Lancashire PEEL 2014
Does the force act with integrity and provide a service the public expects?
The chief officer team consistently reinforces integrity issues and this is recognised by all members of the constabulary. Effective programmes of work, led personally by chief officers, promote continuing change. The force has established an integrity and standards board which is chaired by the head of the professional standards department and is actively generating a dialogue with staff to develop their understanding. Plans to roll out the national Code of Ethics are in place but have not yet been implemented.
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 which agrees that the force deals with local concerns was broadly in line with the England and Wales. The force’s own victim satisfaction survey (12 months to June 2014) found that the proportion of victims who were satisfied with their experience was less than the figure across England and Wales.
The crime data integrity inspection found that operators answering calls from the public were almost always polite, helpful and professional. The domestic abuse inspection found that there were good IT systems which alerted the operator to repeat callers. There were good systems to assist in locating and sending the nearest officers, ensuring a timely response for the victim. Frontline staff and supervisors dealing with domestic abuse were well trained and took their responsibilities seriously.
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. HMIC is also impressed with the accuracy of the decisions taken by the force when making no-crime decisions (cancelling a recorded crime), nearly all of which are correct. This means the public can have confidence in the way the force records crime.
To what extent does the force ensure that the workforce acts with integrity?
There is a culture of professionalism within the constabulary and staff are prepared to challenge unprofessional behaviour and report wrongdoing. Effective methods for monitoring force information systems are in place, and the professional standards department routinely carries out proactive checks.
HMIC found that the force needed to publish guidance on policy and the outcome of misconduct hearings to inform the workforce.
A process using information drawn from force systems is used to identify staff who may be susceptible to corruption and this is used to drive investigations. The constabulary is effective in developing intelligence about corruption, but HMIC found that there was a need to extend testing and analysis by cross-referencing databases and records, and the force should publish more information, including gifts and hospitality records.
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 Lancashire 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.
- 63 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)
- 82.3 percent (± 0.8 percent) of victims were satisfied with their experience which is less 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 ’emergency’ calls had remained stable but had improved for ‘priority’ calls.
The crime data integrity inspection found that, within the control room, operators were almost always polite, helpful and professional.
The domestic abuse inspection found that the force had good IT systems which alerted the call-handler to repeat callers; they carried out further checks on the databases to ensure a full picture was gathered and to make a decision on the appropriate police response. There were good systems to assist in locating and sending the nearest officers making most efficient use of its resources, and importantly, ensuring a timely response for the victim. All relevant information was relayed to the attending officers, so they could make an informed assessment of risk when arriving at the scene. Staff were well trained in questioning callers to collect as much relevant information as possible. HMIC found that frontline staff and supervisors dealing with domestic abuse were well trained and took their responsibilities seriously.
To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?
The crime data integrity inspection examined 208 incident records and found that 155 crimes should have been recorded. Of the 155 crimes that should have been recorded, 142 were. Of the 142, eight were wrongly classified and eight were recorded outside the 72-hour limit allowed under the Home Office Counting Rules. This is a good result and demonstrates effectiveness in the approach adopted by the force to secure the integrity of crime data.
No-crime refers to an incident that was initially recorded as a crime but has subsequently been found not to be a crime on the basis of additional verifiable information. HMIC examined 142 no-crime records and found 136 records to be compliant with Home Office Counting Rules and National Crime Recording Standard. This suggests that the processes applied by the force to ensure no-crime decisions were correct are robust.