City of London PEEL 2014
Does the force act with integrity and provide a service the public expects?
The City of London Police has made progress since the 2012 HMIC inspection. The commissioner and his chief officer team set high standards in terms of conduct and behaviour and other senior leaders understand their responsibilities to maintain and promote these standards throughout the force. HMIC found that unethical and unprofessional behaviour was appropriately challenged in the force and that officers are aware of their own individual responsibilities. The force actively and effectively identifies and manages threat, risk and harm from corruption. The force has recently initiated a mandatory e-learning training package on the Code of Ethics.
Further insights on legitimacy
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013) found that the proportion of respondents who think that the force does an excellent/good job was broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales. The same survey over the same period also found that the proportion that agrees that the force deals with local concerns was broadly in line with the figure for England and Wales. The force’s own victim satisfaction survey (12 months to June 2014) found that the proportion of victims that were satisfied with their experience was greater than the figure across England and Wales.
The domestic abuse inspection found that control room operators were very aware of the importance of identifying vulnerable and repeat victims; they were provided with computerised reminders which were used to good effect to assess the vulnerability of callers. However, HMIC was concerned that domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, and honour-based violence (DASH) risk assessments could not easily be researched as these were recorded on paper, meaning that officers may have attended incidents without being aware of previous cases involving the same victim or perpetrator.
The force has good crime-recording procedures in place when receiving reports of crime, meaning that victims receive the service they should when they first report a crime.
However, HMIC is concerned with the accuracy of the decisions taken by the force when making no-crime decisions (cancelling a recorded crime), too many of which are incorrect. The force needs to take action to improve, serve the victims of these crimes and provide the public with confidence in the force’s crime data.
To what extent does the force ensure that the workforce acts with integrity?
The City of London Police has made good progress in making sure officers understand values and professional behaviour across the organisation. The commissioner and his chief officer team set high standards in terms of conduct and behaviour and other senior leaders understand their responsibilities to maintain and promote these standards throughout the force.
There are strong examples of officers immediately challenging and reporting unprofessional behaviour. However, we did find some evidence of reluctance among a limited number of officers to report wrongdoing.
Officers and staff are aware of the boundaries of professional behaviour and understand how it affects both the public and their colleagues. The force is reinforcing professional boundaries through a programme of workshops on integrity and professional standards. The force has recently initiated a mandatory e-learning training package on the Code of Ethics.
The force takes all reasonable steps to ensure that organised crime investigations are not compromised. However we did find insufficient resources within the counter-corruption unit to deal effectively with the flow of intelligence.
What are the public perceptions of the force?
HMIC considers that there are two sources of data that give an insight into the public’s perceptions of their police force: the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and the Victim Satisfaction Survey.
The data for the City of London Police show that:
Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013)
- 62 percent of adults surveyed think that the police do an excellent/good job, which is broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales of 61 percent.
- 62 percent of adults surveyed agree that the police deal with local concerns, which is broadly in line with the England and Wales proportion of 60 percent.
Victim Satisfaction Survey (12 months to June 2014)
- 89.6 percent (± 3.6 per) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is greater than the figure across England and Wales of 85.0 percent (± 0.2 percent).
To what extent does the force respond to calls for service appropriately?
The value for money inspection found the force had set a clear performance standard for response times, and this had remained the same since 2010. The inspection found that during this time, the proportion of calls attended within these standards for both ’emergency’ and ‘priority’ calls had remained the same.
The crime data integrity inspection found the force promoted and displayed a victim-centred approach to crime-recording, crime outcomes and no-crime decisions. Force policy and procedure focused on compliance prior to investigations being filed. All victims were contacted to update them on the outcome of their incident, including those cases where a decision had been made that it was not a crime.
The domestic abuse inspection found that control room operators were very aware of the importance of identifying vulnerable and repeat victims. They were provided with computerised reminders which were used to good effect to assess the vulnerability of callers. Operational staff used the domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, and honour-based violence (DASH) risk assessment form, which on completion was presented to an officer of the rank of inspector or above, who was responsible for the risk grading, and ensuring that immediate safeguarding measures had been considered and actioned. However, HMIC was concerned that as these were recorded on paper they could not easily be researched, meaning that officers may have attended incidents without being aware of previous cases involving the same victim or perpetrator.
To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?
The crime data integrity inspection found that of the 65 incident records examined, 60 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 60 crimes that should have been recorded, 54 were. Of the 54, two were wrongly classified and one was recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR).
The force has a centralised crime management unit. This unit records reports of crime directly from members of the public which do not require the creation of an incident record. Inspection of this unit involved a review of 20 crimes recorded by the unit. All 20 were recorded correctly with no mis-classifications of crime categories. This approach to crime-recording by the force was generally effective.
The inspection also found that of the 41 no-crime records examined, 34 were found to be compliant with HOCR and the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS). Six incorrect decisions were identified in the violent crime category (out of 35 no-crime records) and related to a mistaken interpretation of what the requirement for additional verifiable information means.