Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2014
Does the force act with integrity and provide a service the public expects?
There is clear leadership from the chief constable on the importance of values, ethics and personal behaviour, and HMIC found good examples of individuals challenging and reporting unethical and unprofessional behaviour by colleagues. The force has an established professional standards department, including an anti-corruption unit. These are, however, insufficiently resourced resulting in the force being unable to investigate misconduct and corruption in a timely fashion. The force has made limited progress since the last HMIC inspection.
Further insights on legitimacy
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013) found that the proportion of respondents who think that the force does an excellent/good job was broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales. The same survey over the same period also found that the proportion which agrees that the force deals with local concerns was greater than the figure for England and Wales. The force’s own victim satisfaction survey (12 months to June 2014) found that the proportion of victims who were satisfied with their experience was broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales.
The crime data integrity inspection found that call-handlers were polite, helpful and professional. The inspection on domestic abuse found that, while the force was committed to identifying victims of domestic abuse, there were weaknesses in the processes in place, particularly in assessment of risk, and identification of repeat and vulnerable victims. The inspection found that the force could not be confident that it was consistently identifying victims and accurately assessing the risk they faced at the first point of contact.
As a result of the crime data inspection, HMIC is seriously concerned that a notable proportion of reports of crime are not being recorded by the force. This means that victims of crime are not receiving the service they should when they first report a crime.
However, HMIC is impressed with the accuracy of the decisions taken by the force when making no-crime decisions (cancelling a recorded crime), nearly all of which are correct.
To what extent does the force ensure that the workforce acts with integrity?
The chief and deputy chief constable provide strong leadership and have explained the importance of cultural change to the force. ‘Doing the right thing’ is now a mantra that has been adopted by the whole organisation. The force should do more to ensure staff and officers better understand how they can practically challenge and manage misconduct. The force understands the importance of the new Code of Ethics and there is an enthusiastic view held by senior managers that it offers a significant opportunity for the force to reinforce the progress it has already made concerning standards.
The professional standards department is insufficiently resourced to look for unprofessional behaviour in a proactive fashion and does not carry out timely investigations. Additionally, the anti-corruption capacity and capability is under-resourced. It has limited arrangements in place to prevent major operations being compromised by the threat of corruption and no dedicated and trained analyst and researcher which, in turn, inhibits the development of actionable intelligence.
What are the public perceptions of the force?
HMIC considers that there are two sources of data that give an insight into the public’s perceptions of their police force: the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and the Victim Satisfaction Survey.
The data for Dyfed-Powys Police show that:
Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013)
- 65 percent of adults surveyed think that the police do an excellent/good job, which is broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales of 61 percent.
- 70 percent of adults surveyed agree that the police deal with local concerns, which is greater than the England and Wales proportion of 60 percent.
Victim Satisfaction Survey (12 months to June 2014)
- 86 percent (± 2.6 percent) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales of 85 percent (± 0.2 percent).
To what extent does the force respond to calls for service appropriately?
The value for money inspection found the force had set a clear performance standard for response times, and this had remained the same since 2010. The inspection found that during this time the proportion of calls attended within these standards for ’emergency’ calls had declined, but had improved for ‘priority’ calls.
The crime data integrity inspection found that call-handlers were polite, helpful and professional. The inspection also found that the force had introduced a scheme which enabled any members of the public who find it hard to speak to the police on the telephone or in person to provide relevant personal information so that they were supported and received an appropriate service.
The domestic abuse inspection found that, while the force was committed to identifying victims of domestic abuse, there were weaknesses in the processes in place, particularly in assessment of risk and identification of repeat and vulnerable victims. The inspection found that the force could not be confident that it was consistently identifying victims and accurately assessing the risk they faced at the first point of contact.
To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?
The crime data integrity inspection examined 109 incident records and found that 73 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 73 crimes that should have been recorded, 50 were. Of the 50, four were wrongly classified and three were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the Home Office Counting Rules. This is of serious concern: it means that some victims’ crimes are not being recorded and that these victims are not receiving the service they deserve (because, for example, certain victim support services are only triggered once a crime is recorded).
HMIC examined 47 no-crime records and found 44 records to be compliant with NCRS and HOCR. This suggests that the processes applied by the force to ensure no-crime decisions are correct and robust.