Cumbria 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.
Cumbria Constabulary has clear expectations of its leaders. The senior leadership team has introduced a new vision and values for the constabulary, which is widely understood throughout the organisation. The constabulary used a staff survey to seek feedback and is addressing the concerns raised; staff feel that the chief officer team responded well to their feedback. Performance meetings at strategic, area and team level provide good accountability and allow managers to understand the relative strengths of leaders. However, the constabulary does not have a full understanding of the skills and potential of all its officers and staff because its new performance system is not fully in place. The new system is part of a strategy to identify potential senior leaders. The constabulary has leadership programmes, tailored to different ranks, and has plans for additional programmes.
Leadership problems are identified quickly and managed appropriately; emerging disciplinary issues are raised at an early stage. The constabulary plans to introduce ‘business improvement groups’ to seek new ideas from the workforce, but the workforce is not aware of these plans. At present, officers and staff can only make suggestions through the ‘ask the chief’ intranet forum or their line manager.
The constabulary is aiming to recruit and retain excellent police staff and officers to meet future needs and develop internal talent. There is scope to develop diverse leadership teams more widely. Recent selection processes have been internal, and have seen current members of the constabulary promoted, although the most recent senior appointment at chief officer rank was through an open recruitment process, and an assistant chief constable was recruited from outside Cumbria Constabulary.