Cambridgeshire PEEL 2016
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; 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.
Police leadership is crucial in enabling a force to be effective, efficient and legitimate. This inspection focused on how a force understands, develops and displays leadership through its organisational development.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary has worked effectively with its workforce to refresh and redefine what it expects from its leaders, promoting a leadership style that trusts officers and staff to make decisions. This has continued under its new chief officer team. The force has taken the decision to move to a ‘trust and check’ approach; encouraging a more inclusive style of management. This display of trust emphasises the force’s leadership expectations. This encourages officers and staff to challenge senior leaders and to feel comfortable in doing so. The new chief officer team is working hard to ensure that officers and staff have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in terms of the refreshed leadership expectations.
The force uses a broad range of techniques to develop leadership skills, although it could perhaps do more to understand the skills, experience and background of its workforce, including implementing a formal management process to identify and develop talented officers and staff. The force has a strong focus on increasing the diversity of its leadership team, with positive results. The force would benefit from reviewing and evaluating this work regularly.
We found that the force is highly innovative and has a culture of working with academia. This is particularly evident in how it develops its information and communications technology, and in research commissioned from Cambridge University. Officers and staff are able to make suggestions and influence positive change throughout the force, the strategic alliance (a collaboration between Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary) and nationally. We found that the force evaluates some of its programmes, projects and initiatives well and makes this learning available to others.