Wiltshire 2016Read more about Wiltshire 2016
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Wiltshire 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 Wiltshire’s performance will be published in spring 2017.
Wendy Williams, 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?
Wiltshire Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This is in line with last year’s inspection where the force was also graded as good. It has a track record of effective budget planning and good financial planning. Effective processes are in place to manage demand for its services and the force is using various methods to assess future demand. It has a good understanding of current workforce capabilities and uses some innovative software to inform decisions about workforce structures and staff deployment. Wiltshire Police has well-established partnership arrangements and is working well with those partners to assess demand and service delivery for the future.
The force has a sound understanding of the range of demand for its services. It is speaking to officers and focus groups in high-risk areas to learn where there may be hidden demand and how best to deal with it. It has created a sustainable understanding of demand group, with six work streams to assess demand in a common and consistent way. The work streams gather quantitative data on volumes, trends and forecasts, in consultation with staff.
A management of demand in partnership working group has been exploring the impact on operational policing of budget reductions across public services. Its purpose is to look at all relevant aspects, and it collated a range of evidence to establish the risk to service delivery by the police. Progress has been made in achieving efficiencies and in compliance with service-level agreements.
The force has established systems to manage the demand for its services. These include a business dashboard that informs the resource management panel meetings and financial planning arrangements.
The force has a strong track record in achieving cost savings and effective investment in digitisation. Introducing laptops has been a major organisational change, enabling staff to spend more time away from the station.
The force’s workforce model and annual budget reflect changes in organisational priorities. A review is currently taking place that will identify the skill mix needed for the future. The force has a medium-term financial forecast that sets out the projected savings requirements over the rest of the spending review period. For the current financial year, the police and crime commissioner agreed to use £1.6m of reserves to support revenue spending. The force is fully aware that this is not sustainable. It has a plan to balance budgets in the following financial year by managing headcount.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Wiltshire Police has been assessed as good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has values and behaviours that are clearly understood by the workforce and in line with the Code of Ethics. Treating the people it serves fairly and with respect is at the core of the force values and behaviours, and forms the basis of all training. 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 has clear and well-understood values and behaviours that mirror the nine elements of the Code of Ethics. These values and behaviours are embedded within the annual appraisal process and are at the heart of all training.
There is frequent interaction between the workforce and senior officers and, through the chief officers’ web chats and roadshows, and extensive leadership development and communication programmes, the force is able to assess threats and risks to staff wellbeing effectively.
The force has effective processes for vetting and follows national guidelines. Vetting is an agenda item for recruitment and selection meetings for all staff and volunteers, and it is an important element of the annual appraisal process.
The force values and seeks to promote the wellbeing of its staff. It has appointed a mental health nurse to assist because the force has identified an increasing number of psychological issues from its sickness data. Occupational health is available and is perceived as a valuable resource. The force has introduced a confidential care line for self-referrals.
The force could do more to work directly with the public, in particular those who may have less trust and confidence in the police. Its involvement is not innovative and it does not have an independent advisory group (IAG) or key individual network (KIN). Its external channels for challenge and feedback are less well developed than its internal processes.
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.
Wiltshire Police has defined clearly what it expects from its leaders and this is understood at all ranks and levels. Training programmes, recruitment processes and promotion procedures focus on the quality and capacity of leadership. All staff HMIC spoke to understood fully and could explain the force’s values. The force has reviewed its leadership capability to identify gaps in knowledge, skills and behaviours and uses this information to appoint the right people to the right roles. The force is confident in its ability to identify and nurture future leaders through its leadership training programme. By taking the radical step of removing some middle and senior police ranks from its management structure, the force has empowered a new pool of prospective current and future leaders. Staff identified as potential senior leaders receive training and they are mentored by a member of the senior command team.
HMIC’s inspection found that staff thought the force’s approach had changed, with more emphasis on personal responsibility for self-development and developing skills to provide better services to the public. They also found there was greater focus on well-being, more ethical recruitment and better leadership development. The force is developing more diverse leadership teams by making some roles formerly open only to police officers accessible to all staff.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Wiltshire Police.