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Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2016

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 08/12/2016
Requires improvement

Dyfed-Powys Police has been assessed as requires improvement in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our findings this year are consistent with last year’s findings, in which we judged the force to require improvement in respect of legitimacy.

The force understands the importance of treating people with fairness and respect, but it needs to improve the way it seeks feedback and understands the issues that affect public perceptions of police treatment. The force needs to improve the extent to which it ensures that its workforce is behaving ethically and lawfully, particularly in relation to vetting, understanding corruption threats and tackling abuse of authority for sexual gain. The force seeks feedback from its workforce and values the benefits of workforce wellbeing, but needs to improve its understanding of workforce wellbeing needs and the way it manages individual performance.

Dyfed-Powys Police understands the importance of treating people with fairness and respect. The force’s values are based on the Code of Ethics, and fairness and respect are intrinsic to the force’s own vision and values. The force seeks feedback and challenge from the people it serves, but the focus needs to shift more towards understanding the issues that have the greatest impact on public perceptions of fairness and respect than is currently the case.

The force vets applicants to ensure that it recruits officers, staff and volunteers with high standards of ethical behaviour and regularly clarifies and reinforces what is considered to be acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. It has an understanding of threats to the integrity of the organisation and undertakes some assessment of potential corruption. However, it does not yet have a full understanding of the extent to which corruption is having an impact on the organisation, or the extent to which officers may be abusing their authority for sexual gain. Dyfed-Powys Police communicates with the public and its workforce about the outcomes of misconduct and corruption cases.

The force offers various ways in which officers and staff can express opinions of fair and respectful treatment but does not understand the areas that have the greatest impact on workforce perceptions. The force recognises that it now needs to be more proactive in involving the workforce in everyday activity designed to encourage fair and respectful treatment. Dyfed-Powys Police understands and values the benefits of workforce wellbeing and has several ways in which it can identify the needs and concerns of its workforce, including taking early and preventative action to improve workforce wellbeing. Dyfed-Powys Police does not have an established fair or effective performance assessment process for officers and staff.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

Dyfed-Powys Police requires improvement in the extent to which it treats all of the people it serves with fairness and respect. The force understands the importance of treating people with fairness and respect. Its values are based on the Code of Ethics, and the principles of fairness and respect are intrinsic to the force’s vision and values. The Code of Ethics and the vision and values are well publicised and understood by the workforce, and we noted improvements in the way the force has disseminated the Code of Ethics, including incorporating it into the officer training and leadership development programmes. The force uses a variety of opportunities to seek feedback and challenge from the people it serves. However, its focus needs to shift towards understanding the issues that have the greatest impact on public perceptions of fairness and respect. The force takes seriously public perceptions of fairness and respect and it acts on feedback and lessons learned at a neighbourhood level. However, in the absence of a communications strategy, it cannot show that it has undertaken analysis across the whole organisation to understand the effectiveness of this engagement. Despite the lack of coordinated supervision, Dyfed-Powys Police is able to demonstrate at a local level a desire to serve its communities well, and to listen to and act on feedback received.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it seeks feedback from the people it serves about their experiences (or perceptions) of how the police have treated them.
  • The force should improve how it identifies and understands the issues that have the greatest impact on public perceptions of fair and respectful treatment.
2

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

Dyfed-Powys Police requires improvement in how well it ensures that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. The force vets applicants to ensure that it recruits officers, staff and volunteers with high standards of ethical behaviour and regularly clarifies and reinforces what is considered to be acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. It should carry out vetting more swiftly to avoid backlogs.

The force has some understanding of threats to the integrity of the organisation and has some formalised processes in place for staff to report business interests and notifiable associations. The force has adequate monitoring software to provide digital protection but it is not used to its full capability. It has systems for anonymously reporting potential misconduct but does not yet have a full understanding of the extent to which corruption is having an impact on the organisation. It is more reactive than proactive in understanding potential corruption and needs to gain a better understanding of the extent to which officers may be abusing their authority for sexual gain. However, Dyfed-Powys Police communicates well with the public and its workforce about the outcomes of misconduct and corruption cases, and now takes positive action to improve the way it reduces risks to the organisation.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure it complies with all aspects of the current national guidelines for vetting.
  • The force should take immediate steps to introduce a policy for notifiable associations.
  • The force should improve how corruption intelligence is assessed and graded.
  • 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.
  • The force should establish and operate effective processes for identifying and managing individuals at risk of corruption.
3

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

Dyfed-Powys Police requires improvement in the extent to which it treats its workforce with fairness and respect. The force offers various ways in which members of the workforce can express opinions of fair and respectful treatment, but has done little analysis to identify and understand the areas that have the greatest impact on workforce perceptions. It recognises that it needs to be more proactive in involving the workforce in everyday activity designed to encourage fair and respectful treatment. The extent of this work is limited. The most recent staff survey was in 2012 and there was little evidence that the force had acted upon any feedback received. The force understands and values the benefits of workforce wellbeing and has several ways in which it can identify the wellbeing needs and concerns of its workforce. It takes preventative and early action to improve workforce wellbeing. The force does not have an established, fair or effective performance assessment process for its workforce. The attendance and performance team monitors staff with a grade of ‘managed performance’ to ensure that appropriate actions are taken and support is in place. However, the performance assessment training process is not as effective as it could be.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it identifies and understands the issues that have the greatest impact on workforce perceptions of treatment.
  • The force should improve how it manages individual performance.