Gloucestershire PEEL 2014
How well the force tackles crime
Gloucestershire Constabulary is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force requires improvement in investigating crime. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is effective at preventing crime and reducing offending. The rate of overall crime has reduced more in Gloucestershire than in England and Wales as a whole over the last four years.
The force has recognised the importance of becoming more victim-centred in the way it delivers policing. It has made some good progress, and HMIC found some areas of good and improving victim care, although there is still room for improvement and victim satisfaction levels are among the lowest of all forces.
HMIC found that the quality of Gloucestershire’s crime investigation is inconsistent. There are examples of good investigations with an increasing focus on vulnerable victims and better management of the risks they face, but, overall, the force needs to improve its approach to investigations to be confident that they are consistently undertaken to a high standard.
Gloucestershire is effective in working with partners to understand and address local community anti-social behaviour concerns. The rate of anti-social behaviour is higher than that in England and Wales, but HMIC found that the force makes good use of the full range of tactics and powers available to prevent and deal with anti-social behaviour.
Further insights on effectiveness
A reinspection of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to domestic abuse found that a considerable amount of time and resource had been invested to improve the response to victims and their families. The force had understood the identified risk areas and put measures in place to improve service delivery to victims, and make people safer. The crime inspection found evidence that reinforced this investment.
The crime inspection found that specialist departments had been created to protect those most at risk of harm. These included teams to investigate rape, sexual exploitation of children, domestic abuse and a major crime department to investigate homicide.
How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?
Leaders and staff at all levels demonstrate a commitment to prevent and reduce crime using a broad range of tactics. The force has carried out an assessment of the demand, threat, risk, and harm that it faces. HMIC found that well established partnerships are having a positive impact on crime and anti-social behaviour.
The force is committed to crime prevention activity, working with communities to reduce offending, and recognising how this contributes to public confidence. For most types of crime, Gloucestershire Constabulary remains a comparatively safe place, although its burglary rate is higher than that of England and Wales. There has been a bigger reduction in crime in Gloucestershire over the last year than that seen across England and Wales as a whole.
Gloucestershire provides staff with appropriate learning and development to improve their ability to prevent and reduce crime. It is improving the way it identifies risks to victims, and it now prioritises those people at greatest risk of harm.
How effective is the force at investigating offending?
The quality of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s crime investigation is inconsistent. There is room for improvement in the levels of skills and training for staff involved in investigations. We also found that the quality of supervision is inconsistent. This means that the force may be missing opportunities to solve crimes and bring offenders to justice.
Gloucestershire has recognised the importance of becoming more victim-centred in the way it delivers policing. It has made some progress, and it has invested in new procedures and training for staff to help them better identify vulnerable victims at the first point of contact. HMIC found some areas of good and improving practice in victim care. However, there is still room for improvement for this to be fully translated into all operational activity. Victim satisfaction levels remain lower here than those of most other forces.
The force has strong partnership arrangements in place for managing the most prolific offenders who pose a risk to the public. It has also responded quickly and decisively to address the weaknesses identified in our domestic abuse inspection in 2013. The introduction of new specialist teams should provide an improved approach to investigations, and additional focus on victims of sexual exploitation, serious sexual offences and domestic abuse.
How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?
The rate for incidence of anti-social behaviour for Gloucestershire Constabulary is higher than that for England and Wales and the county has seen an increase in the last 12 months, whereas incident numbers have been declining in most force areas.
Strong and constructive partnerships, both statutory and voluntary, focus on tackling anti-social behaviour. The dedicated neighbourhood policing teams aligned to local council areas allow the force to link up with partners to understand better local community concerns and find collaborative solutions.
Gloucestershire makes good use of available legislation and a range of diversionary and enforcement tactics reflecting community priorities, for example, in its use of restorative justice. The force needs to do more to understand what works in tackling anti-social behaviour and share evaluated results widely so that all can learn from good practice.
How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?
A revisit of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s response to domestic abuse found that a considerable amount of time and resource had been invested to improve the response to victims of domestic abuse and their families. The inspection found that the force had understood the identified risk areas and put measures in place to improve service delivery to victims and make people safer. The inspection found areas of clear progress and some areas where more work was necessary to deliver intended improvements.
The crime inspection found evidence that reinforced the finding of the domestic abuse reinspection and concluded that domestic abuse was a priority for Gloucestershire. It had invested a considerable amount of time and resource over a short period to improve the way it protects victims of domestic abuse.
How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?
The crime inspection found that as part of wider changes to the way investigations are completed, specialist departments had been created and resourced by trained investigators to protect those most at risk of harm. These included teams to investigate rape, sexual exploitation of children, domestic abuse and a major crime department to investigate homicide. The introduction of new specialist teams should provide an improved approach to investigations, and additional focus on victims of sexual exploitation, serious sexual offences and domestic abuse.
How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?
There was no Strategic Policing Requirement inspection for this force.