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Metropolitan 2015

Read more about Metropolitan 2015

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which the Metropolitan Police Service 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 the Metropolitan Police Service is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The extent to which the Metropolitan Police Service is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

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

Stephen Otter, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Read the transcript of the video

Contact Stephen Otter

HMI’s observations

I am satisfied with most aspects of the Metropolitan Police Service’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but there are some areas that need to be improved in order to provide a consistently good service.

The Metropolitan Police Service is effective in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting vulnerable people. In particular, officers throughout the force see tackling domestic abuse as a high priority. However, more work is required in order to provide a consistent response so that vulnerable people – especially vulnerable children – are always kept safe. Furthermore, the quality of some investigations still needs to improve, although I am encouraged to see that the force is taking steps to achieve this through the implementation of its ‘Mi investigations’ initiative.

With its track record of achieving savings, an understanding of demand and a balanced budget, I am satisfied that the Metropolitan Police Service is well prepared to face its future financial challenges.

I am also pleased with the steps the Metropolitan Police Service has taken to improve its legitimacy. The force has a good understanding of the diverse communities of London and is working hard to improve engagement across the city. The force is making considerable efforts to increase the diversity of its workforce so that it is more representative of the communities it serves. Although this work has not yet been as successful as the force would have liked, I hold the view that it will produce results in the longer term which will help improve the ethical and inclusive culture of the organisation.

I am satisfied that the strategic direction provided by the chief officer team is clear and that the Metropolitan Police Service has a good understanding of the scale and complexity of policing London. The force has a good understanding of areas it needs to develop further to meet future challenges.

Description of force area

The Metropolitan Police Service provides policing services to Greater London. Although there are areas of acute deprivation within the force area there are also areas of extreme affluence. Around 8.5 million people live in a predominantly urban setting. The force covers the urban conurbation of Greater London, including the City of Westminster. The resident population is ethnically very diverse, with 40 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by a very large number of university students and the very large numbers who visit, socialise in, commute into, or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes major rail stations, public transport hubs and major airports.

The proportion of areas in the Metropolitan Police Service that are predicted to present a very high challenge to the police is lower 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

London remains the focal point for public demonstrations in England and Wales. Each year the force polices a large number of high-profile demonstrations. Examples during the last year include those against the state visit of the Chinese premier and the anti capitalist ‘Million Mask March’.

The terrorist attack on 13 November in Paris led to increased public concern about the terrorist threat to London. The force responded by increasing the availability of armed police officers in London and is planning to increase the overall number of armed police within the force.

Working arrangements

During 2015, the force has made a considerable reduction in the number of buildings from which it operates, to reduce costs and, in some cases, raise money through their disposal. Public access to the force’s services has been maintained by the use of alternative locations and internet-based reporting. The force is introducing mobile technology to increase efficiency by supporting the work of officers when away from police buildings and to mitigate the impact of building closures.

The force undertakes some activities on behalf of the police service across England and Wales. For example, the force leads the national policing response to counter-terrorism and provides protection to members of the royal family and senior government figures. It also takes the lead in some major investigations such as the disappearance in 2007 of Madeleine McCann.

Effectiveness

In our effectiveness inspection, we judged the Metropolitan Police Service to require improvement in the way in which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It responds effectively to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and works well with partners to keep most people safe, although it should improve the consistency of how it keeps safe vulnerable people, particularly children. The quality of some crime investigations and the implementation of integrated offender management require improvement. The force is good at understanding and tackling serious and organised crime, including gangs. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.

Efficiency

The Metropolitan Police Service is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. The force understands demand, has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. Currently resources match demand and the force has the foundations in place to align its resources in order to meet future demand within its projected budgets. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the previous spending review period, the force was judged to be good.

Legitimacy

HMIC found many good examples of the Metropolitan Police Service seeking to create an ethical and inclusive culture, and feedback from officers and staff was very positive and supportive.

The force has made considerable efforts to improve the diversity of officers and staff, although at the time of inspection these had achieved limited success. The force understands and engages successfully with the people it serves. The force has a good understanding of the diverse communities of London, and is working hard to overcome barriers to engagement.

The force complies with most elements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. Taser use is fair and appropriate in the force.

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

Leadership

The force’s senior leadership team has set a clear strategic direction for the force and has clearly communicated the values, behaviours and ethics it expects of its workforce. The force has a clear understanding of its current state of leadership and has systems in place to help it to understand how its workforce perceives and understands its leaders. It uses this information to make changes which it communicates to the workforce.

The force understands that its leadership requires further development if it is to successfully lead and implement a major change programme.

Insights from other inspections

HMIC undertakes other inspections in addition to the PEEL programme. Since the last PEEL assessment there have been 19 reports published on inspections that included the Metropolitan Police Service. More detail on some of these inspections can be found under the Other inspections section.

In March 2015, we examined how effectively the force identified victim and witness vulnerability in criminal case files. We found that, in the majority of cases we examined, the files contained an adequate summary of the key evidence and the interview conducted. However, special measures to help vulnerable witnesses give their best evidence were only evident in half of the cases.

Our inspection of so-called honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation revealed that the Metropolitan Police Service needs to improve both the prevention of such offences and its enforcement taken against perpetrators.

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:

  • the results of its ‘Mi investigations’ initiative to improve the quality of crime investigations across the force;
  • the outcome of continuing efforts to enhance the diversity of the workforce;
  • how the force works with communities and partners to increase their understanding of so-called honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation and to help encourage victims to have the confidence to come forward;
  • improvements in enforcement taken against perpetrators of so-called honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation; and
  • how the force improves its response to missing and absent children through developing its understanding of the nature and scale of the issue.

