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Nottinghamshire 2015

Read more about Nottinghamshire 2015

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

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

The extent to which Nottinghamshire Police 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 Nottinghamshire Police’s performance this year, including where I would like to see improvements next year.

Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Read the transcript of the video

Contact Zoë Billingham

HMI’s observations

I am pleased with the performance of Nottinghamshire Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime. The improvements that the force has made this year are noteworthy.

I particularly welcome the improvements the force has made to the quality of its crime investigations. The force has strong local partnership arrangements. It works well to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and to prevent offending. I am pleased that the force is good at identifying and disrupting organised criminality.

Nottinghamshire Police generally provides a good service in identifying and assessing the risks to vulnerable people and safeguarding vulnerable victims. HMIC found some areas where improvement is needed to provide the best possible service to keep safe vulnerable people, particularly children. We also found that, although the force has improved its approach to tackling domestic abuse, further work in this area is needed. However, I am reassured that the force has acted on our inspection findings, taking prompt action to address these important issues.

I am satisfied that the force is adequately prepared to face future financial challenges. The force has a good understanding of the demand on its services, although at the time of our efficiency inspection it did not match its resources to meet that demand as well as it could. I welcome the progress the force has made in the implementation of a new way of organising itself, which involves the redeployment of some of the workforce to areas of the highest priority.

The chief officer team is fully committed to establishing an ethical workforce. For example, officers ensure that the use of stop and search is proportionate and properly recorded. There is a strong culture of listening to and responding to public concerns, although the force needs to improve its engagement with communities in some parts of the county. I am encouraged by the strong local policing presence and commitment to working with partners to keep people safe.

Description of force area

Nottinghamshire Police provides policing services to the county of Nottinghamshire. Although there are some more affluent areas, Nottinghamshire has a high level of poverty. Around 1.1 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the city of Nottingham, as well as the towns of Mansfield and Newark on Trent. The population is ethnically diverse, with 11 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by university students and the large number who visit, socialise in, or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes major rail stations.

The proportion of areas in Nottinghamshire that are predicted to present a very high challenge to the police is broadly in line with the national average. These are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.

Working arrangements

Nottinghamshire 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 Leicestershire Police, Northamptonshire Police and Lincolnshire Police that is responsible for managing and deploying resources including firearms, dog sections, search and roads policing units.

Effectiveness

In our effectiveness inspection, we judged Nottinghamshire Police to be good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force works well to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and to prevent offending. There are strong local partnership arrangements in place to support this work. The force’s approach to investigating crime has improved overall, but the way it supports some vulnerable victims requires improvement, particularly its services to protect vulnerable children and victims of domestic abuse. The force is good at disrupting the activity of organised crime groups. 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

HMIC found that Nottinghamshire Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. It has plans in place to achieve most of its anticipated savings through to 2017/18. The force has a good understanding of the demand on its services, although at the moment it does not match its resources to meet that demand as well as it could. The force recognises this and is implementing a new way of organising itself that is designed to enable it to continue to provide an effective policing service at lower cost. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how well forces had met the challenge of the previous spending review period, Nottinghamshire Police was judged to require improvement.

Legitimacy

The chief officer team is fully committed to establishing an ethical workforce, and officers and staff are generally positive in respect of the wellbeing arrangements in place. The force engages successfully in some neighbourhoods and particularly with some community groups in the city, but there are places where engagement is less effective. The force complies with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and uses Taser fairly and appropriately.

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

Leadership

Nottinghamshire Police is a well led organisation. The chief officer team provides clear expectations about how its leaders should lead by using the force’s shared values. The force has not analysed its current or future leadership capacity and capability.

Insights from other inspections

HMIC undertakes other inspections in addition to the PEEL programme. Since the last PEEL assessment there have been eight reports published on inspections that included Nottinghamshire 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 the force continues to focus on improving its child protection services;
  • the continued improvement in the force’s response to domestic abuse victims and child sexual exploitation, not only in its service to the victims, but also in the identification and protection of vulnerable children at risk of harm; and
  • the outcome of the work underway to ensure that the force has the right number of specialists with the requisite skills in complex cases involving domestic abuse and serious sexual offences.

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.

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 18/02/2016
Good

HMIC judges that Nottinghamshire Police is good overall at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The force works well to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and to prevent offending and there are strong local partnership arrangements in place to support this work. The force’s approach to investigating crime has improved overall, but the way it supports some vulnerable victims requires improvement, particularly its services to protect vulnerable children and victims of domestic abuse. The force is good at disrupting the activity of organised crime groups. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.

Nottinghamshire Police has a strong focus on the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour. Staff throughout the organisation understand the importance of tackling these issues and there are strong partnership arrangements in place which bring local partners together to work jointly. The police and partners have a shared commitment to directing activities to areas of greatest risk. The force has a guiding principle to support neighbourhood policing and ensure it is making the most impact on preventing crime.

