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City of London 2015

Read more about City of London 2015

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which City of London Police keeps people safe and reduces crime. PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) gives you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas. It does this in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year-on-year.

The extent to which City of London Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which City of London Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which City of London Police is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

Stephen Otter, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Stephen Otter

HMI's observations

This year, for the first time, we have assessed leadership across the force. The assessment has led to a narrative rather than graded judgment, which is summarised below.

Read more about my assessment of City of London Police’s performance this year, including significant events and where I would like to see improvements next year.

I am pleased with the performance of City of London Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime. It balances this well with its national responsibility for economic crime.

The force works effectively to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, and it protects most victims well. The force’s approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good, and there are also good arrangements in place to identify and disrupt serious and organised criminality. However, the force needs to improve its response to child sexual exploitation, where a greater understanding of the scale and nature of the issue is required. The force also needs to understand better the reasons for its apparently high use of Taser against black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

I am reassured that the force is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has achieved the necessary savings in recent years, and it has improved its understanding of the demand it faces. However, the force needs to develop a future workforce plan that is aligned with its overall demand and budget.

I am impressed by the force’s innovative use of technology. With 50,000 Twitter followers, the force is making good use of social media to publicise its crime prevention advice. The force is developing its understanding of the communities it serves by using public surveys and meetings to good effect.

City of London Police’s national responsibility for economic crime includes Action Fraud, the central point of contact for the reporting of all fraud and online crime. The speed at which this type of crime changes and grows is a challenge to City of London Police.

Description of force area

City of London Police provides policing services specifically to the City of London. It has a number of national obligations that concern economic crime. Its small resident population of 9,000 is affluent, as well as ethnically diverse, with 21 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The population is dramatically increased to about 0.4 million people who commute into the area to work, visit or socialise. Providing services across the entirety of the force area is helped by the size of the force and the good transport system, which includes major rail stations and public transport hubs.

The proportion of areas in the City of London that are predicted to present a very high challenge to the police is higher than the national average. These are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.

Exceptional events

The Afghanistan Memorial Service was one of many events that the force carefully planned for, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for those that attended.

Working arrangements

The force’s strategic partner is the City of London Corporation. Future collaboration with the Corporation on information technology (IT) provision through shared services and one IT manager for both force and Corporation will provide financial savings and improvements in operational effectiveness.

The force and the Corporation are also developing plans to adopt a shared call centre in order to achieve greater savings and improve operational effectiveness.

Effectiveness

In our effectiveness inspection, we judged City of London Police to be good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force works very well to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and protects most victims well, but improvement is needed in the way vulnerable people are protected from harm. The force’s approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good, and there are also good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so a year-on-year comparison is not possible.

Efficiency

HMIC found that City of London Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. Through good financial management and a commitment to continuous improvement, it has successfully reduced its spending over the previous spending review period, improved its understanding of demand and is planning for future financial challenges. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the previous spending review period, City of London Police was judged to be good.

Legitimacy

City of London Police has promoted the Code of Ethics effectively and incorporated the code into its policies and practice. The force has a good understanding of the people it serves. It uses a range of effective approaches to identify public views, and uses social media to engage with local residents and businesses.

City of London Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. It does not publish all the required outcomes, and has an insufficient understanding of the impact of these powers on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic people. Although its use of Taser is generally fair and appropriate, the force does not appear to understand sufficiently the reasons for its apparent high use of Taser against black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.

Leadership

City of London Police’s senior leadership team communicates clearly the values, behaviours and ethics it expects the workforce to exhibit. This is primarily set out through internal communications and training, and through the visibility and approachability of the commissioner and senior leadership team.

City of London Police has a clear sense of how its workforce perceives senior leadership and leadership in general across the force. This understanding helped the force realise that some of its employees had a negative view of their working environment, which is informing the force’s reduction and restructure of its building estate.

Insights from other inspections

HMIC undertakes other inspections in addition to the PEEL programme. Since the last PEEL assessment there have been three reports published on inspections that included City of London Police. More detail on some of these inspections can be found under the Other inspections section.

Looking ahead to PEEL 2016

In the year ahead, I will be interested to see how the force responds to this assessment, and the areas for improvement that HMIC has identified in the last year.

I will be particularly interested to see:

  • how the force works with the Metropolitan Police Service to develop its response to managing offenders that live outside of its geographical boundaries;
  • how the initiative launched by the force in November 2015 to enable the use of mobile technology by frontline officers affects operational activity;
  • the establishment of a future workforce plan that is aligned with the force’s overall demand and budget;
  • improved understanding of the reasons for the use of stop and search and Taser against some minority groups; and
  • how the force meets the challenge of the fast-changing nature of economic crime.

Unlike the majority of police force areas across England and Wales, City of London Police will not be affected by the police and crime commissioner elections in May 2016. Scrutiny of the force is conducted by the Common Council of the City of London and not a police and crime commissioner.

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 18/02/2016
Good

HMIC judges that overall the City of London Police is good in the way it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force works very well to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and protects most victims well, but improvement is needed in the way vulnerable people are protected from harm. The force’s approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good, and there are also good arrangements in place to tackle serious and organised crime. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so a year-on-year comparison is not possible.

The City of London Police is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe both within the city boundaries and nationally in terms of fraud. This is reflected in its force priorities and is generally well understood throughout the force. The City of London Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

It has appropriate systems and ways of working in place to identify emerging trends and works well with partner organisations. Clear crime allocation and minimum investigative standards lead to the effective investigation of non-complex crime. The force also has a dedicated specialist detective capability for dealing with serious or complex crime.

The force is able to identify its prolific and priority offenders. However, it continues to have difficulty in implementing effective diversionary strategies and managing offenders. It has yet to respond effectively to a recommendation from HMIC’s crime inspection in 2014.

