North Yorkshire PEEL 2015
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour is clearly understood throughout the force. It works well with partners to tackle local problems and keep people safe. However, there are some inconsistencies in the way the force protects and supports vulnerable victims. The quality of crime investigation is generally good. The force works well with others to manage repeat, dangerous and sexual offenders. It is good at identifying and disrupting the activity of organised crime groups and it has effective arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so a year-on-year comparison is not possible.
There is a clear commitment to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, with a strong focus from the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable to protecting neighbourhood policing. The priority given to crime prevention is well understood by officers and staff across the force. The force works well with other organisations to understand and solve problems in local communities, including intervening early to tackle local concerns and stop problems from escalating.
In the main, the force carries out good quality investigations, including making sure that victims are safe. The force works well to identify, investigate and bring to justice repeat and dangerous offenders and to stop them re-offending.
Although the force has committed significant effort and resources to offer a high quality service to the public, there is some room for improvement in the way it deals with vulnerable victims. It generally works well in identifying those who may be vulnerable at the earliest opportunity and assessing the risk they face in order to provide the most appropriate response. However, there are inconsistencies as to who deals with victims of domestic abuse and the quality of service they receive.
The force has made good progress in developing joint working arrangements with local partner organisations but further work is needed to ensure that all relevant organisations are contributing to joint work.
The force has a good understanding of the threat and risk posed by serious and organised crime to the communities of North Yorkshire. It has well established and effective ways of identifying and disrupting their activities. The force has good arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities.
How effective is the force at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and keeping people safe?
North Yorkshire Police is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe.
There is a strong commitment to maintain the capability and capacity of the neighbourhood policing structures and police resources are appropriately provided in the safer neighbourhood teams to serve local communities and neighbourhoods.
The importance of crime prevention activity is well understood across the force.
The force has the right systems and ways of working in place at force and neighbourhood level and recognises the importance of collaborative working to prevent crime. The force works well with partner organisations to tackle local problems and contributes constructively to partnership working.
While there are some areas for improvement, including greater clarity on managing the moving of staff to other duties from time to time and the provision of intelligence and analytical support to neighbourhood teams, the public of North Yorkshire can feel confident that the force is working well to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, and keep people safe.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and managing offenders?
North Yorkshire Police’s approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good.
The force has effective processes for the initial investigation and allocation of cases and the quality of investigations is generally good. However, more could be done to improve the quality of investigations and levels of supervisory oversight, particularly those undertaken by neighbourhood and response officers.
The force has increased its capacity to gather digital evidence and significantly improved the turnaround times for the forensic examination of computers and digital devices, which is helping to speed up its ability to deal with the increasing problem of online crime.
The force has a range of methods to identify vulnerable offenders and divert them from further and more serious offending. Its ability to make more of an impact could increase by extending the range of the offenders dealt with through the integrated offender management programme.
The force works well with partners to identify, monitor and manage repeat, sexual and dangerous offenders, to prevent further offending and keep people safe.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that there is regular and active supervision of all investigations to check quality and progress. The standard of supervisory oversight for response and neighbourhood officers should be of a similar standard to that found in the hubs and in more complex and serious cases.
How effective is the force at protecting from harm those who are vulnerable, and supporting victims?
North Yorkshire Police generally provides a good service in identifying vulnerable people and responds well to support and protect them. The force has worked hard to improve its understanding of the scale and nature of crimes against those who are most vulnerable. It has plans in place to continue to develop and improve the services it provides. However, there are several areas where improvement is needed to ensure vulnerable people are consistently protected.
There has been good progress in consistently identifying those who may be vulnerable at the earliest opportunity and assessing the risk they face in order to provide the most appropriate response. The new policing model introduced earlier this year has established specialist investigators for crimes involving vulnerable victims who face the highest risk. However HMIC found there are still inconsistencies in the way the force investigates crimes against vulnerable people with a range of differently skilled and qualified investigators being used dependent on workloads.
North Yorkshire Police works well in response to reports of missing and absent children. It has made a good start in working with other local organisations to develop a better understanding of the extent of child sexual exploitation in North Yorkshire.
Areas for improvement
- The force should improve its initial investigation of cases involving victims of domestic abuse by ensuring responding officers have access to photographic and/or video-recording equipment to show evidence of injuries and crime scenes.
- The force should improve its compliance with the code of practice for victims of crime specifically in relation to victim personal statements.
- The force should improve its investigation of cases involving vulnerable victims by ensuring officers and staff understand how to identify vulnerability and cases are allocated to officers with the appropriate professional skills and expertise to carry out such investigations.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime, including its arrangement for fulfilling its national policing responsibilities?
The force is good at identifying and understanding the threat and risk posed by serious and organised crime to the communities of North Yorkshire. Although the force is yet to complete a local profile of serious and organised crime, this is at an advanced stage with completion is due in autumn 2015.
North Yorkshire Police has a well-established way of identifying, mapping and responding to serious and organised crime groups operating within its force boundaries. The force has a clear governance structure which includes monthly organised crime group management review meetings.
The force has effective working relationships with the regional organised crime unit and with other forces across the region and beyond. Other local and national partner organisations are engaged and appropriately involved in intelligence sharing, planning and disruption activities.
North Yorkshire Police has the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities.
This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their effectiveness at tackling serious and organised crime, including a force’s arrangements for ensuring that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.
Areas for improvement
- The force should complete its serious and organised crime local profile including relevant data from partner agencies, and ensure that it has a local partnership structure in place with responsibility for tackling serious and organised crime.