City of London 2016Read more about City of London 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of City of London Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.
The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime: not yet graded.
The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is: good.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of City of London’s performance will be published in spring 2017.
Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
PEEL assessments are updated throughout the year, as the results of the different inspections and data collections become available. The graded judgments for effectiveness will be published in March 2017. See last year’s assessment of the force’s effectiveness.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC has assessed that City of London Police requires improvement in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
City of London Police has a good understanding of the current demand for its services. On a daily basis, it collates, assesses and acts upon a wide range of information on the current demand for its services, and deploys its operational resources efficiently to meet that demand. The force has assessed ‘hidden’ or unreported crime, and has identified those areas of ‘hidden’ crime that pose the greatest threat to its communities. These are child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and human trafficking, and domestic abuse.
City of London Police’s detailed understanding of how much it costs to investigate a particular type of crime or to respond to an incident is restricted to its economic crime directorate. This means that the force cannot be confident that it offers value for money in all of the services it performs. HMIC found that City of London Police has identified some inefficient and wasteful practices. However, the force could do more to ensure that it identifies such inefficiencies early. We also found limited detailed evidence of the benefits from the force’s change programmes, or from collaboration with other forces and agencies. The force has made some progress in assessing and recording the skills and capabilities of its workforce. However, skills of its police staff have not been recorded, and this means that the system is less effective than it might be.
City of London Police does not have a detailed understanding of future demand and its planning for such demand is inadequate. The force has projected the demand on its services for some of its directorates, but this process has not been completed across the force. The workforce plan was incomplete at the time of our inspection and did not consider the future (possibly additional) skills that the workforce may need in 2020 and beyond. The force has recognised that its current information and communications technology (ICT) strategy is obsolete, and has commissioned a new one. However, we are concerned that the force has not properly considered how new ICT systems could transform how it operates. The force has no functioning ICT strategy, does not assess professionally the impact of change projects, and does not have a workforce strategy that considers what skills are needed in the future. We also found confusion over the existence of an ICT change programme plan in the force. It is for these reasons that we judge the force to be inadequate at planning for demand in the future.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
City of London Police has been assessed as good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force is good at treating all the people it serves with fairness and respect. It is also good in how it ensures that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. However, the force requires improvement in its approach to making sure it treats its workforce with fairness and respect. Our findings this year are consistent with last year’s findings, in which we judged the force to be good in respect of legitimacy.
City of London Police is good at treating all the people it serves with fairness and respect. The Code of Ethics has been incorporated into its policies and practice, officers and staff have a good knowledge of the code and its requirements. The force also engages well with its communities. However, it could do more to develop its understanding of the issues that have the greatest impact on public perceptions of fair and respectful treatment and, it should do more to demonstrate to the public that it has acted on feedback.
The force is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. It reinforces standards of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour to its entire staff and has effective vetting policies and processes in place. As a result, it has developed and maintained an ethical culture. The force also effectively identifies threats to its integrity by robust and frequent monitoring of its staff. However, it should develop its counter-corruption strategy to meet the threats that the force has identified as well as improving its approach to identifying staff who seek to abuse their authority for sexual gain.
The force uses a range of methods to identify the areas that have the greatest effect on workforce perceptions of fair and respectful treatment. These include enabling the workforce to provide direct feedback to senior leaders and staff surveys. However, the force could do more to demonstrate how it has responded to staff concerns. This includes closer working with staff associations and networks. The force has invested considerably in reviewing and re-launching its personal development review process. However, the process lacks central oversight and the force has some work to do before it can be confident that it can demonstrate that its performance assessment for officers and staff is fair and effective.
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.
Police leadership is crucial in enabling a force to be effective, efficient and legitimate. This inspection focused on how a force understands, develops and displays leadership through its organisational development.
City of London Police works closely and effectively with its workforce to set out what it expects from its leaders at all levels in the organisation, and leadership expectations are well understood by the workforce and are promoted through the force’s leadership development programme. The force currently has very limited understanding of how its leadership skills at capabilities at different ranks and grades. This limits the force’s ability to identify and respond effectively to any gaps in staffing, although it is taking steps to address this and has taken on board feedback from HMIC’s 2015 inspection.
The force has a scheme to identify and develop talented individuals, and uses a range of tools to do so. However, it lacks a clear longer-term plan as to how these assessment tools should be used. Also, we found that not all of the workforce are aware of the scheme or have a clear understanding of what it aims to achieve. The force does not assess how effective training and development is at improving the skills of its staff. The force is, however, trying to widen its pool of talented staff through external recruitment.
The force culture welcomes challenges from officers and staff and ideas for innovative work. It looks for new ideas, approaches and working practices from across the police service and further afield, and asks staff who have suggested changes for help in implementing their ideas. The force has a good understanding of diversity that takes into account how diversity of background, experience and skills can strengthen its teams.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of City of London Police.