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Merseyside PEEL 2016

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 02/03/2017
Good

Merseyside Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has an effective approach to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, investigating crime and reducing re-offending, protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims. It is outstanding at tackling serious and organised crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year, when we judged the force to be good in respect of effectiveness.

Merseyside Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. It is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. It has a structured approach to identifying threats, and a good understanding of the threats and risks that pose the greatest harm to local communities. Neighbourhood teams have effective ways of connecting with local communities both in their own environment, and through representatives. However, given the limitations of the formal engagement structure (which it recognises); the force could do more to involve local people in the setting of local priorities.

The force is good at investigating crime and supporting victims. It provides an initial investigative response in its assessment of calls from the public. A thorough assessment is completed, and in most cases, the force provides immediate advice on the preservation of evidence and crime prevention.

In HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness report, we found that the force responded well to vulnerable victims and this year we found that the force continues to provide the same level of support through consistent completion of risk assessments of vulnerable victims and appropriate safeguarding. Officers and staff understand how to identify vulnerable victims, and are doing so correctly and consistently, with access to a full range of information to inform their initial assessment. This means that vulnerable victims can be assured that the force will identify their vulnerability, ensure an appropriate response, and provide the necessary immediate support. The force continues to be outstanding in the way it tackles serious and organised crime. Merseyside Police has effective arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. It has reviewed its response to each of the Strategic Policing Requirement threats in line with national standards and best practice.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?

Merseyside Police is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. It has a structured approach to identifying threats to its local communities. It has a good understanding of the threats and risks which pose the greatest harm to local communities. While the force recognises the limitations of the formal engagement structure, neighbourhood teams connect in effective ways with local communities both in their own environment and through representatives. However, the force could do more to involve local people in the setting of local priorities.

The force has an effective problem solving model and good governance of its mechanisms for preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, although consistency of application could be improved. The force engages well with partners in problem solving and makes good use of the powers and legislation available. It is effective in its use of preventative marketing campaigns, informed by the views of victims. Merseyside Police is supported effectively to prevent people engaging in crime through a range of small-scale projects run by local communities, volunteers and charities. The force has progressed well in its understanding of and research relating to evidence-based policing. It is using this to improvement how it keeps the public safe from harm.

Good
2

How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?

Merseyside Police is good at investigating crime and supporting victims. It provides an initial investigative response in its assessment of calls from the public. A thorough assessment is completed, and in most cases immediate advice on the preservation of evidence and crime prevention is provided.

Officers are effective in their initial investigation of crime most of the time, although we found that some early investigative opportunities are being missed. While we found that the promptness and consistency in the allocation of crimes to investigators has improved, and the force makes good use of specialist officers to conduct complex and serious investigations, some officers continue to investigate complex cases without the correct level of training or experience. We identified this as an area for improvement last year; in response, the force has developed a new investigation allocation process as part of its new operating model. We also found that there are still delays in the examination of digital devices.

Merseyside Police continues to work well with partner organisations in its approach to prevent re-offending. It actively seeks and arrests those persons who are wanted or outstanding suspects in a timely way, and works with partners to manage the most dangerous offenders.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that all evidence is retrieved at the first opportunity in order to maximise the likelihood of investigations being concluded successfully.
  • The force should improve its ability to retrieve digital evidence from mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices quickly enough to ensure that investigations are not delayed.
3

How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?

In HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness report, we found that the force responded well to vulnerable victims. In 2016, the force continues to provide the same level of support through consistent completion of risk assessments of vulnerable victims and appropriate safeguarding. Officers and staff understand how to identify vulnerable victims, doing so correctly and consistently. They have access to a full range of information to inform their initial assessment. The force has an effective victim care model, the ‘Merseyside Model for Victim Care’, which provides officers with guidance and a range of support agencies to which they can refer victims.

Merseyside Police is generally good at investigating crimes that involve vulnerable people. The force has effective arrangements in place with partners through multi-agency safeguarding hubs, with additional provision for the safeguarding for victims of domestic abuse, harmful practices, and missing and absent children. The force works well with partners, including educational establishments, and neighbourhood teams support the ongoing safeguarding of victims in their area. The force works well in the provision of ‘best evidence’, including that from vulnerable children in crown court cases, to support effective investigations and outcomes.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve its initial investigation and evidence gathering by staff working on front enquiry counters, ensuring that they are appropriately trained in the full application of the THRIVE risk assessment tool.
4

How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?

Merseyside Police continues to be outstanding in the way it tackles serious and organised crime.

The force has a comprehensive understanding of the risk and threat posed by serious and organised crime, with the level of threat assessed daily. This means that the public can be assured that the threats and risks associated with serious and organised crime in Merseyside are identified in a timely way to allow the force to respond appropriately.

Merseyside Police has a strong approach to tackling serious and organised crime which means the threat of organised crime to local communities is being managed effectively. It manages organised crime groups well through its ‘whole force’ approach and in collaboration with local partners. The force is proactive in the way it prevents serious and organised crime. It continues to engage well with those people at risk of being drawn into serious and organised crime or at risk of becoming victims of organised crime. It does this through creative and innovative communication with the public, and a range of specific support programmes, to which those at risk can be referred. It excels in the successful use of gang injunctions to prevent re-offending, and works well to prevent offenders re-offending while in prison.

Outstanding
5

How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?

Merseyside Police has effective arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. It regularly tests its ability to respond to national threats with partners including public order, civil emergencies, counter terrorism and unannounced tests of its ability to mobilise. The force has reviewed its response to each of the Strategic Policing Requirement threats in line with national standards and best practice.

Merseyside Police is part of a North West collaboration of six neighbouring forces with regional governance in place for firearms. The forces have assessed the level of firearms threat across Merseyside and the other five force areas. The threat is reviewed regularly through governance meetings with a formal review every six months in line with national guidance, and has been reassessed in light of recent terrorist incidents. The force has thoroughly tested its preparedness against the firearms threat through firearms exercises and a three day marauding terrorist firearms exercise with partners. Merseyside Police is not part of the national armed policing uplift programme but has reviewed and maintained firearms officer numbers and responded to a foreseeable loss of skills.

Ungraded