensive leadership development and training, it could do more to improve its identification and development of talented individuals. Many police staff and officers are unaware of the talent management process, and senior managers do not follow it consistently.

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 Greater Manchester 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:

  • developments in the quality and supervision of investigations into ‘non-complex’ crime such as criminal damage, theft and minor assaults;
  • continued work around the wellbeing of the workforce;
  • commencement of the £30 million information strategy transformation project;
  • continuing work to improve the force’s understanding of the demands it faces, along with the development of plans to match the workforce model to the force’s budget beyond 2016; and
  • the direction set for the force by the new chief officer team.

Unlike the majority of police force areas across England and Wales, the Greater Manchester Police area will not be affected by the police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections in May 2016. Scrutiny of the force is conducted by an interim mayor (the post holder is currently also the PCC), with the first full election planned in 2017.

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 18/02/2016
Good

Overall Greater Manchester Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime. It works well to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. The force is also good at protecting vulnerable people from harm. However, the way in which the force investigates crime could be improved, most notably the investigation of non-complex crime. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so a year-on-year comparison is not possible.

Greater Manchester Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The force has a strong commitment to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and the importance of prevention and keeping people safe is generally well understood throughout the whole force. The force works effectively with partner organisations and HMIC found many examples of effective partnership working across the force area.

The standard of investigations is mixed. The force has introduced a crime screening policy, which is not always being applied appropriately. HMIC was particularly disappointed to find that the standard of investigation of non-complex crime remains consistently poor and lacks effective management and supervision. In contrast, the investigation of the most serious and complex crime is conducted to a very high standard and, while the investigation of serious sexual offences is not always undertaken by specialist teams, it will be done by detectives with specialist support.

Greater Manchester Police is good at protecting from harm those who are vulnerable, and supporting victims. Police officers and staff now routinely identify those who are vulnerable at an early stage and tailor their response accordingly.

The level of threat posed by organised crime within Greater Manchester is extensive and the force has committed significant resources to manage the ongoing threat. The force has a very good understanding of how serious and organised crime makes an impact on local communities. To tackle this, the force has long established and fully accepted partnership working arrangements operating under Programme Challenger.

The force has the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities.

 

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 Greater Manchester Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has a good understanding of the demand for its service and is developing this further. It has a good track record of achieving savings and has set a balanced budget for 2015/16. However, plans to develop a new workforce model are in the early stages and the force needs to agree a model that will meet demand beyond 2016 within its available budget. In last year’s valuing the police inspection programme, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Greater Manchester Police was judged to be good.

HMIC judges Greater Manchester Police to be good. The force has a good understanding of the demand it currently faces and has commissioned academic research to provide an even more comprehensive understanding of demand. This work will inform a new force operating model to make the most efficient use of reducing resources.

The force has embarked on a wide-ranging transformation programme, with public service reform (PSR) at its heart. The Greater Manchester region is at the forefront of regional devolution. In June 2015 the police and crime commissioner (PCC) was appointed as the interim mayor. The PCC continues to have responsibility for policing, while taking on the role of coordinating all local authority and public sector services in preparation for the first mayoral elections in May 2017. This places the force at the centre of the changes and new ways of working.

The current workforce model is matched to the force’s current demand, organisational and financial requirements. The force has a good understanding of the skills it needs to develop its current workforce.

However, based on current plans, the force’s projected workforce model is not sustainable or affordable beyond 2015/16. Despite a reduction in the number of police officers and staff the force still has a considerable predicted savings gap in 2016/17. The force has developed four options for a workforce model beyond 2016, all of which are at an early stage their design.

The force has a good history of achieving or exceeding savings requirements and has set a balanced budget for 2015/16 with robust and effective financial controls in place. It has secured additional funding to support its work with vulnerable people and for specialist policing. The force’s financial plans are aligned to and support the objectives set out in the PCC’s police and crime plan and, in particular, support the PSR agenda.

 

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

Greater Manchester Police recognises the need to improve the force’s ethical culture. The majority of staff we spoke to felt that the culture is improving, although a number of staff representative groups identified long-standing issues which they felt that the force has not addressed adequately. The force’s senior leadership team is aware of these views and is seeking to build improved relationships with these groups.

We found a number of examples where neighbourhood teams had engaged well and worked closely with their communities, with some excellent examples of local engagement in culturally and ethnically diverse communities.

Greater Manchester Police is complying with most elements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, having recently introduced a new recording system. However, too many stop and search records did not contain reasonable grounds. The use of Taser by officers across the force is fair and appropriate, and the force has processes in place to identify any potential misuse.

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

Greater Manchester Police recognises the need to improve the force’s ethical culture – moving from one focused on numerical performance targets, to one capable of providing improved service with diminishing resources.

The majority of police officers and staff we spoke to feel that the culture is improving. A number of staff representative groups expressed concern that the force’s leadership has historically been slow to respond to issues of unfairness, which has undermined their confidence in the organisation. The force’s senior leadership is aware of this and is seeking to improve relationships through improved dialogue. It has also created an internally-focused governance group that looks at hate incidents, to identify and resolve any issues of unfairness.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and engages with all the people it serves, we found a number of examples where neighbourhood teams work well with their communities. There are also several excellent examples of local engagement in various culturally and ethnically diverse communities. Most neighbourhood teams are using social media including Twitter and Facebook, alongside more traditional methods of communication, such holding regular public meetings, to provide information and speak to a broad range of people in their communities. As a result, we are satisfied that the force has a good understanding of the needs and concerns of the public.

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 found that Greater Manchester Police introduced a new paper-based stop and search record on 1 September 2015, to replace its previous electronic recording system. We assessed 100 stop and search records completed following the introduction of the new system and found that 11 of them did not contain sufficient reasonable grounds for the search. HMIC concluded that since changing its recording practices Greater Manchester Police is complying with most elements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. Also, the use of Taser by officers across the force is fair and appropriate, and the force has processes in place to identify any potential misuse.

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.

Greater Manchester Police is a well led force with a clear understanding of the capacity and capability of its leadership at all levels. The force has communicated clearly its expectations of leaders, and has made a concerted effort to empower its staff and officers to feel supported to take decisions.

While the force provides extensive leadership development and training at all levels, it could do more to improve its identification and development of talented individuals towards promotion. Many police staff and officers are unaware of the talent management process, while senior managers inconsistently follow the process itself.

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 Greater Manchester Police.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

493 square miles

Population

2.73m people 8% local 10 yr change

Workforce

79% frontline 78% national level
4.0 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
16% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

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

Cost

57p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

GMP works with other agencies in co-located teams and with communities to solve local problems, prevent crime, safeguard people and tackle organised crime.

GMP deals with more priority incidents than any other police force, relative to population.

Police and crime plan priorities

Building a strong and safe community is everybody’s business. A well-trained and motivated police service is at the centre of this but a police force dedicated to solving problems can only do this in partnership with other public services and the wider community.