Cleveland 2016Read more about Cleveland 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Cleveland 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 is: good.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime: requires improvement.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of Cleveland’s performance will be published in spring 2017.
Michael Cunningham, 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?
Cleveland Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
Cleveland Police has a good understanding of the demand for its services and is developing its understanding of less obvious and hidden demand along with the inefficiencies that lead to additional demand for the force.
In HMIC’s PEEL inspection 2015, we found that the force needed to gain a fuller understanding of the demand for its services. It did not respond to all incidents within the required timescale, and it was therefore unable to match its resources to meet all its calls for service. HMIC is impressed with the emphasis the force has placed on improving its understanding of demand and its response to calls for service, and the positive impact this has had on the service it is now able to provide to its communities. This improvement has been informed by a review of its services, a change in its internal processes, reallocation of resources and the introduction of a new shift pattern, all of which align resources more closely with demand. It has also worked well with its private sector partner to improve its response to calls for service through significant changes to its call-handling and despatch capability and capacity.
We found that the force is managing its resources well and collaborates with other blue light services, local authorities and private sector firms. The force has reviewed its contracts with private sector providers in the context of a changing financial position, and has considered the cost of services in relation to the value added for victims and communities.
The force is working with partners to develop its understanding of likely future demand and has set out its strategic intent up to the year 2020. The force has medium and long-term financial plans in place as well as a people strategy and a recruitment plan. The force has made realistic and prudent assumptions about future income and costs, and has considered risks and contingencies.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Cleveland Police has been assessed as requiring improvement in respect of how legitimate it is in keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force needs to improve the ways it seeks feedback on issues of fairness and respect from the people it serves, how it ensures its workforce acts ethically and how it treats its workforce with fairness and respect.
Cleveland Police has shown improvement since our 2015 PEEL inspections in respect of the workforce’s awareness and understanding of the Code of Ethics, including the importance of treating all of the people it serves with fairness and respect.
The force uses several sources to obtain the views of the public about how they are treated, but it does not bring this together with other management information to create a comprehensive picture of issues associated with fair and respectful treatment. This is particularly the case in relation to those with less trust and confidence in the police. However, the force has established the ‘everyone matters’ project, which aims to address this problem. As part of the project, the force provides sessions for officers and staff on cultural awareness and training about ‘words that hurt’ which raises awareness of language that may offend people.
Cleveland Police creates an ethical culture by vetting its new recruits according to national standards and by making the workforce aware of the standards of behaviour expected of them and of the policies they are required to adhere to. The force’s counter-corruption unit is able to investigate information once reported, but it does not have the capacity and capability to look for potential corruption. The workforce is aware of the seriousness of abuse of authority for sexual gain and reports of suspicious behaviour are investigated. However, the force could do more to raise awareness of warning signs among the workforce.
Both the public and the workforce are informed of the outcomes from misconduct investigations, and misconduct hearings are publicised.
Cleveland Police uses a number of techniques to seek feedback relating to the fair and respectful treatment of its workforce, including surveys and exit interviews. It could improve the way it communicates action taken in response to workforce feedback, as some of the staff we spoke to were not aware of what action had been taken as a result of the staff survey.
The force has a new wellbeing strategy and is working towards gaining national accreditation for its wellbeing provision, although as HMIC raised this issue last year, we had hoped to see more progress in this area.
The force has recently introduced a new performance assessment process that is yet to be adopted fully across the force. There is currently no supervision of the system and it is not clearly linked to continuous professional development or performance processes.
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.
Cleveland Police is at an early stage in understanding and developing leadership in the force. It is currently reviewing its leadership model, after which it intends to implement a leadership programme, including training and continuous professional development. Cleveland Police is also introducing a new performance appraisal system which should help it to understand the leadership skills and gaps across its workforce. This is all welcome, as our inspection found little awareness among officers and staff of the force’s leadership expectations. We also consider that the force needs to do more to identify and develop the leadership strengths of individual officers and members of staff.
The force does not currently have a systematic or formal mechanism by which it can recognise and develop talent. It has used recruitment to build capacity and capability, including leadership and other specific skills. However, it continues to retain a number of officers on temporary promotion, who were not successful in their promotion applications.
The force has demonstrated that it seeks out new ideas, approaches and working practices to improve performance including working with other forces and academic institutions. It also encourages innovation from its workforce as well as engaging with the workforce in designing and implementing change. The force is taking steps to increase the diversity of its workforce through recruitment, but has not as yet achieved its aims. It is therefore trying to improve the way those processes are conducted and to provide better information and support to candidates. This reflects the aims of the force’s ‘Everyone Matters’ project, which works to improve the organisation’s leadership and culture. This includes the expectation that all leaders will promote a culture that is inclusive and supportive for officers, staff and the communities they serve and recognises, respects and values people’s differences.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Cleveland Police.