South Wales PEEL 2014
How well the force tackles crime
South Wales Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force is good at investigating offending. It is outstanding at tackling anti-social behaviour.
South Wales puts victims at the centre of how the force works, and this includes working with partners to safeguard vulnerable victims. Force leaders set and drive clear strategic priorities to reduce crime and prevent reoffending. The most vulnerable victims are protected effectively. Victim satisfaction with policing services is improving in South Wales. The police work well with partners to prevent crime and reduce reoffending.
Early intervention and problem solving are strengths for the force. The continuity of staffing within neighbourhood policing teams reinforces the approach to crime reduction and the prevention of offending, and means that the force understands local community concerns and priorities.
Tackling anti-social behaviour is outstanding in South Wales. This is a priority for the police and crime commissioner and for the force. Partnership working is strong, both strategically and locally. The force’s work on neighbourhood problem solving achieves the objective of improving quality of life for local communities.
Further insights on effectiveness
The domestic abuse inspection found that there were good services for tackling domestic abuse and keeping victims safe in South Wales, with some areas for improvement. The inspection found that the service was not so good for victims who were assessed as posing a lower risk.
The crime inspection found that the force is identifying, targeting and dismantling organised crime groups, and stripping them of their assets. It had a ‘whole system approach’, which included intelligence gathering at a neighbourhood level, an organised crime group crime-mapping process, assignment of tasks to disrupt their activity, and links with regional task forces and the National Crime Agency.
The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that South Wales Police had the necessary capability to tackle terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder, either on its own or in collaboration with other forces within its region. It did not, however, have the capability to respond effectively to a large-scale cyber incident.
How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?
Clear priorities are agreed between the police and crime commissioner and South Wales Police to reduce and prevent crime.
These priorities are translated effectively into operational activity by neighbourhood policing teams and specialist support services.
The force has a thorough, current understanding of the demand that it faces, and aligns its resources to the areas of most need and greatest harm.
The safeguarding of vulnerable people, and early interventions to break cycles of offending and problem solving are central to the force’s way of working.
How effective is the force at investigating offending?
South Wales Police has an effective and consistent method in place to ensure that victim and witness care is of a high standard.
Investigation plans are used effectively by supervisors to direct criminal enquiries, and maximise the likelihood of offenders being brought to justice.
The force works well with other agencies to manage prolific and harmful offenders and reduce reoffending.
Organisational learning is under-developed. It requires a more structured approach to ensure that a culture of continuous improvement becomes widespread in the force.
How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour is a priority in South Wales. Operational activity is carried out by multi-agency teams that constantly review how best to support victims and curb offending behaviour.
Analysis and intelligence are used effectively to prevent repeat victimisation and identify those offenders who cause the most harm.
Partnership working is a strength in the force, both in relation to the identification of vulnerable victims and the way in which it draws on the support of external organisations to protect them.
Neighbourhood policing teams use problem-solving techniques effectively to improve the quality of life for the people of South Wales.
How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?
The domestic abuse inspection found that there were good services for tackling domestic abuse and keeping victims safe in South Wales, with some areas for improvement. The inspection found that it was less clear that victims assessed as lower risk were getting as good a service. Potential delays in the system meant the force could not be confident that victims were consistently getting the initial response from the police that was proportionate to the risk they faced.
The crime inspection found evidence that domestic abuse was a priority for South Wales Police. Partners reported high standards of service for victims with good use being made of the special measures available to enhance the quality of a witness’s evidence. The inspection also reviewed South Wales’ domestic abuse action plan and found the national action plan submitted to be detailed, and to evidence activity that is in line with the agreed national priorities for forces. The plan contains references to both the national and force-specific HMIC recommendations.
How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?
The crime inspection found that the force is effective at tackling organised crime groups. It is fully committed to identifying, targeting and dismantling organised crime groups, and stripping them of their assets. It had a ‘whole system approach’, which included intelligence gathering at a neighbourhood level, an organised crime group crime-mapping process, assignment of tasks to disrupt their activity and links with regional task forces and the National Crime Agency.
How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?
The Strategic Policing Requirement inspection found that the chief constable understood his role as specified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. South Wales Police had assessed the scale and nature of the terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder threats, but not that of a large-scale cyber incident. This had enabled the force to identify how much resource it needed to manage and respond to these threats with the exception of a large-scale cyber incident. Public order has a nationally agreed requirement for resources and South Wales is able to provide the necessary agreed amount.
HMIC found that South Wales had, or had access to through collaboration with other forces regionally, the necessary capability to tackle terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder but not a large-scale cyber incident.
South Wales was able to operate effectively with other police forces and emergency services to respond to public disorder and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.
In South Wales we found that connectivity with other forces was effective for responding to terrorism, civil emergency, serious organised crime and public disorder, but not a large-scale cyber incident.