Cleveland PEEL 2015
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.
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.
Cleveland Police has clear expectations of leaders across the force, and staff have high regard for chief officers, whom they view as credible, visible and approachable. However, not all staff understand the force’s expectations of them. The force has developed some effective leadership programmes, though these focus on traditional indicators, and do not develop some core leadership skills. The force listens to its workforce through surveys, and is improving its wider communications and engagement.
How well does the force have a clear understanding of the current state of its leadership at every level?
HMIC examined how well forces understand the strengths and weaknesses of leadership across the force and how well the workforce understands its leadership role. Strong, clear leadership across every rank and grade is vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of a modern and capable police force.
Cleveland Police has taken a number of steps to ensure that leaders across the force understand what is expected of them. The force set out its expectations of leaders through its leadership matrix, which it launched in 2015 at a half-day forum with senior leaders. The matrix describes the behaviours the force expects of its leaders which include ‘putting the public first, striving for excellence, demonstrating compassion and care, and doing the right thing honestly and fairly’. HMIC found that although many in the workforce recognise the matrix, staff felt they had not been given the time to read and understand it.
To understand how leadership is perceived across the force, the force commissioned a local university to independently conduct a survey of the whole workforce. The force has received the initial findings, and is analysing them to better understand how its workforce perceives leadership.
How well has the force provided a clear and compelling sense of the future direction of the organisation?
HMIC examined the extent to which forces have set out a clear, compelling and realistic sense of future direction, because it is important to ensure that the workforce is motivated to build for the future and that the force knows the kinds of skills it is looking to develop. We were also interested to find out how well leaders are making use of new approaches to enable forces to meet future financial challenges.
The force has taken some steps to communicate its future plans and priorities, though requires further work to ensure its workforce fully understands this. The force has communicated its plans and priorities through its ‘Towards 2020’ vision at four half-day sessions for middle management and above. The vision describes the pressures on policing over the next five years, the proposed changes to the force and the high-level strategy for dealing with these pressures and changes.
Leaders across Cleveland Police are beginning to understand the force’s future plans and priorities and the significant change it will involve. However, the workforce would welcome stronger direction from senior leaders on what are the force’s priority areas of work in the light of insufficient resources to meet all demand.
The force is adept at seeking to understand and use new ideas, working practices and technological approaches. Members of the force’s management team take responsibility for developing new ways of working and learning from other forces. Examples include the use of iMap, a mobile technology application which geographically maps crimes, incidents and repeat locations. This easily accessed application allows neighbourhood officers to better understand their local areas. Cleveland is also learning about predictive policing from other forces in order to forecast crime trends to better understand future demand.
How is the force developing leadership, motivating the workforce and encouraging staff engagement?
HMIC examined how well forces identify and develop leadership, as good quality of leadership is key to ensuring that forces overcome their challenges of reducing crime and meeting the needs of victims. We were not looking for one particular style of leadership, but focused on how well leaders motivate their workforce and improve performance to provide a quality service to the public.
Cleveland Police has taken some steps to provide effective programmes to develop leadership skills, however this is an area that could be improved. Although the force has invited influential speakers to staff events to talk about their experience of leadership, it relies on traditional training methods for managers and supervisors. The force provides a leadership development programme for promotion, though only for constables, sergeants and police staff equivalents. The programme covers leadership skills, but mainly focuses on people management skills with some operational skills and financial management. We found limited development of the wider workforce in some core leadership skills such as coaching and mentoring, understanding emotional intelligence, negotiating and influencing, and motivating and inspiring.
HMIC found no evidence of a force-wide approach to identifying and developing talented individuals towards promotion, though the force does offer some development programmes. The force supports officers through the high potential development scheme, as well as an internal fast track scheme for supervisors and managers. Further to this, a small number of senior staff are being supported on a national strategic leadership programme.
To what extent is leadership improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of the force?
As good quality leadership is an important factor of policing performance, HMIC examined how leaders are improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of forces through clear, reasoned and swift actions. This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible for this pillar.
Leadership in Cleveland Police is partly improving the legitimacy of the force, in how it keeps people safe and reduces crime, though we found areas where the force could improve its legitimacy. During our inspection, HMIC found that senior leaders are trying to instil the Code of Ethics and have introduced training, though middle managers and below showed little awareness of the code. The workforce felt strongly about behaving ethically and encouragingly stated that they felt more confident to raise issues, and that the force is more ethical in part due to the leadership of the chief officer team. In order to strengthen its ethical culture, the force has also introduced an internal ethics committee which oversee certain decisions to ensure they are ethical.
However, HMIC found that the workforce thought that wellbeing was not valued by the force’s leadership. Some police staff and officers we spoke to detailed the negative impact that some aspects of their role had on them. Senior leaders have introduced a people strategy that covers leadership, wellbeing, ethics and integrity though this still has some way to go to achieve the benefits it aims to secure.
Leadership in Cleveland Police has had a limited impact on the efficiency of the force. The force has begun a detailed review of its policing model, though improvements have not yet resulted from this review.