Nottinghamshire PEEL 2015
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The chief officer team is fully committed to establishing an ethical workforce, and officers and staff are generally positive in respect of the wellbeing arrangements in place. The force engages successfully in some neighbourhoods and particularly with some community groups in the city, but there are places where engagement is less effective. The force is complying with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and Taser is used fairly and appropriately by the force.
This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.
The chief officer team is fully committed to the need for an ethical workforce. Officers and staff are generally positive in respect of the wellbeing arrangements. It is clear that officers and staff understand the force’s shared values, commonly known as the ‘PROUD’ values. The force has ensured that the values are consistent with the Code of Ethics.
While the force is dealing with complaints and allegations well, the perception by some officers and staff is less positive. The force recognises it has more to do to show how it responds fairly to concerns raised by officers and staff.
When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and engages with all the people it serves, we found the force engages successfully in some neighbourhoods, particularly with some community groups in the city, but there are places where engagement is less effective. In those areas, a reliance on traditional meetings may be limiting the number of people who are able to provide their views and information. The force is improving the methods it uses to engage with the people it serves.
As a result, the people of Nottinghamshire should be confident that the force recognises the need to listen and respond to the concerns of the public.
Stop and search and Taser are two ways that the police can prevent crime and protect the public. However, they can be intrusive and forceful methods, and it is therefore vital that the police use them fairly and appropriately. The force is complying with the Best Use of Stop Search scheme, and uses Taser fairly and appropriately.
To what extent does practice and behaviour reinforce the wellbeing of staff and an ethical culture?
The main method for reinforcing an ethical culture in Nottinghamshire Police is through the force’s shared values, commonly known as the ‘PROUD’ values. Officers and staff have a good awareness of how these values influence the way they carry out their roles, and they give examples of positive and negative behaviours. The force has ensured that the values are consistent with the Code of Ethics.
Officers and staff are generally positive in respect of the wellbeing arrangements in place. They are aware that a number of services are available including specialist counselling, gyms and dietary and lifestyle advice.
The case file review of complaints and misconduct allegations showed the force deals with complaints and allegations in a consistent and unbiased manner.
To what extent are forces recording crimes in accordance with the Home Office Counting Rules?
This question has not been inspected or graded in 2015.
How well does the force understand, engage with and treat fairly the people it serves to maintain and improve its legitimacy?
Officers and staff in Nottinghamshire Police have a good understanding of the people they serve, although this understanding is not recorded which means it cannot be shared across teams. There are some teams who see the benefits of engaging with communities but this is not widespread across all roles. Several teams are developing positive and effective engagement with new and emerging communities. There is a similar focus by neighbourhood and response teams in the areas they serve but it is not clear that the methods they are using are always tailored to the needs of the local community. This is reflected in attendance levels at some meetings and wider public awareness of how the force is providing a service.
There is a planned reduction in the number of police and community support officers in neighbourhood teams and the force is ensuring there is support to improve engagement and feedback of information to the public.
The involvement of local people in policing activities and the use of volunteers in different roles are positive; for example, special constables are used to provide dedicated links in rural areas and this is valued by those communities.
Officers and staff in Nottinghamshire Police treat the people they serve with fairness and respect. There is a good understanding of the National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged) although response and neighbourhood officers are less clear how they apply or record its use.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that its local teams have sufficient information available to them to improve their understanding of local communities.
To what extent are decisions taken on the use of stop and search and Taser fair and appropriate?
Nottinghamshire Police officers fully understand the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and the force is complying with all aspects of it. There are effective and thorough management and oversight arrangements with a performance dashboard and wider information about the overall use of stop search in the force area. There is independent scrutiny by a stop and search scrutiny board and the views of young people including those from within black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are recorded. The force is complying with the Best Use of Stop Search scheme and extensive information about stop and search encounters is published on the force’s website including data about outcomes, gender, ethnicity and the age of people stopped and searched.
Taser is being used fairly and appropriately by Nottinghamshire Police. Taser devices are only issued by the force to specialist officers within the East Midlands Operational Support Services, which includes officers from three other neighbouring forces. Taser-trained officers understand the National Decision Model whenever they consider any use of Taser, although when Taser is fired, the decision is not always recorded using the National Decision Model.
Areas for improvement
- The force must ensure that Taser-trained offers properly understand and record their decisions using the National Decision Model in accordance with the College of Policing training.