Warwickshire PEEL 2014
How well the force tackles crime
Warwickshire Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force is good at investigating crime. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.
Warwickshire Police is in a strategic alliance with West Mercia Police, and across both forces HMIC found a strong response to preventing and reducing crime. Local neighbourhood teams in the force have a good understanding of local priorities and work with partners to prevent crime effectively, manage high-risk offenders and safeguard victims, especially the most vulnerable and victims of anti-social behaviour.
The force has invested resources to support victims and HMIC found frontline staff are committed to keeping them safe. There was generally an emphasis on conducting high-quality investigations. However, in some cases, officers could not maximise evidential opportunities such as photographs of injuries as specialist resources normally allocated to investigate crimes, such as child and/or domestic abuse, was not available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Further insights on effectiveness
The domestic abuse inspection found that Warwickshire provided a good service to victims of domestic abuse. Although the public could have confidence that the force was working well with partners to tackle domestic abuse, there was still some room for improvement.
The crime inspection found that organised crime groups are mapped by the force intelligence team and prioritised according to threat, risk and harm. There were a number of examples of how organised crime group mapping had been used to target child sexual exploitation.
How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?
HMIC found that Warwickshire Police has structures and processes in place to understand its demand and put the right resources in place to tackle this. It had an effective range of partnerships to tackle short-term and long-term problems in its communities.
The force uses a range of tactics to divert and disrupt offenders, and to manage those who are assessed as higher risk.
Partnership working is underpinned by an innovative approach to sharing information through an electronic database to manage anti-social behaviour incidents.
How effective is the force at investigating offending?
The force has a victim-centred approach and a strong focus on ensuring that the most vulnerable victims receive a service that is bespoke to the individuals needs and, where appropriate, they receive a joined-up service from other agencies.
HMIC found good levels of scrutiny and supervision across risk assessment, victim contact and crime investigation. There was an emphasis on conducting high quality investigations, and commitment to ensure sufficient specialist resources.
HMIC has concerns about the lack of access to specialist skills to investigate child protection cases over the weekend, and the fact that force policy on not taking photographs at certain crime scenes meant evidential opportunities could be lost.
How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?
The identification and response to anti-social behaviour is evident among safer neighbourhood teams.
There is a clear understanding of the benefits of working with partners to find suitable solutions to both short and longer-term problems.
Across the alliance, there is evidence of the use of restorative justice and community resolutions as appropriate outcomes.
How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?
The domestic abuse inspection found that Warwickshire Police provided a good service to victims of domestic abuse. The inspection found that although the public could have confidence that the force was working well with partners to tackle domestic abuse and keep victims safe, there was still some room for improvement.
The crime inspection found evidence that Warwickshire had strong relationships with local domestic abuse support groups and Independent Domestic Violence Advisers. The inspection also reviewed Warwickshire and West Mercia’s joint domestic abuse action plan and found the action plan submitted only covered the HMIC force recommendations. However, there appeared to be no action plan for either force in response to national priorities. This template requires forces to outline activity which was in line with the agreed national priorities for them to improve their response to domestic abuse.
How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?
The crime inspection found that organised crime groups are mapped by the force intelligence team and prioritised according to threat, risk and harm. Depending on the risk posed they are allocated to lead responsible officers to manage. These can include local policing teams, where appropriate.
There were a number of examples of how organised crime group mapping had been used to target child sexual exploitation. Following specific operations to tackle child sexual exploitation, a review of intelligence gaps had resulted in increased coverage in this area.
The value for money inspection found that Warwickshire Police’s alliance with West Mercia had provided greater resilience in specialist roles, particularly in combating firearms, serious, organised and major crimes.
How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?
There was no Strategic Policing Requirement inspection for this force.