Surrey 2016Read more about Surrey 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Surrey 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 Surrey’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?
Surrey Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force is is taking steps to further its understanding of demand, particularly of emerging and so-called hidden crime. It has improved how it uses its resources to manage current demand since last year and is using them well. The force collaborates effectively with other forces and organisations in the region to improve efficiency. It has a good record of effective financial management and has sound financial plans for the future. In last year’s efficiency inspection, Surrey Police was judged to require improvement.
Surrey Police has improved the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime since HMIC’s 2015 inspection. It has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of some elements of current demand for its services, which it used to develop its new operating model. However, it does not yet have a complete understanding of all areas of demand and the changing scale and nature of future demand. It is undertaking further analysis of so-called hidden crime and emerging crime, such as child sexual exploitation, cyber-crime, hate crime and modern slavery. The force is also actively seeking to identify and address demands on police time from partner organisations, for example by having NHS mental health advisers in the police call centre to support police when dealing with incidents involving people with mental health concerns. The force is making a more rigorous risk assessment of the calls for police service that it receives in order to better prioritise its demands. However, because over 25 percent of non-emergency 101 calls were going unanswered as at April 2016, the force cannot be sure it has an adequate understanding of real demand.
The force is good in how it uses its resources to manage current demand, having improved since HMIC’s 2015 inspection. It has introduced a new operating model, which means it can allocate resources to each area based on known demand. The force has some understanding of workforce capabilities and gaps, but it remains under-strength in a number of departments, including the neighbourhoods and detective roles. It has a long record of successful collaboration with Sussex Police and other forces in the region in a range of policing and support operations, including operations command, specialist crime, HR, finance and IT support, which has improved efficiency and resilience. The force works well with partner organisations to improve how it manages demand for services, actively seeking to identify the source of demand and the most appropriate agency to respond. It has processes to regularly review its plans and the effects of any changes it makes.
The force is good at planning for future demand. It analyses resource allocation using demand data to assess changes and any likely impact on the resourcing model. The force has ambitious plans to improve its efficiency through collaboration with Sussex Police and other forces in the region, and recognises there are opportunities for further collaboration with other emergency services, the NHS and the local authority. It has a comprehensive IT strategy that it intends to implement jointly with other forces, which includes strengthening the IT infrastructure, body-worn video cameras and greater use of mobile data. It has effective financial controls and a good record of achieving planned savings and service improvements. Its financial plans are built on sound assumptions about income and expenditure, including inflationary trends. The force has rigorous procedures for assuring itself that its investments lead to the planned benefits and operational outcomes.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Surrey 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 treats the people it serves, and its workforce, with fairness and respect. It has good systems in place to ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Workforce wellbeing services are good.
Surrey Police and its workforce are good at treating all of the people they serve with fairness and respect. This is part of the vision for the force, which is understood by most staff. The force uses a wide range of methods to seek feedback and challenge from the public, including through its website and social media. Its website has been redesigned to make it easier for the public to find out how to make a complaint.
The force understands the importance of communicating with groups who may have less trust and confidence in the police. It makes use of surveys, the independent advisory group and professional reference groups, as well as complaints data and information from victim satisfaction surveys. A full-time analyst monitors feedback, trends and patterns in public complaints.
Surrey Police is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. The Code of Ethics is well understood by most staff. There are good procedures for ensuring all staff, including volunteers and contractors, are vetted before being allowed access to force premises or information and for re-vetting staff on promotion or transfer to certain posts where they are exposed to more risk.
The force has a comprehensive package of e-training modules that provide clear guidance on acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. These modules include an introduction to professional standards, ethical decision-making, social media awareness, security matters and sexual misconduct. Supervisors and staff have a good understanding of the force’s policies on gifts and hospitality, notifiable associations and business interests.
Good systems to find and assess intelligence about potential corruption are in place and the force has an experienced and efficient anti-corruption unit (ACU). Its ‘in house’ anonymous reporting system is effective.
The force recognises that abuse of authority for sexual gain (taking advantage of a position of power to exploit vulnerable victims of crime) is serious corruption. About 75 percent of the workforce have completed an e-learning module on abuse of authority for sexual gain, but the force does not reinforce this with further training or other information. The force should consider actively seeking intelligence on potential abuse from organisations such as women’s refuges or sex worker support organisations.
Surrey Police is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect. The force seeks feedback about the workforce’s perceptions of how they are treated through a range of channels including staff surveys, the force intranet forum, a force suggestion scheme, regular meetings with unions, police federation, staff associations and staff networks, and exit interviews for those leaving the force. It has consulted widely about its change programme and changes have mostly been well received, but some frontline staff feel under pressure from high workloads.
The force has made a significant investment in wellbeing services. Its nurse-led occupational health team provides appropriate support for staff and will refer staff for physiological or psychological advice and treatment when required. Wellbeing services are well understood by staff and held in very high regard.
However, we found that the performance assessment process is not effective and does not provide a rigorous process for recognising those who are talented or under-performing or for ensuring its workforce are working towards agreed objectives. Generally the workforce do not feel engaged with the process or recognise its benefits.
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.
Since the new chief constable of Surrey took command in December 2015, he has carried out consultation and held leadership seminars with all those in the rank of inspector and above and their police staff equivalents. The seminars have been well received, but unsurprisingly the messages have not yet reached more junior officers and staff, with the result that they have limited understanding of the force’s leadership expectations.
The force has a limited understanding of leadership at all levels. A review of leadership skills has not taken place, so capabilities and any gaps in skills are not fully understood. However, the force has a good record of using surveys to gauge the views of its workforce and acts on the results of the findings.
At the time of our inspection, most officers and staff had a personal development review with their line manager, but the quality of these is mixed. Some of the workforce only have limited or generic personal objectives. Officers and staff do not generally feel engaged with the reviews, or recognise their benefits. The reviews are not used in the promotion process, to develop talent, or to manage poor performance.
The force has taken steps to ensure that its workforce is fully representative of the diversity within the communities it polices, but still has more work to do. There are a number of initiatives, many of which are in their infancy, aimed at addressing this.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Surrey Police.