Gloucestershire 2016Read more about Gloucestershire 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Gloucestershire 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: requires improvement.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of Gloucestershire’s performance will be published in spring 2017.
Wendy Williams, 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?
Gloucestershire Constabulary has been assessed as good in respect of how efficient it is in keeping people safe and reducing crime. HMIC found that the constabulary is very well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has a good understanding of current and future demand for its services, and the force is keen to develop technical opportunities to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
Gloucestershire Constabulary has a good understanding of current and future demand for the services it provides. This is based on a wide range of management information. The constabulary understands its current workforce capabilities and gaps. It has strong performance management arrangements in place and it is developing new methods of working to improve services and manage demand more efficiently. This is encouraging and builds on HMIC’s inspection of efficiency in 2015 when the constabulary was also judged to be good.
The constabulary adopts a flexible approach to the management of resources, which are aligned with areas of the greatest threat, risk and harm. Financial and workforce planning arrangements complement this approach; additionally, they focus directly on high and emerging areas of demand.
HMIC found that Gloucestershire Constabulary is very well prepared to face its future financial challenges. The constabulary is keen to develop technological opportunities to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Over the course of the past year, it has made considerable investment in its information and communication technology (ICT); this investment has been made with the dual objective of digitising policing services and facilitating wider collaboration with neighbouring police forces.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Gloucestershire Constabulary has been assessed as requiring improvement in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our findings this year are not consistent with last year’s findings, in which we judged the force to be good in respect of legitimacy. The force has a well embedded ethical culture and identifies corruption risks from its own staff. However it could improve the audits of its IT systems and the way it addresses the risks of its workforce abusing their position for sexual gain. The force could improve how it learns lessons from previous incidents and the performance assessment process for officers and staff.
The force has well-embedded, clearly defined and well-understood values and behaviours that link to the Code of Ethics. Officers and staff clearly understand the expectation of treating people with fairness and respect, and the force has seen an improvement in public satisfaction over the past 12 months.
The force ensures that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. It abides by national guidelines in relation to vetting, which is done to a good standard. Officers and staff show awareness of the required standards of behaviour. However, the force does not do anything beyond or different from its normal processes proactively to identify officers and staff potentially abusing their powers for sexual gain. The force’s anti-corruption unit acts on information that identifies potential corruption. Governance meetings between the professional standards department, the anti-corruption unit and the force’s appropriate authority have not been held recently, which poses a risk to the force.
The force works with communities in a variety of ways about outcomes of misconduct and corruption cases, and gross misconduct cases are publicised on the force website. However, we found no systematic analysis of the feedback received from communities.
The force seeks feedback and challenge from the workforce. The force has a process in place to undertake both annual and quarterly staff surveys. Although the results appear on the intranet, there are concerns about the communication of the survey results, the lessons learned and what actions have been taken as a result of the survey.
Staff spoken to generally had confidence in ‘fairness at work’ and grievance policies. However, the force acknowledges that confidence in the process has been eroded and that not all staff perceive the process as being fair and effective. The force needs to do more to be open and transparent in the decision-making process, allowing the workforce to see clearly that force policies are being followed and that there is consistency in the decisions made.
The force has a wellbeing board that is chaired by the chief constable. Wellbeing of staff is a key element of the force’s ‘people’ strategic objective within the strategic business plan, and it has been a topic of recent leadership days.
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.
After a leadership review led by the chief constable in 2015, Gloucestershire Constabulary has engaged effectively with its workforce to create a set of leadership values and expectations that are clearly defined at all levels. We found evidence that many in the workforce understand how the leadership expectations and behaviours relate to their individual roles. All staff have an annual personal development review and objectives are set. It was generally felt by staff, however, that the outcomes of these reviews were not consistently valued and were under-used for staff development and promotion.
Since the 2015 review, the focus has been on training in leadership values and the provision of a set of basic management training modules, to provide the foundation skills for leadership. The leadership values are well understood; however, the management training has yet to have an impact on the whole workforce. The force’s response to developing leadership capabilities has been slow. The force does not have a talent management scheme, and a leadership programme has been developed but not yet fully launched. As a consequence of the leadership programme and supporting initiatives being newly established, there is a gap in the force’s ability to identify and develop officers and staff who have the potential to become future leaders.
The force has demonstrated a clear commitment to innovation and challenges itself to seek out new ideas, approaches and working practices from across the police service and other organisations. Its understanding of diversity, however, extends little beyond an acknowledgement that it is about more than just protected characteristics, such as age, disability or gender reassignment. The force has not carried out an in-depth review of the workforce balance to identify any gaps, and plans to improve diversity are limited to a series of individual actions and initiatives.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Gloucestershire Constabulary.