Leicestershire 2016Read more about Leicestershire 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Leicestershire 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 Leicestershire’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?
Leicestershire Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has a good understanding of current demand for its services, but could do more to understand likely future demand. It uses its resources well to manage current demand, reallocating some resources to high-priority areas such as public protection. The force has a good track record of reducing costs and reinvesting in high priority areas, and collaborates well with other forces and organisations in the region. It works hard to increase its efficiency and improve the service it provides. In last year’s efficiency inspection, Leicestershire Police was judged to be good.
Since HMIC’s 2015 inspection, Leicestershire Police has continued to be efficient in how it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has a comprehensive understanding of its current demand. It has used an academic model (the Cambridge harm index) to measure crime, rather than counting types of crime. This means that it can identify those communities suffering the most harm from crime and target resources in those areas. The force is working with partner organisations, such as the health, probation, fire and ambulance services, to understand and assess future demand. It is also working with them to understand the effects of budget cuts and to identify and mitigate any risks.
Leicestershire Police is good at using its resources to manage current demand and has strong processes in place to ensure that it is prioritising its resources. Its rigorous ongoing outcome-based budgeting processes mean the force has a clear understanding of the costs of its services. In conjunction with HR and finance, any costs, savings, investments and the associated staffing changes are clearly tracked and results are analysed to assess their impact. It has a limited understanding of its current workforce skills and capabilities but is seeking to improve its understanding through a skills audit of the workforce. This will be essential for the force to understand and develop the capabilities it needs for the future and meet crucial current gaps in areas such as firearms policing and public protection. The force has a commendable approach to regional collaboration and a good record of joint working arrangements. All five East Midlands forces have collaborated in investment in ICT with the aim of being able to access the same IT systems to reduce costs and improve efficiency. The force needs to ensure it assesses the benefits of the new ICT systems.
The force is good at planning for demand in the future and is developing credible plans based on assessments of likely future demand and anticipated workforce numbers. The force challenges itself to make further savings to increase efficiency and improve on the level of services it provides. Its medium-term financial plan shows the force plans to allocate more resources to areas likely to see increased demand, such as child sexual exploitation and safeguarding. Plans for increased collaborative work with other forces are ambitious in terms of scale and the potential benefits that could be realised. The force has managed its financial position well and should be able to cope if the expected savings from collaboration are not fully realised or delayed.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Leicestershire Police 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 is committed to treating the public with fairness and respect, and it seeks and acts on feedback. However, the force needs to improve its capacity to understand risks to the integrity of the organisation. The force treats its workforce fairly and with respect and supports their wellbeing.
Leicestershire Police is good at treating the people it serves with fairness and respect. It has clear organisational values that are reinforced by training, briefings and other internal events. The workforce have a good understanding of the importance of treating the public with fairness and respect, although their understanding of the force’s values could be improved.
The force seeks feedback and challenge from the people it serves through a variety of channels, including the force’s website, social media, independent advisory groups, public surveys and meetings, and tailored engagement with diverse communities. However, it could do more to analyse feedback and demonstrate to the public that it is taking effective action promptly.
Leicestershire Police needs to improve how it ensures that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Although it conducts vetting checks on all new police officers, staff and volunteer recruits, there is a backlog in vetting officers and staff who joined before 2012, which the force is addressing.
The force’s approach to corruption is reactive and focused on carrying out investigations, rather than proactively seeking intelligence on potential corruption. The anti-corruption unit lacks both capacity and analytical support, meaning that the force has a limited understanding of the risks to the integrity of the organisation.
Leicestershire Police always publishes complaints and gross misconduct investigation outcomes on its website in a timely and accessible way. Misconduct hearings are held in public and information about how the public can attend is also published on its website. The force does not currently publicise the outcomes of misconduct cases across its workforce, although we note that the force has plans to do so.
Knowledge and awareness of abuse of authority for sexual gain (taking advantage of a position of power to exploit vulnerable victims of crime) is inconsistent across the force. Senior anti-corruption unit officers recognise that this behaviour is one of their main threats. However, the force does not routinely analyse the intelligence received by the anti-corruption unit and so it cannot be certain of the scale of abuse of authority for sexual gain.
Leicestershire Police has a good understanding of what support the workforce needs and has introduced initiatives to promote and sustain physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as provide services to support staff in times of need.
Supervisors across the force have a comprehensive understanding of their wellbeing responsibilities towards staff and the introduction of a new performance appraisal system is a positive step.
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.
Leicestershire Police has taken positive steps to set leadership expectations, and understand the skills and capabilities of its leaders. It should do more to ensure that the entire workforce, particularly at sergeant and inspector level, understands leadership expectations, and that it has a clear picture of the leadership skills of its workforce at all ranks and levels.
The force is performing well in the way that it develops its leaders, with a well-considered approach to leadership development. The force can demonstrate positive progress in enhancing its leadership skills and capabilities through its recruitment processes. Leicestershire Police is able to identify potential senior leaders within the workforce, although this is not done consistently at all ranks and grades.
The force displays effective leadership in the way it has created a positive working environment where staff are encouraged to innovate and challenge. We found that officers and staff felt valued and supported and the force is performing well in the extent to which it is developing diverse leadership teams.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Leicestershire Police.