Greater Manchester PEEL 2014
Does the force act with integrity and provide a service the public expects?
There is positive leadership from the chief officer team, and effective communication regarding standards and integrity which is understood by staff. There is a need to develop training, check understanding and ensure unprofessional behaviour is challenged by all members of the force. The force monitors its systems effectively and investigates misconduct robustly, but there is more scope for preventative checks to identify potentially corrupt behaviour.
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 of those that agree the force deals with local concerns was broadly in line with that 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 broadly in line with the figure across England and Wales.
The crime data integrity inspection found that operators answering calls from the public were inconsistent. The domestic abuse inspection found that there was a lack of clarity over the definitions of repeat and vulnerable victims and how this might affect the priority given to the response. This meant that officers may have been attending an incident without knowing the full history, and this may have led them to assess inaccurately the risk faced by the victim.
As a result of the crime data integrity inspection, HMIC is seriously concerned that a notable proportion of reports of crime are not being recorded, and this means that victims of crime are not receiving the service they should when they first report a crime. HMIC is also concerned with the accuracy of the decisions taken by the force when making no-crime decisions (cancelling a recorded crime): as too many of these 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 chief constable provides strong leadership that encourages ethical and professional behaviour. Leaders and supervisors are committed to high standards of behaviour, but some staff do not always feel able to challenge and report unprofessional behaviour. Some progress has been made around the Code of Ethics but this needs to be developed further to ensure that the programme reaches all staff and awareness is assessed.
The professional standards branch (PSB) is well managed with effective processes and governance, but some routine checking processes are not being completed. There is effective investigation of complaints and allegations, and the referral of cases to the IPCC is well managed, but learning from cases is not filtering effectively through to frontline staff.
The counter-corruption unit (CCU) is effective and the governance structure is strong. Individuals in specialist positions are vetted to the correct level, and computer software is used to monitor force systems. Security, control and management of routine case papers and exhibits is insufficient.
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 Greater Manchester Police show that:
Crime Survey for England and Wales (12 months to March 2013)
- 60 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.
- 59 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)
- 84.2 percent (± 0.8 percent) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is broadly in line with 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 ’emergency’ calls had slightly declined, but had improved for ‘priority’ calls.
The crime data integrity inspection found that there was an inconsistent approach to the assessment of risk and vulnerability in the force contact centre. Many call-handlers had received training in the identification of risk, but did not follow a common and structured approach that could prevent vulnerability and risk being misjudged.
The domestic abuse inspection found that call-handlers were confident and empathetic when dealing with victims of domestic abuse. However, both they and dispatchers had received only limited specific training. All operational control room staff understood that domestic abuse should be dealt with as a priority. There was a lack of clarity over the definitions of repeat and vulnerable victims and how this might affect the priority given to the response. The force had systems within the operational control room which identify repeat calls from the same address or telephone number, but the systems did not readily identify any history with either victim or offenders by name. This meant that officers may have been attending an incident without knowing the full history and this may have led them to assess inaccurately the risk faced by the victim. Our recent reinspection of domestic abuse arrangements showed that the force has made progress in these areas.
To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?
The crime data integrity inspection examined 496 incident records and found that 388 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 388 crimes that should have been recorded, 265 were. Of the 265, 10 were wrongly classified and 22 were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR). There was a need for improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of crime-recording decisions.
Greater Manchester Police also had a centralised crime-recording bureau/public assistance desk through which HMIC estimated that the force recorded approximately 19 percent of the total of its recorded crime. This unit recorded reports of crime directly from members of the public which did not require the creation of an incident record. Our review of this unit (a review of 29 calls from the public) found that of the 31 crimes that should have been recorded, 30 were. All 30 were correctly classified and recorded within the 72-hour limit allowed under the HOCR. This was an effective approach to crime-recording for the force.
The inspection also found that the force would have to work hard to ensure that incidents recorded as crimes were only reclassified as no-crimes when it was correct to do this. Our audit revealed that of the 91 no-crime decisions reviewed, 65 complied with the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and HOCR. Of particular concern, the inspection found that of the 31 rape no-crime decisions reviewed, only 22 complied with the NCRS and HOCR.