The way the force is investigating crime is changing. It has improved the quality of investigation and when a crime has occurred it makes sure most victims are safe and keeps them informed about how their cases are progressing. The force works well to identify, investigate and bring to justice repeat and dangerous offenders and to stop them re-offending.

Increasingly the force focuses on so-called hidden crimes such as domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation with a view to protecting the most vulnerable members of the community.

It is increasing the number of specialist staff and officers who investigate these offences but workloads are sometimes still high, putting at risk the service provided to some of the most vulnerable victims.

The force has an in-depth understanding of the threat posed by serious and organised crime. Supported by highly skilled and experienced staff and a good relationship with the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, which provides additional specialist skills and resources, the force is good at disrupting 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.

 

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 Nottinghamshire Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. It has plans in place to deliver most of its anticipated savings through to 2017/18. The force has a good understanding of the demand on its services, although at the moment it does not match its resources to meet that demand as well as it could. The force recognises this and is implementing a new way of organising itself (its operating model) that is designed to enable it to continue to provide an effective policing service at lower cost. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how well forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Nottinghamshire Police was judged to require improvement.

HMIC judges Nottinghamshire Police to be good. The force has achieved its required savings of £31.2m over the spending review period and has well-defined plans to achieve most of its savings up to 2017/18. Savings will be achieved by implementing the new policing model and by effective financial management. However, this will not be sufficient to deliver a balanced budget over the period; some use of reserves will be required to balance the budget, and further savings will need to be identified.

The force has a good and growing understanding of the demand it faces. It is developing effective ways of managing and reducing demand, which it is achieving by working innovatively with partners. This includes an ambitious partnership prevention programme, which is important to delivering long-term change. There are also many continuing and new projects with other forces, each at a different stage and moving at different speeds. Change programme professionals work in the force project management office to provide expertise and support to project leads.

There is a wealth of information available to staff on the force intranet, but the force recognises that communicating through email and the intranet is not as effective as messages given in person by first and second line managers. Similarly, police staff unions feel they are not as involved as they would want to be in adding value during the consultation process and building business cases for change.

Most of the required savings will be delivered by implementing the new operating model and by effective financial management. However, this will not be sufficient to deliver a balanced budget over the period; further savings will be necessary.

 

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

The chief officer team is fully committed to establishing an ethical workforce, and officers and staff are generally positive in respect of the wellbeing arrangements in place. The force engages successfully in some neighbourhoods and particularly with some community groups in the city, but there are places where engagement is less effective. The force is complying with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and Taser is used fairly and appropriately by the force.

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

The chief officer team is fully committed to the need for an ethical workforce. Officers and staff are generally positive in respect of the wellbeing arrangements. It is clear that officers and staff understand the force’s shared values, commonly known as the ‘PROUD’ values. The force has ensured that the values are consistent with the Code of Ethics.

While the force is dealing with complaints and allegations well, the perception by some officers and staff is less positive. The force recognises it has more to do to show how it responds fairly to concerns raised by officers and staff.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and engages with all the people it serves, we found the force engages successfully in some neighbourhoods, particularly with some community groups in the city, but there are places where engagement is less effective. In those areas, a reliance on traditional meetings may be limiting the number of people who are able to provide their views and information. The force is improving the methods it uses to engage with the people it serves.

As a result, the people of Nottinghamshire should be confident that the force recognises the need to listen and respond to the 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 complying with the Best Use of Stop Search scheme, and uses Taser fairly and appropriately.

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.

Nottinghamshire Police is a well led organisation. The chief officer team provides clear expectations around how its leaders should lead by using the force’s shared values. We found a clear sense of direction and that force leaders generally feel confident that they know what the organisation expects of them, although less consistently so at lower ranks and supervisory levels.

The force has not analysed its current or future leadership capacity and capability. However, it has a better understanding of the background, skills composition and experience of its senior leadership teams compared to managers and supervisors.

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 Nottinghamshire Police.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

834 square miles

Population

1.12m people 7% local 10 yr change

Workforce

73% frontline 78% national level
3.3 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
15% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.06 per person 0.05 national level
Local 5 year trend (no change) National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

48p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

Nottinghamshire Police serves more than a million people, with a third living in the busy city of Nottingham. 45,000 university students swell the population.

Student integration into residential areas, awareness of crime prevention, anti-social behaviour and their impact of these on the city’s night-life all present challenges.

Police and crime plan priorities

Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Plan has seven distinct priority areas.  These range from the provision of appropriate support to victims, witnesses and vulnerable people; improving criminal justice processes; tackling crime and ASB; reducing the impact of drugs and alcohol; prevention initiatives; tackling organised crime and spending taxpayers’ money wisely.