Norfolk PEEL 2015
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The constabulary makes it a priority to develop an ethical culture within the organisation based on the Code of Ethics which defines the standards of behaviour for everyone who works in policing. It promotes in a positive way the wellbeing of staff. Staff in Norfolk Constabulary treat members of the public with fairness and respect, engage and communicate well with the people they serve. The constabulary complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, and uses Taser both fairly and appropriately.
This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.
Norfolk Constabulary makes it a priority to develop and maintain an ethical culture. The constabulary promotes the wellbeing of staff in a positive way, raising awareness of wellbeing to managers and provides comprehensive occupational health support.
The Code of Ethics is an important part of the way it conducted its business and the majority of staff have knowledge of the code. The constabulary’s complaint and misconduct files that were examined by HMIC showed consistent and fair decision-making.
When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and successfully engages with all the people it serves, Norfolk Constabulary undertakes extensive consultation to engage with and understand the views of different communities. As a result, the constabulary responds positively to community concerns at a senior and local level and fully understands the importance of effective engagement with those they serve.
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.
The constabulary complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, introduced to achieve greater transparency and community involvement in the police use of stop and search powers. The constabulary should make sure that stop and search records include sufficient reasonable grounds to justify the lawful use of the power, and that officers fully understand the grounds required to stop and search. Taser is used fairly and appropriately
To what extent does practice and behaviour reinforce the wellbeing of staff and an ethical culture?
The chief officer team shows strong leadership in developing and maintaining an ethical culture within Norfolk Constabulary. They have communicated a clear vision to staff through a variety of means, and are accessible to staff.
The constabulary has recently set up an integrity committee, with Suffolk Constabulary, chaired by a deputy chief constable. The committee has a broad range of representatives from across the organisation, and is intended as a forum for discussing ethical issues raised by officers and staff.
The constabulary recognises that it has not undertaken a staff survey for a number of years and is aware that surveying its staff would help it to understand better the concerns of staff.
The Code of Ethics is an integral part of the constabulary’s mission, vision and philosophy statement and has been communicated regularly to staff.
Health and wellbeing of officers and staff is important to Norfolk Constabulary, and it has a joint comprehensive occupational health unit.
There is consistency and fairness across the complaint and misconduct allegation case files examined.
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.
How well does the force understand, engage with and treat fairly the people it serves to maintain and improve its legitimacy?
Norfolk Constabulary has a clear understanding at all levels of the organisation of how important it is to engage with the public to build confidence in the services provided. The constabulary carries out wide-ranging survey work to understand public requirements and concerns.
The constabulary uses a range of communication methods to reach different parts of the community and it engages with and updates the public by means including a community messaging system and social media, as well as traditional media releases. The constabulary engages effectively with a wide range of partner organisations.
The National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged) is generally understood by officers and staff and applied, particularly for more complex or challenging situations.
Officers and staff clearly understand the importance of treating the public fairly and with respect and how this contributes to the maintenance of public support.
To what extent are decisions taken on the use of stop and search and Taser fair and appropriate?
Officers in Norfolk Constabulary understand the importance of using stop and search powers legally and fairly. However, not all stop and search records include sufficient reasonable grounds to justify the lawful use of the power or demonstrate that officers and supervisors fully understand the grounds required to use this power.
A wide range of stop and search information is monitored and scrutinised at both a senior level and by the independent stop and search scrutiny panel. The constabulary is compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, and publishes comprehensive data on its use of stop and search.
All officers authorised to use Taser are appropriately trained and familiar with the National Decision Model. They clearly understand their responsibility to exercise good judgment when considering the use of Taser and the importance of recording detailed rationale to allow for public scrutiny of their actions, Norfolk Constabulary complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and Taser is used fairly and appropriately.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that stop and search records include sufficient reasonable grounds to justify the lawful use of the power, and that officers fully understand the grounds required to stop and search.