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Hampshire PEEL 2015

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 11/02/2016
Good

The constabulary has a well-established set of values that promote ethical behaviour that have been personally championed by the chief constable. Staff understand these values and the importance of dealing with the public in a fair and polite way. Hampshire Constabulary is effective in engaging and communicating with its communities. The constabulary complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and Taser is used fairly and appropriately by the constabulary.

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

Hampshire Constabulary has an established and well-promoted set of values that the workforce understands. It has taken the decision to maintain these values and to introduce the Code of Ethics alongside them. The constabulary has a new health and wellbeing framework which provides a good range of support to the workforce. The constabulary deals with public complaints and allegations of misconduct fairly and without bias.

When HMIC looked at how well the constabulary understands and successfully engages with all the people it serves, we found that the constabulary successfully works with communities and makes good use of social media.

As a result, the constabulary understands local priorities, and keeps communities informed about how it is addressing 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. HMIC found that the constabulary complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. Officers clearly understand their responsibility to exercise good judgement when considering the use of Taser and the importance of recording that rationale to allow public scrutiny. Taser is used fairly and appropriately by the constabulary.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

Hampshire Constabulary has an established and well-promoted set of values that the workforce understands. It has taken the decision to maintain these values and introduce the Code of Ethics alongside them. It has recently created an ethics committee whose role is to oversee how well ethics are understood in each area of the constabulary.

Staff have a good knowledge and understanding of the constabulary’s values, but efforts to raise awareness of the Code of Ethics have not yet led to a consistently high level of knowledge and understanding about the police service-wide code.

The constabulary listens to its staff and responds to their views. Following a staff survey, the chief constable personally sponsored a review of the constabulary’s approach to leadership. This has led to their ‘Leadership’ programme which is Hampshire Constabulary’s approach to developing a proud, confident and connected workforce.

The organisation is good at communicating with its staff. However, some staff are unaware of how to make suggestions or contribute ideas for improvements. There is a good level of provision to support workforce wellbeing and complaints and misconduct are dealt with fairly and consistently and investigations are free from bias.

Good
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?

Hampshire Constabulary officers and staff understand the importance of dealing with the public in a fair, polite and professional way and how this supports public confidence in the police. The constabulary undertakes wide-ranging activity at both force and local level to understand the views of the different communities it serves. Neighbourhood officers and police community support officers engage well with the community.

Officers and staff are clear about the need to reach out to all communities, using a range of methods to engage with the community, and these efforts and overall approach is supported by local partners, such as the community support officers.

Local officers and staff explain that direct contact encourages direct responses from the public with suggestions on what the local priorities should be. These responses, taken together with data held by the constabulary, are then published on local team websites as the agreed local priorities.

Hampshire Constabulary trains its workforce to understand the National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged). A wide range of officers are very familiar with the model and clearly understand the importance of having a reasonable rationale for the decisions they make while serving the public. The constabulary makes a significant investment in the training of neighbourhood officers and staff to ensure that they are equipped to effectively engage and solve community problems.

Good
4

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

Hampshire Constabulary takes the use of stop and search powers seriously with appropriate senior management oversight.

Officers have a good understanding of the importance of exercising stop and search powers in a lawful manner that is transparent and conducted with respect. However the constabulary needs to improve overall knowledge of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.

The constabulary is issuing all frontline uniform officers with body-worn video and these are used to record stop and search encounters.

The constabulary continues to monitor disproportionality of use of stop and search involving members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community; this is overseen by the assistant chief constable and checked by a dip-sample by the Strategic Independent Advisory Group.

All officers trained to use Taser are familiar with the National Decision Model. They clearly understand their responsibility to exercise good judgment when considering the use of Taser. They also understand the importance of recording that rationale to allow public scrutiny of actions taken.

Taser is used fairly and appropriately in Hampshire Constabulary.

Good