Greater Manchester 2016Read more about Greater Manchester 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Greater Manchester 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 is: good.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of Greater Manchester’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?
Greater Manchester Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
Greater Manchester Police has a very good understanding of the current demand for its services as a result of its work with the London School of Economics to understand the totality of the current demand it faces. The force is developing an understanding of potential future demand and is seeking to apply the same academic rigour to its understanding of new and emerging issues. It is conscious of the need to reduce inefficiencies and the unnecessary demand these create and has a systematic approach to streamlining systems and processes, for example the introduction of local resolution officers to reduce the number of incidents to which resources are deployed, although this lacked consistency across the force. Public services across Greater Manchester are committed to the concept of public service reform, through which the force has gained a detailed understanding of partner resources and how plans might be affected by future changes, including funding reductions in other agencies.
The force is also good in the way that it sets priorities and manages both its current use of resources and change. It has undertaken a range of significant reviews which have shaped its target operating model – how the force should be structured to remain viable and fit for purpose through to 2020 – and its local policing model. This was piloted and evaluated before being implemented in the wider force area and has led to closer integration of response, neighbourhood and investigative resources at a local level. The force has some understanding of the gaps it has in its workforce and has taken some steps to address them through recruitment and promotion. However the force’s understanding of the skills it needs is not yet comprehensive. The force has completed internal promotion processes for sergeant to inspector but has not sought to fill all posts with substantive appointments this year. This means that there are still officers serving on temporary promotion.
The force collaborates well with other police forces, although the focus across Greater Manchester is on collaboration between public services, through the public service reform agenda, to which the force and all other local public services are committed. Together they have ambitious plans for improving public services so they are integrated and designed to eradicate the shifting of demand from one agency to another and to make better use of reducing resources.
Greater Manchester Police is also planning very well for demand in the future. The force’s medium and long-term financial plans are linked directly to its target operating model. Following a better than expected budget settlement, the force has continued to identify savings, which it is then using to fund investment in line with the operating model, including additional substantial investment of £37m to replace outdated information technology and introduce mobile data to frontline staff.
Investment plans are credible and rest on evidence-based prudent assumptions. The force has planned savings through to 2020, which has allowed it to recommence recruitment to replace officers leaving the force and stop any further deterioration in officer numbers. The plan includes a range of contingencies in the event of future budget reductions. The force remains committed to further development of public service reform, together with all other public and emergency services and has recently committed to extending place-based integrated partnership working across all areas of Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police is a good force. HMIC has not identified any causes of concern and therefore has made no specific recommendations.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Greater Manchester Police has been assessed as good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
Greater Manchester Police is good in its external fairness and respect, ethical and lawful behaviour, plus internal fairness and respect. The culture of the organisation reflects this through fair and respectful treatment of people, and ethical, lawful approaches to integrity. The organisation’s fair and respectful treatment of the workforce and concern for welfare and wellbeing equally demonstrates this.
Greater Manchester Police strives to treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect. It uses a variety of methods to seek feedback on public perceptions of treatment. We found good examples of where this feedback, and other issues identified by the force, had led to improvements to service provision.
Greater Manchester Police is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. It has comprehensive vetting arrangements in place. It monitors and, if appropriate, takes positive action in cases where people with protected characteristics, such as age, disability or gender reassignment, fail the vetting process. The force has re-stated its commitment to the Code of Ethics and we found that staff were aware of this. The policy relating to the workforce declaring their business interests does not apply to all members of police staff. The force recognises this as a risk.
The counter-corruption strategy identifies the main risks to the integrity of the organisation. Processes are in place to identify and monitor members of staff who may be susceptible to abusing their position of authority for sexual gain. The force has introduced a policy of intelligence-led drug testing. It publishes the outcomes of misconduct cases both internally and externally. The force has held five misconduct hearings to which the public and local media were invited. It publishes details of gifts and hospitality and details of chief officer expenses.
Greater Manchester Police is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect. It has undertaken two wellbeing surveys and a cultural survey in recent years, together with wider engagement with its workforce to identify issues, including the need for wellbeing intervention at an earlier stage, to prevent problems escalating to crisis, and the force has taken action to address this. The force has a wellbeing charter and strategy, with delivery being overseen by the wellbeing board. The wellbeing provision has improved notably in the last 12 months, which many staff attribute to the new chief officer group, which actively encourages direct contact and challenge. The force has trained volunteers to create a peer support network, advising and assisting those showing signs of psychological illness. The force has developed a range of ‘toolkits’ for managers and staff to identify the early signs of illness and take preventative action. The policy on annual development reviews is not, however, being applied consistently or effectively across the force and action is required to address this. Officers within the force are carrying an unusually high level of rest days in lieu compared with the England and Wales average, which can have an adverse affect on wellbeing.
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.
Greater Manchester Police has a clear vision for leadership which is understood by the workforce. The force is working hard with partners, academia and consultants to acquire a comprehensive understanding of skills, capabilities and gaps to inform recruitment and training. The force offers an extensive range of developmental opportunities to its leaders and aspiring leaders, although it is not clear to what extent the force evaluates this to determine how effective it is.
The force is open to innovation and works in collaboration with other agencies to achieve this. After a gap of four years, it has begun to recruit again. It is using this to bring in skills and experience to the workforce, as well as to improve diversity in the broadest sense, including skills and background. The force is also beginning to promote staff, although it has chosen not to fill all existing vacancies through substantive promotion. The force is making some positive changes to enable it to reach its full potential in terms of leadership. We would expect to see significant progress in this area within the next six months.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Greater Manchester Police.