Humberside 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.
The force has a clear vision of the style of leadership that it requires so it can improve its services and this has been communicated effectively across the organisation. The force did not identify problems with its new operating model until after it was implemented; however chief officers began to address the shortcomings once these were identified. Frontline staff showed collective leadership to reduce the impact on its services to the public arising from these problems, and the new chief officer team is working to address the problems arising from this change. The force has worked with staff and officers to improve its appraisal, development and welfare programmes.
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.
The chief officer team has a clear vision of the style of leadership required to improve the force and HMIC found that it had been communicated effectively across the organisation. To strengthen this message, the force has developed a list of expectations from its leaders which is part of its leadership programme for every rank and grade.
While the force has clearly communicated its expectations from its officers and staff, it also recognises that it has to do more to understand the capacity and capability of its leaders. The force is taking steps to achieve this using its new appraisal review system and by making this understanding of effective leadership an important part of its selection and promotion processes.
The force has developed a good understanding of how the workforce views its senior leadership and leadership in the force in general. This is based upon information from a staff survey, roadshows, and a detailed examination of the culture within the force. HMIC heard that a number of concerns about staffing in the communications hub and on response teams before implementation of the new operating model had not been listened to or considered by their leaders. However, more recently, HMIC monitoring found that there was good consultation and engagement with the force’s staff associations and unions. It was apparent that there was strong leadership in the frontline of the force where managers, supervisors and staff worked hard to try to maintain a quality service to the public.
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 clear sense of its future direction which has been motivating its workforce. It can demonstrate that this has been communicated effectively within the organisation. Staff and officers consistently reported that they were clear about the future direction of the force and many described communication about the change programme as highly effective.
The direction of the force is set out in its ‘one force’ model which involves re-aligning its operating model and workforce to best meet the force’s understanding of demand on its services. The officers and staff to whom we spoke during HMIC’s inspection remain committed to the planned changes to the operating model despite the difficulties in its implementation. At the time of inspection it was clear that the force would need to demonstrate effective leadership to address the difficulties, particularly within its communications hub, and to improve performance and maintain the confidence of its workforce and the public.
The force has also carried out some work to identify the capabilities its future leaders will require. It has developed a detailed picture of the culture of the organisation that is based upon academic research, workforce consultation, a survey involving senior managers and benchmarking against the work of other forces. HMIC welcomes this approach, though the force would benefit from a clearer understanding of its current leadership capability in order to maximise the benefits of the work it has done about its future requirements.
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 a comprehensive performance management framework. A new appraisal system has been introduced, which is based on discussions between staff and their supervisors about welfare, development, performance against objectives which are aligned with force priorities and how the force can improve. The change in the PDR system is part of the change in the performance structure away from a target-based culture to a model of collective problem-solving which is focused on achieving the best results for members of its communities.
The force has put in place open and transparent way to identify talent through which staff can access training, promotion and development opportunities. The core element is the new appraisal system which has grades that will enable line managers and the force to recognise talented individuals. High performing individuals are also identified through the promotion and selection processes conducted by HR. The effectiveness of identifying talented officers and staff is therefore in large part reliant on the effectiveness of the appraisal review system. In the main this works effectively, but the force has found small groups in some teams and locations who are not engaged with the appraisal process, and this could mean talented people are not identified. The force is taking further steps to improve the take-up rate among staff and supervisors.
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. This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible for this pillar.
Leadership in Humberside Police has resulted in a stronger focus on improving the legitimacy of the force, in the way it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Neighbourhood teams engage well with the public to build legitimacy which is an approach that is led by chief officers. Individuals throughout the organisation recognise the efforts made by the leadership team to make the Code of Ethics part of the day-to-day work they do. Encouragingly, officers reported a clear message that they were enabled to lead and were supported in making decisions using the national decision model.
Leadership in Humberside Police has also resulted in a stronger focus on making improvements to the force’s effectiveness, though an even stronger focus is required. Leaders have improved the force’s ability to investigate crime and manage offenders, but more work is required to ensure investigations into crime are allocated to officers and staff with the right skills and that it improves supervision and oversight of the quality of investigations.
Finally, leadership in Humberside Police has had a limited impact on the efficiency of the force. A new policing model has been implemented, which caused problems with the force’s ability to respond to calls for service and raised concerns on the viability of the shift system. However, HMIC subsequently found that leaders are addressing the problems. Call-handling has since improved and independent advice has been taken on a new shift system which after staff consultation, will be implemented in early 2016.