In May 2016 a mayoral election will take place in London, which will coincide with the second police and crime commissioner elections in the majority of force areas across England and Wales. Scrutiny of the Metropolitan Police Service is conducted by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime rather than a police and crime commissioner.

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 18/02/2016
Requires improvement

HMIC judges that overall the Metropolitan Police Service requires improvement in the way it keeps people safe and reduces crime.

It responds effectively to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and works well with partners to keep most people safe, although it could improve the consistency of how it keeps safe vulnerable people, particularly children. The quality of some crime investigations and the implementation of integrated offender management requires improvement. The force is good at understanding and tackling serious and organised crime, including gangs. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.

The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. Officers and staff throughout the force generally understand well this commitment, working well with partners to solve problems early to prevent escalation.

Delays in allocating crimes to officers for investigation, together with a shortage of trained detectives and some basic equipment for frontline officers, is undermining the force’s overall investigation performance. The force is managing the highest risk offenders effectively and preventing them re-offending. But the force’s management of volume crime offenders across London boroughs is inconsistent.

The force is good at tackling serious and organised crime. It has a well developed understanding of the threat and risks posed by it; and has in place plans and mechanisms to target the most harmful and dangerous crimes and offenders.

The force generally provides a good service in identifying vulnerable people and responds well to them, so the public can be confident that many victims are well supported. However, we found several areas where improvement is needed to ensure the service is consistent, and the force keeps vulnerable people safe, particularly children. The Metropolitan Police Service requires improvement at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

 

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 the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. The force understands demand, has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. Currently resources match demand and the force has the foundations in place to align its resources so that they meet future demand within its projected budgets. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, the force was judged to be good.

HMIC judges the Metropolitan Police Service to be good. It has a thorough understanding of current demand and is managing its finances prudently. In addition, the force has a good track record at meeting financial challenges through change.

There is a very clear understanding of the end results and costs of policing activity. The force is working together with other organisations and the public to manage and reduce demand and continue to achieve the target to reduce recorded crime, set by the Mayor of London’s police and crime plan 2013-2016.

The force is making further savings and efficiencies through the continued success of the change programme and its associated plans to improve technology, rationalise its estate and to increase the productivity of its workforce.

There are currently skill gaps for the force that are being addressed through training and work has started to understand what capabilities the force will need in 2020 and beyond.

The force recognises that it will need to change its operating model in the medium to long term and is committed to making itself more representative of the characteristics of the London communities it serves. Its latest intake of recruits is more representative of London than ever before.

Good arrangements for the governance of the MPS are provided by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC). The two organisations also share information and assumptions to progress change that will meet future demand within the predicted finances.

The MET Change 2 change programme to provide an affordable and sustainable operating model for the force in 2020 is well developed with assumptions used to underpin financial plans that are reasonable and prudent.

 

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

HMIC found many good examples of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) seeking to create an ethical and inclusive culture, and feedback from officers and staff is very positive and supportive.

The force has made considerable efforts to improve the diversity of officers and staff, which has been generally unsuccessful to date.

We found that the force understands and engages successfully with all the people it serves. The force has a good understanding of the diverse communities of London, and is working hard to overcome any barriers to engagement.

The force complies with most elements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. However, the force has only recently started identifying whether the object searched for was found and this is not yet published. Taser use is fair and appropriate in the MPS.

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

HMIC found many good examples of the MPS seeking to create an ethical and inclusive culture, and feedback from officers and staff is very positive and supportive.

We also looked at the work the MPS is doing to improve the diversity of its officers and staff. The force fully recognised that this was an issue and has made a series of attempts to; in particular, recruit more people from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

Most people we spoke to are aware that the force has made an effort to improve diversity, although, as the force would acknowledge, the results of these attempts have been disappointing.

The Code of Ethics is mainly understood by officers and police staff, and many managers take wellbeing issues seriously, even if this is not consistently applied across the force.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and engages with all the people it serves, we found evidence that the MPS understands and engages successfully with all the people it serves. The force has a good understanding of the diverse communities of London, and is working hard to overcome any barriers to engagement. Officers use a range of effective approaches to identify public views. Social media, which officers use widely to engage with communities, is an example of this.

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 the force complies with most elements of the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. However, the force has only recently started identifying whether the object searched for was found and this is not yet published. Taser use is fair and appropriate in the MPS.

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.

The force’s senior leadership team has set a clear strategic direction for the force and has clearly communicated the values, behaviours and ethics it expects its workforce to exhibit. The force has a clear understanding of its current state of leadership and has mechanisms to understand how its workforce perceives and understands leadership. It uses this information to make changes which it communicates to the workforce.

The force is good at ensuring leaders across the force have a clear sense of what is expected of them. The force also understands that its leadership requires further development if it is to successfully lead and implement a major change programme and instil desired values and behaviours.

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 the Metropolitan Police Service.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

607 square miles

Population

8.53m people 15% local 10 yr change

Workforce

81% frontline 78% national level
5.3 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
14% 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 National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

87p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

The Met is the biggest police service in the UK and the largest city force in the European Union, serving a population of 8.17 million – up 12 percent in a decade.

London is a city with over 270 nationalities and 300 languages. The force is striving for its workforce to be representative of the communities.

Police and crime plan priorities

MOPAC is the strategic oversight body that sets the direction and budget for the Metropolitan Police Service on behalf of the Mayor. It ensures the Metropolitan Police Service is run efficiently and effectively and holds it, and other criminal justice services, to account on behalf of Londoners.