Surrey PEEL 2015
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 2015 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.
Surrey Police understands the current leadership capability across the majority of its workforce and has communicated effectively the force’s positive future direction to develop its leaders and to motivate officers and staff. The chief constable and the chief officer team have demonstrated strong leadership by swiftly and effectively addressing issues that resulted in an historic underinvestment in skills and capabilities in some areas of the force.
HMIC found that the force’s performance review process is largely effective and which is closely linked to development opportunities and training programmes. We found an ethical style of leadership across the organisation, while the chief officer team is viewed as approachable by the workforce, and engages well with police staff and officers.
How well does the force have a clear understanding of the current state of its leadership at every level?
HMIC examined how well forces understand the strengths and weaknesses of leadership across the force and how well the workforce understands its leadership role. Strong, clear leadership across every rank and grade is vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of a modern and capable police force.
Surrey Police has a good understanding of its current overall leadership capacity and capability but not at all levels in the organisation. The force uses its annual performance review process to rank the performance of leaders at all levels, which allows it to understand leadership capability within the force and how this could be improved.
Supervisors understand the style of leadership that the force expects of them, and the force is good at communicating this. The chief constable meets newly-promoted officers and explains what her expectations are of them. This helps to produce leaders with a clear understanding of the force’s standards and objectives.
Surrey Police has a good understanding of how its leaders are perceived by the workforce. The force receives feedback through its staff survey and holds roadshows and leadership panels to disseminate information and to listen to the views of the workforce, and the chief constable answers questions from the workforce on her blog.
The head of communications monitors staff comments on the force intranet, reporting any issues to the chief officer team. As a result, the workforce feels that the force listens to and acts upon its views.
How well has the force provided a clear and compelling sense of the future direction of the organisation?
HMIC examined the extent to which forces have set out a clear, compelling and realistic sense of future direction because it is important to ensure that the workforce is motivated to build for the future and that the force knows the kinds of skills it is looking to develop. We were also interested to find out how well leaders are making use of new approaches to enable forces to meet future financial challenges.
The force has effectively communicated to officers and staff a sense of its future plans and priorities which are ambitious and realistic. The workforce understands its future plans which are based on the police and crime commissioner’s zero-tolerance policing objectives and the force’s three aims of keeping people safe from harm, being there when people need us, and relentlessly pursuing criminals. The force has openly discussed with its workforce the future of collaboration with Sussex Police and its workforce is aware that this partnership may be of a more limited nature than previously thought.
The workforce is also aware that the force needs to save more money over the next few years and that wider changes to the organisation will continue. Chief officers have said clearly that fundamental changes will come about as a result of its ‘policing in your neighbourhood review’, which will lead to the introduction of a new local policing model.
Surrey Police has comprehensively analysed the training needs that its workforce will require for the force to implement effectively the new policing model. The force has started a training programme to develop these capabilities in the workforce, which includes a particular focus on ensuring that the investigative abilities of its frontline officers are of the necessary standard.
How is the force developing leadership, motivating the workforce and encouraging staff engagement?
HMIC examined how well forces identify and develop leadership, as good quality of leadership is key to ensuring that forces overcome their challenges of reducing crime and meeting the needs of victims. We were not looking for one particular style of leadership, but focused on how well leaders motivate their workforce and improve performance to provide a quality service to the public.
The force is effective at managing the performance of individuals, and the workforce as a whole. Officers are assessed as part of a moderated performance appraisal process which includes representatives from the training department. This provides a direct link between the performance assessment process and identifying individual training needs.
The force has introduced a new leadership training course for first and second line managers, which contributes to an Institute of Leadership and Management qualification. The course includes modules on change management, wellbeing of staff, the National Decision-making Model, and the Code of Ethics. The force also runs joint leadership events for senior leaders, in conjunction with Sussex Police, at which leadership and organisational issues are considered.
The force has a mentoring programme which contains 27 trained mentors. Nine individuals are undergoing training to be workplace coaches and the force views the programme as a success. However, HMIC found that the mentoring programme could be publicised more widely to improve uptake.
The force operates a ‘ones to watch talent matrix’ for chief inspectors and superintendents as part of the promotion process. It uses this to identify talent, manage those who want to be promoted and enable staff development. The force intends to roll this out to other ranks, which is a positive step.
To what extent is leadership improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of the force?
As good quality leadership is an important factor of policing performance, HMIC examined how leaders are improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of forces through clear, reasoned and swift actions. This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible for this pillar.
Good quality leadership in Surrey Police has resulted in a stronger focus on improving the legitimacy of the force, in the way it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The chief constable and chief officer team provide strong leadership by ensuring that their officers and staff have a high standard of ethics and that these behaviours are developed and maintained throughout the force. The chief officer team is visible and approachable, and it engages and communicates well with its workforce which allows officers and staff to give their views on issues that are important to them.
HMIC found that the force is committed to the wellbeing of its workforce through its wellbeing programme, which supports the staff in a number of ways including a self-referral process for occupational health support and a mental health support group.
During our inspections over the last year, HMIC raised concerns about the effectiveness of some services that Surrey Police provides to the public. The force responded positively and has made significant efforts to make improvements and provide victims with the standard of service that they deserve. However, we recognise that these changes will take time to take effect.
The force has adopted the Code of Ethics, and is working to make the code a central part of its policy, practice and training programmes. From the start, newly-recruited police staff and officers are trained in how to apply the code to their roles. The positive leadership and consistent messages from the chief officer team ensure the importance of the code is understood, and that police staff and officers are expected to lead by example.