South Yorkshire 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.
South Yorkshire Police has faced a number of significant challenges over the last year. These include the outcome of the Hillsborough inquests in April 2016; calls for a public inquiry into the police response to the miners’ strike in Orgreave in 1984; and the requirement to implement the recommendations from the 2014 independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. This inspection examines leadership at every level within the force and does not comment on the individual performance of senior leaders. However, we note that the force has seen a significant number of changes to its senior leadership team over the last year.
South Yorkshire Police has struggled to build or maintain an understanding of the leadership capability within its workforce. The force has developed a set of leadership principles for police officers, and HMIC found evidence that senior officers clearly understand what is expected of them. However, we found that knowledge of these principles among the wider workforce is limited, and the force has not yet produced similar standards for police staff.
The force’s ‘Leading Together’ strategy does provide a plan for leadership development, but to date there has been limited evaluation of the effectiveness of activities the force has undertaken as part of the strategy. The force does not have a systematic approach to identifying and developing potential future leaders through a talent management programme. Although senior officers are aware of leadership support available to them, more junior members of the workforce that HMIC spoke to were either not aware of such opportunities or felt unable to take them because they could not find adequate cover to allow them to be released from their duties.