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Greater Manchester PEEL 2016

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 08/12/2016
Good

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.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

Greater Manchester Police strives to treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect. The force has reinforced the standards it expects from its police officers and staff and it has clarified and highlighted the importance of the Code of Ethics. In contrast to the findings of the legitimacy inspection last year, in this inspection we found widespread understanding and awareness, not just of the code but also the importance of treating people properly. The force uses a variety of methods to seek feedback and challenge from the public on perceptions and experiences of treatment. These range from traditional surveys to extensive use of social media, independent advisory groups and the developing community panels to increase the voice and participation of local people. This includes, in particular, those who traditionally have less trust and confidence in the police. We found several good examples where this way of working with people had led to improvements.

Good
2

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

Greater Manchester Police is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully.

The force has comprehensive vetting arrangements in place for new applicants, which are compliant with national guidance. The force has vetted all police officers who joined prior to the requirement for vetting being introduced. It has plans to vet police staff in the same position. The force monitors and takes positive action where appropriate in cases where people with protected characteristics, such as age, disability or gender reassignment, fail the vetting process.

Following criticism in last year’s legitimacy inspection, the force has re-stated its commitment to the Code of Ethics. It has reinforced standards of acceptable behaviour, focusing separately on each of the nine elements of the code.

The force has a counter-corruption strategy that identifies the main risks to the integrity of the organisation and has effective processes in place to identify and monitor members of staff who may seek to abuse their position of trust and authority for sexual gain.

The force publishes the outcome of complaints misconduct cases to the public and has held five misconduct hearings to which the public were invited through local media.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that its business interests policy applies to all members of its workforce.
  • The force should ensure that it has the capability and/or capacity to monitor all its computer systems to identify risks to the force’s integrity.
3

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

Greater Manchester Police is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.

Having undertaken two wellbeing surveys and a cultural survey in the last few years, the force has a good understanding of the wellbeing needs of its workforce, and has established a wellbeing charter and a wellbeing strategy. Implementation is overseen by the wellbeing board, chaired by the head of organisational learning and wellbeing. The majority of people we interviewed confirmed that the wellbeing provision had improved notably in the last 12 months, many attributing this to the new chief officer group, which also actively encourages direct contact and challenge.

The force has recruited and trained volunteers, who form a peer support network, to advise and assist those showing signs of psychological illness. The force has developed a range of ‘toolkits’ to help managers and staff to identify the early signs of potential illness and take preventative action. The force policy on annual development reviews is not being applied consistently or effectively across the force and action is required to rectify this. The force’s officers are carrying an unusually high level of rest days in lieu compared with the England and Wales average. This can affect wellbeing and should be closely monitored.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it manages individual performance.