Leicestershire 2015Read more about Leicestershire 2015
This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Leicestershire 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 Leicestershire Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which Leicestershire Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which Leicestershire Police is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
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 Leicestershire Police’s performance this year, including exceptional events and where I would like to see improvements next year.
I am very pleased with the performance of Leicestershire Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime.
The force is good at keeping people safe and tackling crime, including managing serious and organised crime. It has invested in specialist teams to protect vulnerable people, and it has constructive partnership arrangements to improve the service it provides to victims. Our inspection found that the force could do more to improve the safeguarding of domestic abuse victims who are not deemed to be at the highest risk by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of those involved. I am reassured that the force is taking steps to address this.
I welcome the work of Leicestershire Police in introducing a new way of organising itself, which is aimed at improving performance while reducing costs. The force understands the demands it faces and is well prepared to face its future financial challenges.
I am pleased that the force understands and successfully engages with the people it serves, through effective neighbourhood policing. It also communicates well with the public, making good use of social media.
The chief officer team emphasises the importance of giving careful consideration to ethical matters, and there are appropriate arrangements in place to support the wellbeing of the workforce.
Description of force area
Leicestershire Police provides policing services to the counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. Although there are some more affluent areas, Leicestershire has a high level of poverty. Around one million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the city of Leicester and the towns of Loughborough, Market Harborough and Melton Mowbray. The resident population is ethnically diverse, with 22 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by the very large number of students who study in the area’s universities and those who visit, socialise, or travel through the county. The transport infrastructure includes rail stations and an airport.
The proportion of areas in Leicestershire 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.
In March 2015, five days of events and activities across the county marked the re-interment of King Richard III.
Leicestershire Police works well with other forces within the East Midlands and is part of a successful collaboration that provides policing and support services, such as major crime, special branch and serious and organised crime and forensics.
The force is also part of the East Midlands Operational Support Service, a collaboration between Lincolnshire Police, Northamptonshire Police and Nottinghamshire Police that is responsible for managing and deploying resources including firearms, dog sections, search and roads policing units.
In our effectiveness inspection, we judged Leicestershire Police to be good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, investigations are of a good quality and the force works well at tackling serious and organised crime. However, in the important area of protecting vulnerable people, the force needs to improve. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.
Leicestershire Police is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. The force has recently introduced a new way of organising itself based on a detailed analysis of demand. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Leicestershire Police was judged to be good.
The chief officer team is fully committed to the need for an ethical and inclusive workforce. There are appropriate arrangements in place to support the wellbeing of officers and staff. Local teams have a good understanding of their neighbourhoods and engage positively with the public. Taser is used fairly and appropriately by officers who are well trained but the force is not compliant with all aspects of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.
This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.
Leicestershire Police is a well led force. Its chief officer team has taken positive steps to understand its leadership capabilities and develop a clear leadership strategy and training plan. It has put in place effective processes to understand the views of its workforce.
Insights from other inspections
HMIC undertakes other inspections in addition to the PEEL programme. Since the last PEEL assessment there have been six reports published on inspections that included Leicestershire 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 to the areas for improvement that HMIC has identified in the last year.
I will be particularly interested to see:
- how changes the force is already making improve its compliance with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme;
- the outcome of efforts to stop delays in the allocation of some investigations, including those involving vulnerable victims; and
- how the force continues to develop its response to repeat victims of domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation.
In May 2016, like the majority of forces in England and Wales, the force will see the second elections for its police and crime commissioner.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Overall, HMIC judges Leicestershire Police as good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
The force is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, investigations are of a good quality and the force works well at tackling serious and organised crime. However, in the important areas of protecting vulnerable people, the force needs to improve. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.
Leicestershire Police is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. The force has a strong approach to prevention which officers and staff understand well. The force’s has a firm commitment to working with its partners, taking early action to prevent anti-social behaviour from happening in the first place and to prevent it from escalating.
The force generally carries out good quality investigations, which includes making sure victims are safe and keeping them informed about how their cases are progressing. The force works well to identify, investigate and bring to justice repeat and dangerous offenders. The force also has effective programmes in place to reduce re-offending.
The force has a good understanding of the threat posed by serious and organised crime. In this area the force has highly skilled, experienced staff and an excellent working relationship with the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), a regional crime unit represented by a number of East Midlands forces. This gives Leicestershire Police access to additional capability to disrupt the activity of organised crime groups.
The leadership has strong oversight of the force’s ability to respond to national threats, such as terrorism, serious cyber-crime incidents and child sexual abuse. Its own arrangements for ensuring it can meet its national obligations in this regard such as planning, testing and exercising are good.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC found that Leicestershire Police is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. The force has recently introduced a new way of organising itself (its operating model) based on a detailed analysis of demand. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Leicestershire Police was judged to be good.
HMIC judges Leicestershire Police as good. The force generally uses its resources efficiently to meet the demands on its services. It has created its operating model based on a good understanding of its financial position, both in the short and long term.
The force has a good understanding of its current demand and the new operating model is adequately resourced to deal with current demand and projected demand. The force has included the need for flexibility with clear review processes in place that provide the opportunity for the force to adjust its model where any gaps appear or to respond to changes in demand.
The force change programme, known as Blueprint 2020, is well established and uses information and data from a wide number of sources. The project is strongly managed and has flexibility to respond to changes in demand and in the level of finances that will be available to the force in the longer term.
Leicestershire is part of the successful five force East Midlands collaboration, which has been in place for a number of years, and which has contributed to the force being able to meet demand within its finances.
The force is in a good financial position with strong financial management. This has enabled the chief officers to make confident decisions on the future workforce model, which has been designed to provide efficient and effective policing services within the short term and the likely longer term financial position.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The chief officer team is fully committed to the need for an ethical and inclusive workforce. There are appropriate arrangements in place to support the wellbeing of officers and staff. There is a good understanding by local teams of their neighbourhoods and they engage positively with the public. Taser is used fairly and appropriately by officers who are well trained.
This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.
The force has a well established set of values that promote ethical behaviour that has been championed by the chief officer team. The approach the force is taking to the Code of Ethics is positive, and there is appropriate information available to the workforce.
There are a number of wellbeing initiatives to support officers and staff, who are positive about this provision. The professional standards department carries out the assessment of all complaints and all internal misconduct allegations. This approach produces consistency and fairness in decision-making for both police officer and police staff cases.
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 engage well with their communities. Officers attend local community events where they speak to the public and make available crime prevention literature, equipment and provide other general advice. The range of channels used includes social media, press releases and consultation exercises, and 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. The force is not complying with all aspects of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. In particular, the force is not recording whether or not the outcome of the search relates to the item searched for; it does not publish all the information required; and although it monitors the impact of stop and search on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people, it does not monitor the impact on young people. The force has now put in place appropriate arrangements for monitoring and independent scrutiny.
More positively, Taser is used fairly and appropriately by a small number of highly trained officers, who understand their responsibility to consider all tactical options when using Taser.
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.
Leicestershire Police is a well led force. Its chief officer team has taken positive steps to understand its leadership capabilities at all levels and develop a clear leadership strategy and training plan, including at sergeant and inspector levels. It has put in place processes to understand the views of its workforce, though response rates have been low and the force has not undertaken a staff survey. HMIC found that leadership is reinforcing the effectiveness and legitimacy of the force and that the chief officer team plays a key role in setting the standards the force expects of all its leaders.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Leicestershire Police.