City of London PEEL 2017
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
City of London Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
Since our 2016 effectiveness inspection the force has made good progress in the areas HMICFRS identified as requiring improvement. We are pleased to find this year that City of London Police is good across all elements of keeping people safe and reducing crime covered by our 2017 inspection.
City of London Police has an effective approach to preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. The force has a comprehensive understanding of its local community and the threats and risks it faces. These feature in problem-solving plans, which are produced and implemented by officers and staff. To ensure it is deploying its resources where they are most needed, and providing the most effective crime-prevention service to the public, the force needs to develop its understanding of the impact its activity has in the community.
The force protects vulnerable people well. It has an effective system in place to identify such people, and its workforce has a clear understanding of how they may be vulnerable. Risk assessments and investigations involving victims of domestic abuse are comprehensive, tailored to each victim, and regularly checked for quality. The force’s response to people with mental health conditions is good, and it works closely with other agencies on this.
City of London Police responds capably to serious and organised crime. It has developed an effective system to identify, disrupt and investigate organised crime groups. It holds its officers to account, and uses a wide range of intelligence sources to increase its understanding of serious and organised crime. The force works well with other agencies but needs to improve its approach to preventing serious and organised criminals from re-offending.
City of London Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response. The force has taken part in local and regional mobilisation exercises and it works closely with the Metropolitan Police Service and the British Transport Police to provide adequate public order capabilities for the London area. The force has a sound understanding of all six threats specified within The Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) and has carried out exercises to test its response.
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
City of London Police has an effective approach to preventing crime and has recently formalised a plan adapted to the specific needs of its area. It trains its personnel appropriately and makes good and innovative use of them. Examples of good practice include the force:
- expecting its community staff to produce high-quality crime-reduction plans appropriate to the needs of the area; and
- having an architectural liaison officer to advise on building security.
The force effectively understands and communicates with its small but diverse population, and works effectively with the population’s different elements. The force’s initiatives include:
- personnel dedicated to working with its different communities; and
- advertising crime prevention events via digital media.
The force tackles crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) intelligently and effectively. It has improved its approach to problem-solving, and works well with other organisations. It has effective crime prevention initiatives in place:
- using analysis to direct its patrols to areas of most need; and
- working well with the Metropolitan Police Service to address ASB by individuals travelling from other areas.
However, the force needs to monitor the effectiveness of its crime prevention activity to ensure that it results in an effective service to the public.
The force also should:
- understand the impact of redeploying neighbourhood staff to react to incidents; and
- work more closely with its transient population.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
This question was not inspected in 2017. The grade and findings from last year’s inspection still stand.
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
City of London Police is good at protecting vulnerable people and safeguarding victims. The force’s policies are well-adapted to the distinctive features of its small permanent population. It actively seeks out hidden crime.
Its initial response is effective and its workforce has a clear understanding of safeguarding possibilities, though it could make more use of legal powers to protect vulnerable victims. Its domestic abuse (DA) risk assessments are good and its arrest rate high, but it could better assess and understand DA case outcomes.
Investigations are rigorously carried out by appropriate personnel, and the welfare of the workforce is not neglected. Officers and staff are alert to the possibility of people with mental health problems and have access to specialist advice.
Partnership working is of a high standard. Good examples include:
- working with businesses to identify forced labour;
- sending photos and other information about vulnerable or missing people to officers’ mobile devices;
- the sanctuary scheme to make homes safer for victims of abuse; and
- reducing the number of mental health patients being placed into custody for their safety, through effective mental health triage with partner organisations.
However, the force still needs to:
- improve provision of information to schools where children are involved in domestic violence cases; and
- more proactively identify those who share indecent images of children.
Areas for improvement
- The force should review its process for sharing information with schools in relation to children affected by domestic abuse incidents, to ensure information is shared as quickly and effectively as possible.
- The force should ensure that it is proactive in its approach to identifying and apprehending those who produce or share indecent images of children.
- The force should implement a process to obtain feedback from victims of domestic abuse.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
The force generally understands well threats from organised crime groups (OCGs) engaged in both traditional and new activity (though it does not recognise a threat from ‘county lines’ drug-dealing). It makes outstanding use of digital intelligence to combat these threats.
The force makes good use of its community teams and external organisations to proactively identify new OCGs. Its disruption of OCGs is generally effective.
The force’s preventative initiatives include warning students of the risks of involvement in money laundering.
The force has significantly improved how it assesses the seriousness of OCGs’ activity in accordance with national guidelines. However, it could improve this process still further.
The force should also:
- better monitor the effect of its disruption activity;
- involve its CID more effectively in this activity;
- be more alert to ‘county lines’ drug-dealing; and
- make more use of methods to prevent reoffending by established criminals.
Areas for improvement
- The force should enhance its approach to the ‘lifetime management’ of organised criminals to minimise the risk they pose to local communities. This approach should include routine consideration of ancillary orders, partner agency powers, and other methods to deter organised criminals from continuing to offend.
- The force should strengthen its response to drug-dealing networks using ‘county lines’, to stop them inflicting violence and exploitation on local communities.
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 force:
- has assigned chief officers to each threat, who have specific skills and experience in these specialist areas of policing;
- tests its skills in training exercises;
- frequently tests its ability to mobilise large numbers of officers to major incidents or mass casualty disasters; and
- has developed a good understanding of the threat to the public from an armed attack.
However, the force should:
- set out its understanding of the unlawful use of firearms in a joint threat assessment with the Metropolitan Police Service and the British Transport Police.