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Cleveland PEEL 2017

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 22/03/2018
Good

Cleveland Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Since our 2016 effectiveness inspection the force has made progress in all areas inspected. It is further strengthening its approach to neighbourhood policing and responding well to people who are vulnerable through their age, disability, or because they have been subjected to repeated offences, or are at high risk of abuse, for example. However, we found that the force needs to take further action to ensure vulnerable people consistently receive an effective service.

Cleveland Police has an effective approach to reducing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. It prioritises and invests in preventing crime through its approach to neighbourhood policing, working with other organisations. The force has a good understanding of its communities and what matters to local people influences its identification of threat, risk and harm. It is good at tackling crime and anti-social behaviour with partner organisations (such as local authorities, or health and education services). The force reviews the effect of its activity on a case-by-case basis and uses evidence of good practice to inform activity in other areas, although recognises it could do more to understand the cumulative effect of this approach.

However, Cleveland Police must improve its ability to protect vulnerable people. The force is effective at identifying vulnerability. It answers calls promptly, treats victims with empathy and ensures their immediate safeguarding needs are addressed. Officers are providing an appropriate response and immediate safeguarding arrangements are put in place, but the quality of risk assessments is unsatisfactory. The force does not refer all high-risk domestic abuse cases to a multi-agency risk assessment conference, and does not always refer standard and medium-risk cases quickly enough. On a more positive note, the force is generally good at investigating crimes involving vulnerable victims, although the outcomes it achieves for domestic abuse cases require improvement. The force needs to do more to ensure that it manages effectively the risks posed by registered sex offenders. We found that the force works well with partner organisations to support vulnerable people with mental health problems.

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

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?

Cleveland Police is good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) and keeping people safe. The force gives its officers and staff in neighbourhood policing teams the training, guidance and support they need. The force has a good understanding of its communities, the threats they face and what matters to local people. It plans to recruit community support volunteers, to help advise local people about community safety.

The force works with partner organisations to:

  • identify where harm is likely to occur; and
  • tackle crime and ASB.

The force uses powers and tactics effectively to tackle crime and ASB, including:

  • criminal and anti-social behaviour orders;
  • dispersal orders;
  • road traffic legislation; and
  • civil injunctions for ASB.

Cleveland Police evaluates most local initiatives, but does not understand fully the overall impact of its crime prevention activity, including which activity has the greatest impact and why. The force has started to address this by reviewing its activity in force-wide performance meetings, and through work in collaboration with Teesside University.

Good
3

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

Cleveland Police requires improvement at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims.

The force is effective at identifying vulnerable people and takes account of risk when responding to them. It understands its role in supporting people with mental health conditions. Mental health practitioners commented on the chief constable’s effective leadership in this area.

In our 2016 inspection, we found the force needed to improve its categorisation of absent children. The force has addressed this problem and is now correctly categorising children who are missing but with no apparent risk.

The force’s arrest rate for domestic abuse (DA) has reduced in the past year. However, it does not satisfactorily complete all DA risk assessments. It could also be more proactive in protecting DA victims as part of its initial response.

The force needs to improve how it:

  • refers high-risk victims of DA to multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs);
  • safeguards victims and exchanges information through continued work to establish a multi-agency safeguarding hub;
  • understands why high proportions of DA victims do not support action, and works to rectify this; and
  • manages the risks posed by registered sex offenders.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve the quality of information that officers record on the DASH risk assessments at initial response.
  • The force should ensure its process to obtain feedback from victims of domestic abuse include those victims who do not support police action.
  • The force should review the MARAC referral process and consider the need for greater partner involvement in the decision-making process to ensure high-risk victims of domestic abuse are not being placed at risk as a result.
  • The force should take steps to understand the reasons why a high proportion of crimes related to domestic abuse fall into the category ‘Evidential difficulties; victim does not support police action’, and rectify this to ensure that it is pursuing justice on behalf of victims of domestic abuse.
  • The force should ensure that it manages effectively the risks posed by registered sex offenders.
  • The force should improve how it works with partner organisations in relation to exchanging information and safeguarding victims by continuing to work to establish a multi-agency safeguarding hub.
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 force:

  • works constructively with other organisations to assess its response to national threats;,/li>
  • tests its skills and capabilities in training exercises; and
  • has developed a good understanding of the threat to the public from an armed attack.

However, the force should:

  • make better use of analysis of armed officer response times.

Ungraded