North Yorkshire PEEL 2014
Does the force act with integrity and provide a service the public expects?
North Yorkshire Police has benefited from the force command team’s unequivocal commitment to developing a culture of professionalism and an expectation that staff will do the right thing for the right reasons. The chief officers wish to make the Code of Ethics an intrinsic part of the force’s service to the public of North Yorkshire. Governance arrangements in the force are strong and the professional standards department has long-standing and experienced staff who are trusted by members of the force. However, although officers and staff in police standards integrity unit are both professional and capable, the unit does not have the capacity to be proactive.
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 who agree that the force deals with local concerns was broadly in line with the figure for England and Wales. The force’s own victim satisfaction survey (12 months to June 2014) found that the proportion of victims that were satisfied with their experience was greater than the figure across England and Wales.
The crime data integrity inspection found that most frontline members of staff, including call-takers, understood the victim-centred approach and were polite, professional and helpful. The domestic abuse inspection found that call-handlers received specific training on domestic abuse and there were good systems in place to identify repeat victims and information was passed to the officer attending. The system for identifying vulnerability was weaker, however the force planned to address this with the introduction of a new risk assessment process.
As a result of the crime data integrity inspection, HMIC is concerned that a notable proportion of reports of crime are not being recorded, and this means that victims of crime are not receiving the service they should when they first report a crime.
The force’s approach to no-criming (cancelling a recorded crime) is a matter of concern.
To what extent does the force ensure that the workforce acts with integrity?
There are areas for improvement in relation to transparency and publication, as well as audit of various registers, which are either out of date or unclear. Attempts have been made to broadcast organisational learning through a wide variety of communications media but officers and staff seek more interactive training in relation to ethics and integrity. The governance arrangements in the professional standards department and the professional standards integrity unit are excellent. However, although officers and staff in professional standards integrity unitare both professional and capable, the unit does not have the capacity to be proactive.
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 North Yorkshire Police show that:
Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013)
- 64 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.
- 64 percent of adults surveyed agree that the police deal with local concerns, which is broadly in line with the England and Wales proportion of 60 percent.
Victim Satisfaction Survey (12 months to June 2014)
- 88.2 percent (± 1.2 percent) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is greater than the figure across England and Wales of 85.0 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 these 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 most frontline members of staff, including call-takers, understood the victim-centred approach and were polite, professional and helpful.
The domestic abuse inspection found that call-handlers received specific training on domestic abuse. There were good systems in place to identify repeat victims and information was passed to the officer attending. However, the system for identifying vulnerability was weaker: call handlers were identifying almost all victims of domestic abuse as vulnerable, and the nature of the vulnerability was not assessed or recorded. The force planned to address this with the introduction of a new risk assessment process. The force prioritised domestic abuse calls and the response was either an emergency or a priority attendance by an officer; all high-risk cases were dealt with by specially trained detectives.
To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?
The crime data integrity inspection examined 72 incident records and found that 68 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 68 crimes that should have been recorded, 57 were. Of the 57, five were wrongly classified and 13 were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR). There was a need for improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of crime-recording decisions.
The inspection also found that of the 105 no-crimes reviewed, 71 complied with the HOCR and National Crime Recording Standard. It was particularly concerning that of the 35 rape no-crime records we reviewed, 21 of them were incorrectly no-crimed.