West Mercia 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.
West Mercia Police’s strategic alliance with Warwickshire Constabulary (the alliance) has resulted in all posts below deputy chief constable being shared. Both forces share a single vision and set of values, and work to an agreed set of policies. For this reason, HMIC anticipated that practice and processes would be the same for both forces, and has found this to be the case. Therefore, apart from a few specific examples, all references to the force apply equally to the alliance.
Leadership expectations form an integral part of the force’s vision and values, and are widely understood by officers and staff. The chief officer team meets all newly promoted officers to communicate these expectations.
The force does not make use of all the tools available to improve its leadership capability. For example, it has only recently conducted a comprehensive skills assessment as part of its evaluation of training needs and its leadership development programme. The force maintains a database of interested and skilled people who can be approached for recruitment to specialist posts, including senior leadership positions. However, many officers and staff that HMIC spoke to were unaware of any talent management schemes.
The force has successfully involved its employees in changes through its ‘change hub’ (a team dedicated to managing change) and is working to develop diverse leadership teams, although the force’s policy of posting staff anywhere across West Mercia and Warwickshire has deterred some staff from applying for promotion.