PEEL: police effectiveness 2017 – West Mercia Police (8929)

Cause of concern

The force’s approach to tackling serious and organised crime lacks the essential features expected of an effective force and is putting the public at risk of harm.

Recommendations

The force should immediately take steps to: • engage routinely with partner agencies at a senior level to establish intelligence sharing arrangements and an effective, multi-agency response to serious and organised crime. This should include the creation of a local profile for serious and organised crime which provides the force and its partners with a single, comprehensive picture of the threat; • ensure that it maps all organised crime groups promptly following identification and re-assesses them at regular intervals in line with national standards. All mapped organised crime groups should be subject to regular scrutiny and oversight, enabling the force to routinely identify and pursue opportunities for disruption and investigation; • assign capable lead responsible officers to all active organised crime groups as part of a long-term, multi-agency approach to dismantling them. These officers should have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, and adopt a 4Ps (pursue, prevent, protect, prepare) approach to tackling serious and organised crime; • identify those at risk of being drawn into serious and organised crime, and ensure that preventative initiatives are put in place with partner organisations to deter offending; and • begin to measure its activity on serious and organised crime across the 4Ps, and ensure that it learns from experience to maximise the disruptive effect of this activity.

[on]22nd March 2018 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]9th April 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]9th April 2018 [comment]

Since the Effectiveness inspection, the alliance has taken the following action:• An assessment of the feasibility of merging the Director of Intelligence and SOC Supt roles, to improve overall management; • a peer review (conducted in December 2017 by Derbyshire Police). The review apparently identified opportunities to improve tasking processes and the co-ordination of local proactive teams across the alliance; OCG scrutiny meetings are being held monthly and take more account of prevention activity alongside the other elements of 4 P plans;• the continued professional development of LROs, using subject matter experts from the alliance’s residual SOCU assets;• CSP analysts are being co-ordinated by the alliance’s principal analyst, to help support the provision of partnership data; and• an approach made to the West Mercia PCC to seek support for joint prevention activity, on similar lines to the WRK SOCJAG arrangements.

[/comment][/on][on]25th September 2018 [comment]

Since June 2018, the FLL has met periodically with Det.Supt. Mark Loader and DCC Amanda Blakeman to understand the latest position on SOC progress. The has also FLL met regularly with other colleagues playing leadership roles in SOC both operationally and at chief officer level. The FLL also attended partnership events and tasking meetings alliance-wide and locally and reviewed tasking documents and other materials at a local and alliance level to assess consistency of approach to SOC.

WMR have established processes and systems to map, re-assess, scrutinise, oversee, disrupt and investigate organised crime groups (recommendation 2). These will be reassessed through insight and inspection activity over the next 4-months.

They have trained and deployed Lead Responsible Officer (LROs) as part of a long-term 4Ps (pursue, prevent, protect, prepare) multi-agency approach (recommendation 3). They continue to work on the relationships and activities to improve partner engagement and support an effective multi-agency response (recommendation 1). This will provide the basis for joint prevention, deterrence and diversionary activities (recommendation 4).

OPCC-led Crime Reduction Boards (CRB) play an important role in bringing together partners and overseeing ACC-led SOC development activity.

The alliance has now appointed a new ACC (Geoff Wessell) to increase alliance-wide executive capacity around protective services and other shared operational policing functions. WMR chief officers (notably the ACC) retain the serious organised crime improvement plan. WMR have a broad ACC-led SOC improvement plan, presented to PPOG.

SOC learning is being increasingly shared, with good operational examples regularly arising, but the alliance has yet to demonstrate tangible and measurable improvement across the force (recommendation 5). This will be assessed through insight and inspection activity over the next 4-months.

Insight work has now been scheduled in WMR ahead of the PEEL inspection in January 2019. SOC insight activity is planned for October 2018 to include observing Tasking and Coordinating (TCG) and Organised Crime Group Management (OCGM) meetings and interviews with key personnel. The insight work is led by an inspector who was part of the 2017 team, providing a level of consistency. This activity will provide a further independent and well-informed perspective on the progress that WMR are making in this area.

These SOC observations have not been triangulated. HMICFRS is yet to assess the operational effectiveness of these measures.

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