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Humberside PEEL 2015

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 11/02/2016
Good

The Humberside Police chief officer team has clearly communicated its vision and values to the workforce and is actively developing an ethical culture throughout the force. Most officers and staff that we spoke to understood the relationship between doing a good job, effective engagement and confidence in the police. The force has in place an effective way to monitor issues that arise locally and to identify emerging force-wide trends.

Humberside Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. Also, it has more to do to ensure there is sufficient oversight of Taser use.

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

The Humberside Police chief officer team has clearly communicated its vision and values to the workforce and is actively developing an ethical culture throughout the force.

The Code of Ethics is integral to the way in which the force communicates its change programme to staff, and is included as a topic within the performance development reviews for all police officers and staff. Staff we spoke to, including staff association representatives, agreed that complaint and misconduct investigations are fair.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and successfully engages with all the people it serves, we found most officers and staff that we spoke to understand the relationship between doing a good job, effective engagement and confidence in the police. The force has in place an effective way to monitor issues that arise locally and to identify emerging force-wide trends. Surveys are also commissioned by the police and crime commissioner to help understand public concerns.

However, we are concerned by the number of staff who told us they were too busy to engage with the public or deal with local concerns. This is something the force should closely monitor to ensure that its good work is not undermined.

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 Humberside Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.

While the force has carried out a review of the number of Taser-trained officers and how they should be dispersed across the force area, HMIC remains concerned that more needs to be done to ensure sufficient supervision and oversight on the use of Taser. The force should also put in place sufficient oversight arrangements to better understand why Humberside has such a high use of Taser, to reassure itself that Taser is being used fairly and appropriately.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

The Humberside Police chief officer team has clearly communicated its vision and values to the workforce and has developed the force’s overall aims and ambition – ‘to deliver safer communities through high quality policing services’ and a ‘one team ethos’, in consultation with staff.

The force is actively developing an ethical culture throughout the organisation. We found it has changed the way it measures performance in the force to enable a greater focus on the quality of the services delivered and victim care. It has introduced a new process to review the performance and development of officers and staff which includes ethics and wellbeing issues.

The force has taken action to understand the wellbeing of its staff. It conducted a full staff survey in 2013, and maintained its understanding through three snapshot surveys carried out by the office of police and crime commissioner.

The Code of Ethics was integral to the way in which the force communicated its change programme to staff, and is included as a topic within the performance development reviews for all police officers and staff. Role profiles for the force and police staff contracts also contain specific reference to the Code of Ethics.

Staff we spoke to, including staff association representatives, agreed that complaint and misconduct investigations are fair.

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?

Most officers and staff that we spoke to in Humberside Police understand the relationship between doing a good job, effective engagement and confidence in the police.

The force does have in place an effective way to monitor issues that arise locally and to identify emerging force-wide trends. The police and crime commissioner also commissions surveys to help understand public concerns. These focus on victims of crime and anti-social behaviour, but also look at other issues, with the next survey asking questions about the police use of Taser and stop and search powers.

Social media is used effectively to help understand public concerns. The force also receives guidance from an independent advisory group, which supports understanding of local people, particularly of minority groups and vulnerable people.

The force effectively encourages the public to participate in policing activities. This is done through direct approaches by officers, local publicity and use of social media. There is also an annual ‘Blue Light’ event, run jointly with the local ambulance and fire and rescue services, which 27,000 people attended this year.

However, we are concerned by the number of staff who told us they were too busy to engage with the public or deal with local concerns. This is something the force should closely monitor to ensure that its good work is not undermined.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • HMIC is concerned by the number of staff who told us they were too busy to engage with the public or deal with local concerns. This is something the force should closely monitor to ensure that its good work is not undermined.
4

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

Humberside Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. It has introduced lay observation and a ‘community trigger’ – to explain to local communities how the powers are being used where there is a large volume of complaints – and Section 60 authorisations (where an officer does not need to have suspicions about a particular individual prior to stopping them) have reduced, but the force does not accurately record and publish stop and search outcomes.

Most officers have a good understanding of their powers, although not all officers use the National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged) when using these powers and understanding of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme is not consistent.

Taser-equipped officers have a good understanding of the National Decision Model though it is not always reflected in Taser recording forms. The force has a clear rationale for the number of officers and how they are distributed across the force. Operationally officers are mostly using Taser appropriately, and the process for selecting Taser officers is effective.

However, while the force has carried out a review of the number of Taser-trained officers and how they should be dispersed across the force area, HMIC remains concerned that more needs to be done to ensure sufficient supervision and oversight on the use of Taser.

The force should also put in place sufficient oversight arrangements to better understand why Humberside has such a high use of Taser, to reassure itself that Taser is being used fairly and appropriately.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • While the force has carried out a review of the number of Taser-trained officers and how they should be dispersed across the force area, HMIC remains concerned that more needs to be done to ensure sufficient supervision and oversight on the use of Taser. The force should also put in place sufficient oversight to better understand why Humberside has such a high use of Taser, to reassure itself that Taser is being used fairly and appropriately.