Metropolitan 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.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has set out clearly what it expects from its leaders at all ranks and grades. The MPS works with some of its workforce to develop its leadership principles and publicises these widely. However, the workforce still does not understand fully what these leadership expectations mean for them in practice. The MPS is working to address this by running a series of leadership events for its workforce, at which these leadership expectations are explored and clarified. The MPS has different ways to try and understand its leadership capability across the whole force; it closes any gaps in skills with training and recruitment.
The MPS offers an extensive range of development opportunities to officers, some of which are aimed at those with the most talent and potential. It also attracts candidates through Direct Entry and Fast Track schemes. But no similar schemes are in place for police staff – although they can apply for the police officer Direct Entry schemes, and all police staff roles are open to Direct Entry candidates. Police staff feel that there are limited opportunities for them to develop their skills and to progress through the organisation.
The MPS responds well when it has identified that is has problems with its leaders and we found several high-profile examples where this is addressed. Officers and staff feel, however, that the force should deal with these problems earlier so that they do not become more serious.
The MPS has forged strong links with local academic institutions and industry to develop new ways of working. It is straightforward for its workforce to submit ideas to improve working practices. We found some examples of where it has implemented these initiatives. The force’s management board is made up of officers and staff from a range of background and skills as well as two recently-appointed non-executive advisors from the private sector.
Elsewhere, the MPS is developing diverse leadership teams, although its focus here is principally on ethnicity and gender rather than broader diversity issues such as the other protected characteristics. The MPS has made considerable progress in recruiting more black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) officers than ever before, in part due to its residency criteria which increase the pool of diverse candidates for constable recruitment. These criteria mean that those who are applying come from a smaller area geographically but, as would be expected, are more reflective of London. The force remains focused on continuing to increase numbers even further.