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Lincolnshire PEEL 2016

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 08/12/2016
Good

Lincolnshire 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 continues to reinforce the importance of treating people with fairness and respect. However, its capability to investigate corruption and integrity proactively is limited because there are insufficient staff, although when problems are identified it responds quickly. The force treats its workforce with fairness and respect and has a clear focus on their wellbeing.

Lincolnshire Police and its workforce understand the importance of treating the people they serve with fairness and respect, based on the force’s well-established vision and values. The force has an engagement plan to help it seek feedback from across the communities it serves (especially on those issues that have the greatest impact on people’s perceptions of fair and respectful treatment), to act on those issues and to demonstrate that it is doing so. However, the force could do more to demonstrate that it understands and responds to the wider public perception of fair and respectful treatment, particularly when involving those people who do not often come into contact with the police.

The force is working to improve trust and confidence in the police in communities where there are higher numbers of people from eastern Europe and other countries where English is not the first language. It engages with those who have less confidence in the police in order to increase their understanding of fair and respectful treatment, particularly those who may be fearful because of the police’s behaviour in their country of origin. The force recognised that victim satisfaction was negatively affected by a lack of information about the progress of an investigation and has now created a new team to improve contact with victims and witnesses.

Lincolnshire Police has continued to promote an ethical culture in which challenge and improvement are supported. The workforce are clear about expected standards of behaviour and feel able to challenge inappropriate behaviour. The force publishes details of gifts and hospitality to chief officers, and workforce business interests.

The force places significant emphasis on vetting to ensure the integrity of its workforce. However, its capability to investigate corruption and integrity proactively is limited because there are insufficient staff dedicated to this work, although the force responds quickly when problems are highlighted. The local counter-corruption threat assessment does not contain sufficient detail.

Although officers and staff recognise that the abuse of authority for sexual gain (taking advantage of a position of power to exploit vulnerable victims of crime) is serious corruption, the force has not taken sufficient steps to understand the risk in detail. It does not seek intelligence proactively about potential abuse of authority for sexual gain from external sources or through monitoring its IT systems.

Published misconduct data on the force intranet is not always up to date, and relatively little prominence is given to police staff disciplinary matters compared with police officers’ misconduct. This impairs the force’s ability to engage fully with its workforce on the outcomes of misconduct cases and to spread preventative messages.

Lincolnshire Police is good at ensuring that it treats its workforce with fairness and respect. It has a culture that encourages feedback, and it listens to staff and acts to solve problems. The force has an adequate understanding of workforce perceptions through a range of engagement channels, including surveys, seminars, and meetings with staff networks and associations.

The force has a clear focus on wellbeing and takes a preventative approach to the wellbeing of the workforce. For example, the force is raising awareness about mental health, and is training supervisors to identify early warning signs. The force intranet shows officers and staff how to find and access a range of health schemes that make up a comprehensive and accessible wellbeing programme, and the website gives practical advice on accessing other support services. Lincolnshire Police is not able to demonstrate that its performance assessment process is fair and effective because performance development reviews are not taking place annually for all members of the workforce.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

Lincolnshire Police continues to reinforce the importance of treating people with fairness and respect, and this is well understood by the workforce.

The force seeks feedback and challenge on aspects of treatment using formal and well-established forums for independent advice and challenge, and by working to improve perceptions among those communities who have less confidence in the police. However, the force could do more to seek specific feedback and challenge on issues of treatment; particularly from those who are less likely to complain or take part in traditional forms of engagement with the police.

The force has taken concerted action to improve the way it treats victims, in response to analysis of findings from the victim satisfaction survey, and it has made improvements to the way it uses and monitors use of stop and search in response to HMIC findings and independent scrutiny. However, the force could do more to demonstrate to the public that it identifies, understands and responds to wider issues of fair and respectful treatment.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it demonstrates that it has taken action to improve how it treats all the people it serves.
2

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

Lincolnshire Police continues to clarify standards of behaviour, in line with its own values and the Code of Ethics, and undertakes effective vetting process in line with national guidance, to improve the integrity of its workforce.

Proactive capacity to investigate corruption and integrity is very limited due to insufficient staff, however, the force responds quickly when problems are reported. The force’s local counter-corruption threat assessment does not analyse the threats to the integrity of the organisation adequately. Although officers and staff recognise that the abuse of authority for sexual gain is serious corruption, the force takes insufficient steps to understand the risk to the force’s integrity posed by this form of serious corruption or proactively to seek intelligence about the potential abuse of authority.

Published misconduct data on the force intranet is not always up to date, and relatively little prominence is given to police staff disciplinary problems, compared to police officer misconduct. This impairs the force’s ability to engage fully with its workforce on the outcomes of misconduct cases and to spread preventative messages.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it demonstrates that it has taken action to improve how it treats all the people it serves.
  • Annually, the force should produce a local counter-corruption strategic assessment and control strategy, to identify risks to the force’s integrity.
  • The force should improve how it clarifies and reinforces standards of behaviour to its workforce, in particular when dealing with vulnerable people, including victims of domestic abuse.
3

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

Lincolnshire Police is good at ensuring it treats its workforce with fairness and respect. This is demonstrated through its culture of being open to feedback, listening to staff and acting to solve problems. Lincolnshire Police has a good understanding of workforce perceptions through a range of channels which staff can use. There are systems which promote a preventative approach to enhancing the wellbeing of the workforce and there is some analysis to understand the risks and threats to the organisation, for example, the force is raising awareness about mental health and is training supervisors to identify early warning signs. Lincolnshire Police is not able to demonstrate whether its performance assessment process is fair and effective.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve how it manages individual performance.