Metropolitan PEEL 2015
How well has the force performed in our other inspections?
In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.
Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.
As part of HMIC’s annual all-force inspections into police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) in 2015, HMIC assessed how well led forces are at every rank and grade of the organisation and across all areas inspected in PEEL. We reviewed how well a force understands and is developing its leaders; whether it has set a clear and compelling future direction; and how well it motivates and engages the workforce.
The force’s senior leadership team has set a clear strategic direction for the force and has clearly communicated the values, behaviours and ethics it expects its workforce to exhibit. The force has a clear understanding of its current state of leadership and has mechanisms to understand how its workforce perceives and understands leadership. It uses this information to make changes which it communicates to the workforce.
The force is good at ensuring leaders across the force have a clear sense of what is expected of them. The force also understands that its leadership requires further development if it is to successfully lead and implement a major change programme and instil desired values and behaviours.
How well does the force have a clear understanding of the current state of its leadership at every level?
HMIC examined how well forces understand the strengths and weaknesses of leadership across the force and how well the workforce understands its leadership role. Strong, clear leadership across every rank and grade is vital to the effectiveness and efficiency of a modern and capable police force.
The Metropolitan Police Service has a good understanding of the capacity and capability of its leadership across most levels of the force. It reviewed its leadership in 2013, which led to a range of activities to understand the current strengths and weaknesses of its leadership. Senior leaders self-assess their leadership style by conducting 360-degree feedback, which has helped set a new tone of leadership from the top of the organisation, while the force is further developing leadership in its Operational Command Units (OCUs) with the launch of its ‘Leading for London’ initiative.
The force is good at ensuring leaders across the force have a clear sense what is expected of them. The senior tier of leaders meets every four to six weeks to discuss the issues facing the force, including responding to changing demands. The next tier of leaders also meets to look at themes which have included leadership values and behaviours, and trust and confidence in leaders. These leaders then instigate ‘MET Conversations’ which involve leaders communicating the force’s message to the whole workforce. MET conversations, and the annual staff survey, also give the force a good understanding of how senior leadership is perceived across the force.
How well has the force provided a clear and compelling sense of the future direction of the organisation?
HMIC examined the extent to which forces have set out a clear, compelling and realistic sense of future direction, because it is important to ensure that the workforce is motivated to build for the future and that the force knows the kinds of skills it is looking to develop. We were also interested to find out how well leaders are making use of new approaches to enable forces to meet future financial challenges.
The force has carried out some work to determine what future workforce capabilities it requires, but could do more work in this area. The force assessed the future leadership potential for its entire workforce at chief inspector and equivalent rank and above, as well as analysing the skills of sergeants and inspectors. The findings from these assessments enabled the force to identify a deficit in crime management skills which it is now filling by providing the necessary training to 11,000 staff. The force identified another capability gap in relation to technology, so is looking at ways to recruit information and communication technology experts into its investigative teams.
The force is good at using new ideas, approaches and technological opportunities. The One Met Total Technology Programme sets out how the force intends to improve service provision while creating efficiencies, and runs from 2014 to 2017. Through this programme and other work streams, the force is using body-worn cameras and predictive crime mapping, and is testing mobile technology and developing ‘apps’ to complement this work.
How is the force developing leadership, motivating the workforce and encouraging staff engagement?
HMIC examined how well forces identify and develop leadership, as good quality of leadership is key to ensuring that forces overcome their challenges of reducing crime and meeting the needs of victims. We were not looking for one particular style of leadership, but focused on how well leaders motivate their workforce and improve performance to provide a quality service to the public.
The force carries out a number of practices to identify talented future leaders from within and outside of the force. The force has implemented a nine-box performance and promotion potential matrix to assess talent and readiness for promotion for all down to chief inspector and equivalent rank. The force has recruited direct entrants at superintendent rank, and new recruits areassessed for their talent and promotion prospects by their trainers and mentors in OCUs. Despite these opportunities, HMIC found that staff who had not been included in these schemes were dissatisfied with their career opportunities, highlighting the lack of clear career pathways to follow.
The force has worked closely with the workforce in developing its performance system. In response to feedback from staff and officers at all levels suggesting there was an issue with performance culture, the force’s management board is developing the One Met scorecard. When complete, this will allow the force to show how it is meeting objectives set out in its strategy, and enable all OCUs to show how they contribute to the strategy in a consistent way.
To what extent is leadership improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of the force?
As good quality leadership is an important factor of policing performance, HMIC examined how leaders are improving the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of forces through clear, reasoned and swift actions. This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible for this pillar.
Leadership in the Metropolitan Police Service has resulted in a stronger focus on improving the force’s effectiveness. It has active leaders who have put mechanisms to prioritise crime prevention and tackling anti-social behaviour. During our inspection, HMIC found that crime prevention work through a problem-solving approach was evident, and leaders are undertaking effective partnership work in this area.
Leadership in the Metropolitan Police Service has resulted in a stronger focus on improving its legitimacy. Key leaders were able to demonstrate their knowledge of the National Decision Model, and how they used it in their role. For example, specialist officers such as firearms officers or investigation leads were able to demonstrate a clear understanding of how the model informs their daily decisions at critical points.
The force recognises the importance of leaders modelling ethical behaviours. The force held an event for 900 employees at chief inspector level and above to innovatively emphasise this message by using a theatre company to illustrate examples of ethical leadership. Attendees stated that the event had a powerful positive impact on them.
The force also takes workforce wellbeing seriously. However, it could display more leadership to ensure that the force is more consistent at managing welfare issues.