West Midlands 2017Read more about West Midlands 2017
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of West Midlands Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.
The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not yet graded.
The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not yet graded.
The efficiency inspection findings are published below.
Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
My overall assessment of West Midlands’ performance will be published in spring 2018, following the publication of the legitimacy and effectiveness inspections in December 2017 and March 2018, respectively.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
West Midlands Police is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is not consistent with last year when the force was judged as outstanding. The force’s understanding of demand is judged to require improvement; its use of resources to manage demand is assessed as good; and its planning for future demand is judged to be outstanding.
This year, the force is assessed as good rather than its 2016 grade of outstanding for a number of reasons. The overall grade reflects the balance between some excellent areas of performance and other areas where we had some concerns. For example, the force’s understanding of the total demand for its services may not be accurate because its analysis is not adequately supported by reliable crime data. Also the volume of 999 and 101 calls is outstripping the force’s capacity to answer them all.
Although the force’s overall judgment has been downgraded, there are still many outstanding elements of performance. The force continues to have a good understanding of prioritisation and costs; this takes into account the public’s changing expectations and national trends such as the increased threat to the public from firearms. The force has a strong record of reducing costs while improving the quality of its services. It also has a structured system to determine where best to invest and to ensure that benefits are realised. West Midlands Police continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to joint working with a range of public and private sector agencies to provide a better service to the public. The force will also seek to innovate if there is a solid argument that this will lead to sustained improvement in services.
The force has a thorough understanding of how technology can improve policing, and many aspects of its change programme focus on developing the force’s digital capability to enable it to operate more efficiently. The force has substantial plans to enable it to handle both the challenges and benefits of technological advancements in the context of law enforcement.
The force’s plans are ambitious and wide-ranging and are underpinned by effective governance arrangements. However, the force should ensure that these plans are supported by a more accurate understanding of the current and likely future demands placed on it by the public.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
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.