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Cheshire PEEL 2017

Effectiveness

How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 22/03/2018
Good

Cheshire Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Since our 2016 effectiveness inspection, the force has remained effective in protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims, and has made good progress in how it manages serious and organised crime.

Cheshire Constabulary is good at protecting vulnerable people. The awareness of vulnerability is consistent throughout the workforce. The constabulary ensures that victims of domestic abuse are a priority. However, it should review its processes on scheduling appointments and enhance guidance it gives to call handlers.

Officers complete effective initial safeguarding at incidents but need more consistent training and feedback on their vulnerable person assessments. The constabulary works in partnership to address mental health problems across Cheshire.

Officers are aware of relevant mental health issues, and the constabulary plans to give officers more training. Crimes involving vulnerable victims are investigated generally to a good standard but there should be more documented use and supervision of investigation plans. The constabulary’s use of available legal powers to protect victims of domestic abuse is positive.

Cheshire Constabulary is good at tackling serious and organised crime. It has made good progress since our 2016 effectiveness inspection. The constabulary has a very good understanding of the threats that serious and organised crime pose.

When carrying out disruption activity on organised criminals, officers offer interventions to vulnerable offenders and family members to dissuade them from pursuing a life of crime. The constabulary has thorough governance and scrutiny arrangements in place for organised crime, and its processes comply with national guidance. We found good involvement of regional specialists and local policing teams, with a focus on addressing the exploitation of young people travelling to other regions to commit offences. The constabulary carries out educational initiatives, and proactively informs and reassures the public about organised crime.

Cheshire Constabulary has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.

Questions for Effectiveness

3

How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?

Cheshire Constabulary is good at protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims.

The constabulary is generally good at:

  • identifying vulnerability;
  • identifying and supporting people with mental health problems effectively (and has an established mental health triage service);
  • investigating crimes involving vulnerable people;
  • using legal powers to protect domestic abuse victims; and
  • proactively using specialist software to monitor offenders accessing and sharing indecent images of children.

However, the constabulary needs to maintain strong governance of its control room procedures as it moves to a new enhanced command and control system.

It should review its policies for scheduling incidents and deployment for domestic abuse victims to ensure victims are protected.

Training scheduled for 2018 should improve officers’ understanding of risk assessments for vulnerable people and mental health. We will continue to monitor the outcomes of this training.

The constabulary also needs to improve support for officers by providing greater consistency in its crime investigation plans and supervision and guidance, particularly during complex investigations.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary should review its approach and policies in relation to scheduling incidents and deployment for victims of domestic abuse, and take steps to ensure that changes necessary to protect victims are implemented.
  • The constabulary should ensure that frontline officers are proficient in completing vulnerable person risk assessments and there is sufficient supervisory oversight and feedback to ensure opportunities to safeguard vulnerable victims are not missed.
  • The constabulary needs to ensure consistent investigation plans and supervision are in place for all investigations to guide and support officers, especially those managing complex investigations.
  • The force should ensure its process to obtain feedback from victims of domestic abuse includes those victims who do not support police action.
4

How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?

Cheshire Constabulary is good at tackling serious and organised crime (SOC). Since our 2016 inspection, the constabulary has made good progress in tackling SOC. It has improved its:

  • identification, prevention and support of those people at risk of being drawn into organised crime; and
  • lifetime management of organised criminals.

It now has a very good understanding of threats posed by SOC. It works well to:

  • disrupt and investigate SOC;
  • proactively identify and map organised crime groups;
  • prevent offending among established organised criminals; and
  • offer interventions to deter people from crime and re-offending, including family members of organised criminals.

The constabulary uses a wide range of intelligence sources to increase its understanding of SOC. It works effectively with partner agencies, such as prisons, and its local policing teams.

The constabulary has made good progress in improving prevention, disruption and investigation of SOC since our 2016 inspection.

Good
5

How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?

National threats often require forces to work together, across force boundaries. These threats include terrorism, large-scale disorder and civil emergencies. We examined the capabilities in place to respond to these threats, in particular a firearms attack.

Most positively, the constabulary:

  • works with external organisations to develop its capacity to respond to national threats;
  • tests its skills and capabilities in training exercises; and
  • works constructively with North Wales Police to protect communities from the criminal use of firearms.

However, the constabulary should:

  • set out its understanding of the criminal use of firearms in a joint threat assessment with North Wales Police.

Ungraded