In contrast, the force is effective at identifying and managing sexual and dangerous offenders, and works successfully with voluntary and statutory bodies to minimise risk and harm.

The force has a good understanding of the threat and risk presented by serious and organised crime. It has broadened the scope of threats that it considers. This ensures that the force is able to identify and track organised crime groups effectively. A lack of awareness in relation to serious and organised crime among response and community officers should be addressed by the force.

Working with partners is fixed in the force’s approach to tackling serious and organised crime. However, the force should replicate in the organised crime arena its local partnership arrangements, which are effective in the management of volume crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

View the four questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

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

Last updated 20/10/2015
Good

HMIC found that City of London Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. Through good financial management and a commitment to continuous improvement, it has successfully reduced its spending over the last spending review period, improved its understanding of demand and is planning for future financial challenges. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, City of London was judged to be good.

HMIC judges City of London Police to be good. The force has a good understanding of its current demand and is managing its finances effectively. Although its change plans beyond 2016/17 were not yet finalised at the time of our inspection, a plan aimed at achieving savings and balancing future budgets were being developed. For these reasons the force is graded as good.

Under the City First change programme implemented in 2013, the force has undertaken a three year force-wide review of service structure and functions. While resources have been reduced the force has been able to maintain a high level of service to the public resulting in good levels of public satisfaction.

HMIC found the force understands the majority of the demand it faces and works closely through the City Corporation to further understand demands that have an impact on the City of London.. The force engages well with the City Corporation and the force works together effectively with other organisations to further understand and reduce demand on its services.

The force’s current workforce model is meeting demand, organisational and financial requirements. The evidence for this comes from a balanced budget, achievement of savings targets and high victim satisfaction survey results.

However, the force needs to develop more detailed plans and improve its understanding of the workforce skills, knowledge and ability. More work is needed to better align workforce plans with the medium-term financial plan.

The force has met its savings target period to 2014/15 and achieved a balanced financial position from the spending review set in 2011.The force is taking a number of steps to control expenditure. The aims of the 2015 to 2018 financial savings plan are for the force to reduce non-pay costs, attract additional revenue income for core policing and reduce pay costs.

The force has effective arrangements for monitoring budgets with strong governance arrangements that underpin budget monitoring. The policing plan for 2015 to 2018 includes the priorities set by the City Corporation and monitoring of the plan and the budget are through the Police Committee.

 

View the three questions for efficiency

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 11/02/2016
Good

City of London Police has effectively promoted the Code of Ethics and incorporates the code into its policies and practice. These ethical principles are clearly understood by staff. The force has a good understanding of the people it serves. Officers use a range of effective approaches to identify public views, and use social media to engage with local residents and businesses.

HMIC found that City of London Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. It does not publish all the required outcomes, and has an insufficient understanding of the impact of these powers on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people. Although its use of Taser is generally fair and appropriate, the force does not appear to understand sufficiently the reasons for its apparent high use of Taser against black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.

HMIC found that City of London Police has effectively promoted the Code of Ethics and incorporates the code into its policies and practice. These ethical principles are clearly understood by staff.
The force works well to promote the wellbeing of its staff. The service offered by the occupational health unit is comprehensive and staff who used the service spoke very highly of it. However, on occasions, there are delays in accessing the service.

In respect of complaints and misconduct cases, HMIC was pleased to see that the force has put in place some measures to improve consistency.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and successfully engages with all the people it serves, we found that the force has a good understanding of the people it serves. Officers use a range of effective approaches to identify public views, and social media is used by officers to engage with local residents and businesses.

Chief officers have set clear expectations about the behaviour expected of members of City of London Police, and officers and staff treat the public fairly and with respect.

Stop and search and Taser are two ways that the police can prevent crime and protect the public. However, they can be intrusive and forceful methods, and it is therefore vital the police use them fairly and appropriately. HMIC found that City of London Police is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. The force does not publish all the required outcomes, and has an insufficient understanding of the impact of these powers on young people and black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Although its use of Taser is generally fair and appropriate, the force does not appear to understand sufficiently the reasons for its apparent high use of Taser against black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

View the four questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS 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.

Leadership

Last updated 25/02/2016

As part of HMIC’s annual all-force inspections into police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) in 2015, HMIC assessed how well led forces are at every rank and grade of the organisation and across all areas inspected in PEEL. We reviewed how well a force understands and is developing its leaders; whether it has set a clear and compelling future direction; and how well it motivates and engages the workforce.

City of London Police’s senior leadership team communicates clearly the values, behaviours and ethics it expect the workforce to exhibit. This is primarily set out through internal communications and training, and through the visibility and approachability of the commissioner and senior leadership team.

City of London Police has a clear sense of how its workforce perceives senior leadership and leadership in general across the force. This understanding helped the force realise that some of its employees had a negative view of their working environment, which is informing the force’s reduction and restructure of its building estate.

View the four questions for leadership

Other reports

Last updated 22/02/2016

This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of City of London Police.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

1 square mile

Population

0.32m people - transient population

Workforce

74% frontline 78% national level
3.7 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
5% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.01 per person 0.06 national level
Local 5 year trend National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

62p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

Policing an area of 1.1 square miles of cultural, political and national economic importance, the force also leads on the national response to fraud.

The City’s small resident population swells daily to over 400,000, mainly working in professional finance industries and the vibrant night-time economy.

Police and crime plan priorities

Our priorities, set with our Force, reflect our local and national obligations and roles. They address the main threats to the City of London and our community’s concerns. They are:

  • Counter terrorism
  • Safer roads
  • Public Order
  • Reducing crime
  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Fraud (local)
  • Fraud (national)
  • Supporting the Strategic Policing Requirement