Merseyside PEEL 2015
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Merseyside Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
It works well with other organisations to keep people safe, including the most vulnerable, by preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. The quality of crime investigation is good and the force works well to stop re-offending. It is outstanding in its tackling of organised crime groups, and has the necessary arrangements to enable it to fulfil its national policing responsibilities. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so comparison of their year-on-year effectiveness is not possible.
The force is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. Its approach to prevention is well understood by officers and staff. The force has an effective neighbourhood policing model and a strong working relationship with partners to solve problems in local areas.
The force responds well to vulnerable victims and treats them as a priority. It provides a high level of support to the most vulnerable victims, with missing children a particular priority.
The force uses its specialist functions effectively to safeguard and protect victims and works well with partners.
The quality of investigation is good and investigators ensure that victims are safe and kept informed. The force is effective in identifying, investigating and bringing to justice repeat and dangerous offenders, and stopping them from re-offending.
Merseyside Police is outstanding in the way it identifies and tackles serious and organised crime. It has a well-developed understanding of the threat posed from serious and organised crime.
It has a strong ‘whole force’ approach to tackling and disrupting serious and organised crime in collaboration with partner organisations. This has resulted in a number of successful operations and projects that have improved the lives of those living in communities affected by organised crime.
The force has the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities.
How effective is the force at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and keeping people safe?
Merseyside Police is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and keeping people safe. In HMIC’s crime inspection in 2014, we judged the force to be good at reducing crime and preventing offending.
The force has an effective neighbourhood policing model, which allows officers to focus on their neighbourhood role; they are rarely taken away from their roles to perform other duties.
Neighbourhood teams know their areas and have good links to their communities. HMIC was impressed to find that preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe are seen as everyone’s business within the force and with partners. The force recognises that any future budget reductions may mean a loss of resources within neighbourhood teams. Despite this, the force remains committed to maintaining a neighbourhood policing presence in the future.
The importance of crime prevention activity is well understood across the force, and it values the excellent relationship it has with partner organisations. The force works well with partners and has the right ways of working in place to work collaboratively, share information and tackle the root causes of local problems.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and managing offenders?
Merseyside Police’s approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good. In HMIC’s crime inspection in 2014, we graded the force as good at investigating offending.
The initial investigation process works well with evidential opportunities being captured in most cases. The process for allocating crime is generally good, although HMIC found some local variation in the way in which crimes are allocated. The quality of subsequent investigations is good. Investigative staff are well trained, the majority being fully accredited with a career pathway ensuring they gain a broad range of experience and continuous professional development. However, the force could do more to ensure the consistency of supervisory oversight of investigations.
Victims are generally kept well informed as investigations progress and the force uses victim contact contracts to establish how and when the victim would like to be contacted.
Forensic and digital specialists are used effectively to support investigations, although backlogs do exist for mobile phone and computer investigations.
The force identifies the most prolific offenders and makes efforts to divert them from further offending. It has an effective integrated offender management model and works well with partner organisations to identify, monitor and work with repeat and dangerous offenders to prevent further offending and keep people safe.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that all crimes are allocated promptly to investigators with the appropriate skills, accreditation and support to investigate them to a good standard.
- The force should improve its ability to retrieve digital evidence from mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices quickly enough to ensure that investigations are not delayed.
How effective is the force at protecting from harm those who are vulnerable, and supporting victims?
Protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims is a clear priority for Merseyside Police within the force strategy and the police and crime plan. Appropriate governance is in place, both within the force and with partners. The force is developing its understanding of crime trends and patterns of all vulnerable and repeat victims, and known perpetrators. It has a good understanding of vulnerability from incidents and information reported to the force. The force is working with partners to expand and develop the sharing of information effectively.
Merseyside Police responds well to vulnerable victims, responding to them as a priority and giving good support to those victims who are the most vulnerable, particularly missing children. The force uses its specialist functions effectively to safeguard and protect victims and it works well with partners.
HMIC found that the force responds well to the safeguarding of missing and absent children in the majority of cases but it is not receiving all the information that is available that could assist the force in its understanding and work to inform future investigations. The force has made good progress with its activity around child sexual exploitation and is developing a comprehensive response. It responds effectively to victims of domestic abuse, and has progressed well with implementing recommendations since HMIC’s domestic abuse inspection in 2014.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime, including its arrangement for fulfilling its national policing responsibilities?
Merseyside Police is outstanding in the way it identifies and tackles serious and organised crime.
The force has a well-developed understanding of the threat posed by serious and organised crime. It has a strong approach to tackling this type of crime involving all parts of the force and working closely with partners.
HMIC found that the force has effective ways of working to deter people from committing serious and organised crime. These include working with young people and females involved in gangs. The force communicates well with its communities, publicising successes and promoting the consequences of being involved in serious and organised crime.
The force’s approach to tackling and disrupting serious and organised crime in collaboration with partner organisations has resulted in a number of successful operations that have improved the lives of those living in communities affected by organised crime.
Merseyside Police has a good working relationship with the regional organised crime unit and with other forces across the region.
The force has the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. It regularly tests its ability to respond to national threats, including public order events and counter-terrorist incidents, by conducting unannounced tests of its mobilisation. It has also conducted extensive exercises to test inter-operability with fire and ambulance services.
This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their effectiveness at tackling serious and organised crime, including its arrangements for ensuring that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.