Derbyshire 2016Read more about Derbyshire 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Derbyshire Constabulary. 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 constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime: not yet graded.
The extent to which the constabulary is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is: good.
The extent to which the constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is: outstanding.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of Derbyshire’s performance will be published in spring 2017.
Zoë Billingham, 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?
Derbyshire Constabulary has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has a comprehensive understanding of demand on its services and is making considerable effort to improve the way it works, including collaborating well with other forces and partner organisations to improve efficiency and save money. It has managed its finances successfully and has made investments as well as savings. In last year’s efficiency inspection, Derbyshire Constabulary was judged to be good.
Since HMIC’s 2015 inspection, Derbyshire Constabulary has maintained the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It has developed a good understanding of the full range of current demand for its services, supported by analysis conducted by experts from outside the force, and has reshaped its operating model. The force has also commissioned research to gather more detail about under-reported crime and the hidden demand for police services in the community. In this way, it can make evidence-based decisions about how to allocate its resources.
The force is improving the way it matches resources to demand and is investing more resources in areas of growing demand, such as safeguarding vulnerable people and cyber-crime. It has set clear priorities that take into account current and emerging demand as well as the nature of risks facing the community and the objectives set by the police and crime plan. The force is taking into consideration that local partner organisations may not be able to continue offering the same levels of service because of budget cuts. It is making a considerable effort to improve the way it works, including completely restructuring frontline resources and introducing several ICT systems, fundamental to operational activity that will bring its capability into line with that of other forces.
Derbyshire Constabulary is committed to joint working, collaborating with neighbouring forces for counter-terrorism and serious and organised crime investigations. The force will share headquarters accommodation with the fire and rescue service in a building developed in complete cooperation, featuring a shared working environment and ICT infrastructure. This is intended to maximise the potential for working together. The force can also demonstrate that it works well with partner agencies to meet and manage demand as effectively as possible.
The force continues to manage its finances successfully, having taken early steps to meet savings requirements and build significant reserves. It uses external expertise during all major investments, with business benefits realisation and investment plans scrutinised by the OPCC and external auditors to provide assurance as to their credibility. The force’s strong financial position has allowed it to re-invest resources in areas of growing demand and highest risk. Further investments in buildings and ICT have been carefully planned using prudent assumptions about future income and costs. The force’s plans are ambitious: the joint-enterprise approach with the fire and rescue service sets the tone for how the force is prepared to be creative and pragmatic in finding new ways of working to meet future demands.
Derbyshire Constabulary, through careful financial management, is able to make both savings and investments, while working to a balanced budget. Its sustainable, affordable workforce model and a fully funded, well-planned investments programme leave the force well positioned to continue meeting public expectations in an increasingly efficient way.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Derbyshire Constabulary has been assessed as outstanding in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our findings this year are an improvement on last year’s findings, in which we judged the force to be good in respect of legitimacy.
The force has strong ethical values. It seeks feedback from the public about how they feel they have been treated by the force and it scrutinises performance information in detail to make sure the public are being treated fairly. The force has an outstanding capability to seek out, detect and react to police corruption. The workforce feel well treated and valued by the force, and able to raise concerns with senior officers.
Derbyshire Constabulary is outstanding in the way it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. It operates using a clear, well-defined set of values that are thoroughly understood by members of the workforce, at all ranks and grades. The force’s values are in line with the Code of Ethics, and emphasise the importance of fair and respectful treatment. A genuinely ethical, values-based culture exists within the force.
The force seeks feedback from all parts of the community it serves, including those people with less trust and confidence in the police. It is increasing the range of methods used to detect issues that have the greatest impact on the public’s perceptions of fair and respectful treatment by the police. The force is fully committed to working with partner agencies to tackle hate crime and improve support to victims. It is continuing to improve its services by reacting to feedback, and now has a digital police community support officer (PCSO) to help promote faster access to police services and safety information online.
We also found that Derbyshire Constabulary is outstanding at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. It operates thorough vetting processes, in line with the national police vetting policy, and members of the workforce know when to refer changes in their circumstances to the professional standards department (PSD). Post-employment checks are carried out and cases of vetting failure are reviewed to ensure that people with protected characteristics, such as age, disability or gender reassignment, are not affected disproportionately. The force has developed innovative covert techniques to look for and develop intelligence relating to corruption, making early recognition and intervention possible.
The force fully understands the risk of police officers abusing their authority for sexual gain (taking advantage of their position of power to exploit vulnerable victims of crime), having learned from a local case in 2012. It has a programme of awareness training to emphasise the expectations for the whole workforce if unprofessional behaviour towards victims or witnesses occurs.
Members of the workforce we met told us that they feel that they are treated with fairness and respect. They feel that they can give feedback to the force about concerns they might have and that their views will be listened to. The force has a strong commitment to the wellbeing of its workforce and provides a wide range of occupational health services, covering physical, emotional and mental health.
All staff receive an annual appraisal from their supervisor along with regular performance meetings throughout the year. We found that staff consider the assessments to be fair and that compliance is monitored by the force.
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.
Derbyshire Constabulary has a clear set of leadership principles and expectations, contained in its ‘Just Lead’ pledges, which are aimed at the whole workforce. The force is developing an understanding of leadership capability across its workforce, using a range of techniques. It has conducted a detailed analysis of leadership structures as part of a College of Policing pilot and will be considering the findings in the coming months.
The force has recently introduced a new development programme to identify potential senior leaders, which is perceived as a success by those involved. New sergeants and inspectors are well supported with formal training and external (College of Policing) programmes. Where leadership issues arise, they are dealt with promptly and effectively.
Derbyshire Constabulary looks both externally and within the force itself for good ideas. The force has taken learning from other forces in order to develop its change programme and is working with local universities on a varied range of projects. Staff across the workforce describe a working environment where innovation and suggestions for improvement are encouraged and taken seriously.
The force recognises the value of diverse leadership teams, although, like many forces, it has focused on protected characteristics such as race, gender and sexuality, rather than a wider understanding of diversity that includes personal background, skills or experience.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Derbyshire Constabulary.