Staffordshire PEEL 2014
How well the force tackles crime
Staffordshire Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force requires improvement in investigating offending. It is outstanding at tackling anti-social behaviour.
Staffordshire Police has a structured and effective approach to assessing the threats, risks and harm faced by its communities. It has clear priorities, and aligns its operational activity to the pursuit of these.
Officers and staff place victims at the centre of much of their decision making, and are able to identify and address vulnerability – whether this relates to victims or perpetrators. Recorded crime rose by 3 percent in the year to June 2014, but victim satisfaction is high and stable at 89.8 percent (± 1.5 percent). The force is outstanding in its approach to tackling anti-social behaviour, with consistent community engagement and highly effective partnership working arrangements.
The quality of investigation in Staffordshire is inconsistent. Victims are not always kept up to date as investigations progress, and supervisors offer a limited amount of advice and direction to maximise the likelihood of a successful outcome. Integrated offender management in the county is better – the force is managing its most persistent offenders well, and is committed to strengthening this model further.
Further insights on effectiveness
The domestic abuse inspection found that the public could have some confidence that the police provided a good service to victims of domestic abuse. However, there was concern that victims of repeat incidents of domestic abuse may not be identified and their safety adequately addressed.
The value for money inspection found that there were arrangements in place with other forces for serious organised crime policing. These collaborations had enabled the force to save money, and to provide better equipped and more resilient specialist services to the public.
How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?
Staffordshire Police’s approach to assessing threat, harm and risk is well-embedded; officers understand and use this approach well. The force has clear priorities which reflect the needs of local communities, and it assigns resources to these priorities through structured management meetings.
The quality of victim contact in Staffordshire is good, and there are robust processes in place to identify and address victim vulnerability. Decision making is victim centred, and victim satisfaction is high.
There is good evidence of a focus on crime prevention, reflected in effective partnership working at a strategic level. Multi-agency arrangements for safeguarding vulnerable victims work well, and the force has supplemented these with further work to divert those at risk of becoming offenders away from crime.
How effective is the force at investigating offending?
The quality of investigations by Staffordshire Police is variable. Investigations conducted by specialist staff are generally of a good standard. However, non-specialist crime investigations are not of a consistently acceptable standard, and the supervision of these is limited.
There is a clear priority from the leadership of the force to become victim focused and recognition that this is still work in progress. Not all staff understand their responsibilities under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, and there are inconsistencies in the way that victims are updated as investigations progress.
The force has strong integrated offender management arrangements, and it is seeking to expand the scope of this scheme to cover a wider range of crime types. Close partnership working and a clear commitment to improvement are evident in Staffordshire’s approach to managing persistent offenders.
How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?
There is a clear commitment to treating anti-social behaviour as a priority in Staffordshire, and operational activity clearly reflects this.
The force listens to, and proactively involves, its partners and local communities – including those that are hardest to reach, such as religious groups and those living in isolated rural locations. The force engages consistently and effectively with the public, helping it to understand and address the things that matter most to local people. Co-location with partners enables the force to pursue an effective and coherent problem-solving approach to tackling anti-social behaviour. It analyses the needs of the public, and is responsive to community feedback.
How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?
The domestic abuse inspection found that the public could have some confidence that Staffordshire Police provided a good service to victims of domestic abuse and helped keep them safe. The inspection found that crimes had a structured response from officers. However, the response to victims was less structured, and there was concern that victims of repeat incidents of domestic abuse may not be identified and their safety adequately addressed. There was a delay in identifying the level of risk faced by victims, which was a concern.
The crime inspection found that Staffordshire treated domestic abuse as a priority. The inspection also reviewed Staffordshire’s domestic abuse action plan and found it had built on its existing domestic approach to develop further activity to respond to the HMIC recommendations. It had also assessed all its activity in line with the agreed national priorities for forces to improve their response to domestic abuse, and it had provided clear evidence of how it was doing this.
How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?
The value for money inspection found that there were arrangements in place with other forces for serious organised crime policing. These collaborations had enabled the force to save money and provide better equipped and more resilient specialist services to the public.
How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?
There was no Strategic Policing Requirement inspection for this force.