Hampshire 2016Read more about Hampshire 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Hampshire 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: good.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of Hampshire’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?
Hampshire Constabulary has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It has a good understanding of current demand for its services and has made progress identifying so-called hidden demand, such as child sexual exploitation. The force is developing its understanding of likely future demand. It uses its resources well to manage current demand and collaborates effectively with other police forces and organisations. The force has sound financial plans and ambitious plans to transform the service in the future. In last year’s efficiency inspection, Hampshire Constabulary was judged to be good.
Since HMIC’s 2015 inspection, Hampshire Constabulary has continued to be efficient in how it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It has a good understanding of its current and likely future demand and has undertaken comprehensive analysis of demand for its operating model, regularly adjusting the model according to new information. The force works with other agencies in order to understand and reduce demand. It is seeking to understand demand that is less likely to be reported and is working with another police force and a university to develop an evidence base for predicting demand. The force recognises how inefficient internal processes create unnecessary demand and takes action to identify and eliminate them. It is also developing a good understanding of future demand and is taking steps to increase the sophistication of its assessments. It has used anticipated future demand to inform the themes of its latest organisational change project. The force is developing its capability to address future demand, including a strong focus on cyber-crime, but needs to do more to ensure that all staff are suitably trained.
Hampshire Constabulary is good in the way it uses resources to manage demand. It uses detailed information about processes and demand to inform the allocation of resources across the force. The force’s strategic priorities are clearly defined and outcomes are rigorously monitored. It continually challenges itself to improve services while reducing costs. Hampshire Constabulary is committed collaboration and sees this as an important way of reducing costs and improving efficiency. For example, it collaborates with Thames Valley Police on ICT and in a joint operating unit for roads policing, dogs, firearms and public order. The two forces are implementing a joint contact management system and a new customer web portal to help manage demand. Tablets and smart phones for frontline staff are already improving efficiency. The force is also working well with other agencies to help manage demand more effectively, including the fire, ambulance and mental health services, and local government agencies. Hampshire Constabulary has some understanding of its current workforce skills and capabilities, but at present information about its staff is held in different databases and so it does not have a force-wide understanding of its workforce. Its performance and development review system for staff does not feed into an overall database. The force recognises this as an area for improvement and work is underway to create a database holding all of the workforce’s current skills and abilities.
Hampshire Constabulary has good plans to address future demand on its services and some elements of its approach are outstanding. It is good at identifying and prioritising areas to invest in the future, based on realistic and prudent assumptions. It continues to deliver savings, mainly through planned staff reductions and the implementation of a new operating model. However, the force shows particular strength in its comprehensive and ambitious plans to transform service delivery through ICT. In developing these plans, it has brought in expertise, worked collaboratively with partners and consulted the public. It has also begun a second organisational change programme (HC2020) through which it plans to create a workforce with the required capabilities to deal with its future demands, although workforce planning is in its early stages. This, together with its investment in IT, represents a forward-looking, sustainable approach to transforming services despite reducing budgets and a relentless approach to identifying further opportunities to reduce costs.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Hampshire Constabulary has been assessed as good 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 be good in respect of legitimacy.
The force and its workforce understand the importance of treating the public with fairness and respect, and the force seeks and acts on feedback. It has good arrangements for identifying risks to the integrity of the organisation. It takes seriously any abuse of power for sexual gain (taking advantage of a position of power to exploit vulnerable victims of crime) and has improved staff awareness of this issue.
The force is committed to the wellbeing of its workforce.
Hampshire Constabulary is good at treating the people it serves with fairness and respect and this is a central part of the force’s values. The force actively seeks feedback and challenge; for example, from independent advisory groups, independent custody visitors and online surveys, as well as by working with specific groups in the community. It acts on this information to improve its service to the public and ensures the workforce are aware of good practice and lessons learnt by publishing examples on the force intranet. However, it could improve how it demonstrates to the public what action it has taken.
The force has good arrangements for vetting people applying to be officers, staff and volunteers, and undertakes some vetting of contractors. It also vets officers and staff on promotion or when moving to a more sensitive area of work. However, there is a backlog in re-vetting those people who have not been vetted for ten years, which the force is addressing.
Hampshire Constabulary has a systematic approach to clarifying and reinforcing acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. It is effective at identifying threats to the integrity of the organisation and undertakes proactive and reactive investigations to identify potential corruption. The workforce are aware of the confidential service for reporting information about possible corruption.
The force recognises the abuse of authority for sexual gain (taking advantage of a position of power to exploit vulnerable victims of crime) as serious corruption. It routinely seeks information and intelligence relating to corruption from non-policing bodies, and has plans to extend this to organisations such as women’s refuges.
Hampshire Constabulary uses a range of methods to identify the issues that affect the workforce’s perceptions of fair and respectful treatment. However, it could improve its understanding by conducting exit interviews with those leaving the force, and by monitoring annual performance appraisals for data relating to staff perceptions. In addition, some staff do not feel confident that they would be listened to if they complained.
The force understands the importance of workforce wellbeing and has provided a range of services, including gym facilities, training for staff to support those with mental health needs and an employee support line for advice from welfare officers. Advice is also given on stress management. However, the force cannot collate easily all the information concerning wellbeing, such as sickness data, mental health wellbeing referrals or the impact of occupational health referrals, and so cannot achieve a comprehensive understanding of the needs of its workforce. In addition, delays in staff accessing occupational health services indicate that the current level of services is inadequate.
Hampshire Constabulary also needs to improve how it manages the performance of its officers and staff. The performance development review system is used inconsistently. It is not monitored closely for completion or value, and the review does not link consistently with performance improvement. The force as a whole does not have access to a system through which it can gather and monitor data centrally.
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.
Hampshire Constabulary has developed a vision for 2020, which describes the types of workforce and leadership behaviours necessary for the force to provide policing services as the needs of the community change. It has worked well to improve its leadership capability, and has developed specific leadership training to grow the capability of its leaders. We found that this is having a positive effect, which should be enhanced even further if the force extends this to raise awareness among the workforce about the force’s expectations for leaders. The force is developing its understanding of leadership capabilities across the organisation. This understanding is more detailed around capacity than in respect of capabilities or experience. There are firm plans to address this gap. These plans should help the force to build on the work it has done to develop its understanding of leadership capabilities across the organisation and to develop diverse teams.
The force has a positive approach to innovation, evidence-based policing, and has a good track record of bringing in new ideas to improve service to the public. It could, however, do more to capture internally-generated good practice. Some staff are unclear about how to bring good ideas to the attention of senior officers.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Hampshire Constabulary.