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City of London PEEL 2016

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 08/12/2016
Good

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.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

To what extent does the force treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect?

City of London Police is good at treating all the people it serves with fairness and respect, and it has a good understanding of why it is important to do so.

The force has gone to significant lengths to ensure that the Code of Ethics is effectively incorporated into its policies and practice. It is also clear that City of London Police’s officers and staff have a good knowledge of the code and its requirements.

The force engages with its communities well, in order to identify those problems that have the greatest impact on the perception of fair and respectful treatment. This includes the use of social media to engage with local residents and the business community.

However, the force 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 could also do more to demonstrate to the public that it has acted on feedback.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it demonstrates that it has taken action to improve how it treats all the people it serves.
2

How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?

The force has developed and maintained an ethical culture by deploying an effective vetting policy and process which it applies to all staff. The force regularly clarifies and reinforces standards of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour by a variety of methods which are recognised by its workforce. City of London Police identifies threats to its integrity effectively by robust and frequent monitoring of its staff compliance with policies such as notification of business interest policy. However, the force needs to develop its counter-corruption strategy to meet the needs of the force.

The force is good at informing the public and its staff of the outcomes of misconduct cases. However, the force needs to develop its approach to identifying staff who seek to abuse their authority for sexual gain. The first step in doing so would be to recognise it as serious corruption within its anti-corruption control strategy and, it must ensure that all staff have a good understanding of the issue.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • Annually, the force should produce a local counter-corruption strategic assessment and control strategy, to identify risks to the force’s integrity.
  • The force should improve how it clarifies and reinforces standards of behaviour to its workforce, in particular when dealing with vulnerable people, including victims of domestic abuse.
3

To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?

The City of London Police uses a range of methods to identify the areas that have the greatest effect on its workforce’s perceptions of fair and respectful treatment.

This includes opportunities for the staff to provide to provide direct feedback to the senior leadership team and an impressive ‘innovate’ scheme. In the past, the force has also used staff surveys and, more recently, ‘sensing’ surveys. However, the force could do more to demonstrate how it has responded to staff concerns.

The force launched its wellbeing strategy in April 2016. The strategy is a joint initiative with the City of London Corporation and is both up-to-date and proactive. The force has also recently launched its health and wellbeing network. The network has been fully supported by chief officers including the commissioner, who attended a high-profile launch. Both are welcome developments, but we found that staff were confused about the force’s commitment to wellbeing. The force needs to do more to demonstrate that it understands the wellbeing needs of its workforce and responds to these needs.

The force has invested a considerable amount of time in reviewing its policy 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 process for officers and staff is fair and effective.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it identifies and understands its workforce’s wellbeing needs.
  • The force should improve how it manages individual performance of its officers and staff.