Greater Manchester 2017Read more about Greater Manchester
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Greater Manchester Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.
The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.
The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not graded.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not graded.
Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of Greater Manchester Police below.
After the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017, HMICFRS decided jointly with Greater Manchester Police that we would not undertake our early June inspection fieldwork, but we later completed a limited inspection of efficiency and legitimacy followed by our Autumn inspection of effectiveness, as planned.
I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of Greater Manchester Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but we found areas of concern that the force needs to address to provide a consistently good service. I have particular concerns about the force’s effectiveness in protecting vulnerable people.
The force needs to improve:
- how it responds to vulnerable people;
- how it addresses current and future demand; and
- the quality and supervision of its investigations.
The force understands the importance of treating the public fairly and with respect, as well as its officers and staff, but should improve how it updates the public about their complaints.
I acknowledge the progress that Greater Manchester Police has made in some areas since last year in the context of a high level of demand, and would like to see the force make further improvements in the year ahead.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Greater Manchester Police requires improvement at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Although the force has made progress in some areas since 2016, its approach to protecting vulnerable people has deteriorated. This is the main reason for our overall judgment moving from good to requires improvement.
Demand on resources is high with a significant increase in crime recording since the last inspection. Further action is therefore needed to ensure timely attendance, safeguarding of victims and evidence recovery at incidents involving vulnerable people. As such Greater Manchester Police needs to improve the way it investigates crime and how it protects those victims who are vulnerable.
The force has effective processes in place to assess the risk within incidents and crimes at initial contact in its control room. These identify those people who are vulnerable or have been repeat victims of crime and domestic abuse. However, once the level of risk and appropriate graded response has been decided, the force has difficulty at times in allocating resources to attend those calls and meet that demand. This has an adverse impact on the initial investigation of crime, obtaining evidence at the scene, the potential for arresting offenders and safeguarding victims of crime. This means that victims are not always receiving the best service from the police and is a cause of concern for HMICFRS. Once officers are in attendance at incidents and crimes, the service to the public and safeguarding of victims improves.
The force also needs to improve the quality of its investigations, particularly for non- complex offences, increasing the active supervision of investigations and ensuring that appropriate lines of enquiry and evidential opportunities are taken to improve the outcomes of those investigations for victims of crime. The quality of investigations into serious or complex offences is better, with appropriate oversight and victim care. The force has effective processes to apprehend offenders and manage those who are most at risk of re-offending.
The force has effective partnership working with other organisations, such as local authorities or mental health services. As a result of this, it is able to maintain continuing support and longer-term safeguarding for the people who have been identified as most vulnerable.
Greater Manchester Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
After the terrorist attack in Manchester on 22 May 2017, HMICFRS decided jointly with Greater Manchester Police that we would not undertake our early June inspection fieldwork.
HMICFRS later completed a limited inspection, which included a series of interviews and visits to operational departments and police stations. Our inspection was sufficient to allow us to report on the efficiency of Greater Manchester Police and to provide a descriptive assessment, although not to make a graded judgment.
Greater Manchester Police has a comprehensive understanding of the demand for its services, including more complex demand and demand less likely to be reported to the police, which is enriched by information from other organisations it works with. The force has good systems in place to understand and monitor the consequences of change, although it could do more to promote innovation from its workforce.
The force has a good understanding of the skills, capabilities and behaviours it needs within its workforce, both now and in the future. However, it needs to do more to fully understand the skills and capabilities that it has at present, so that it can identify and fill any gaps. The force understands the skills and capabilities of its leaders, but it could improve how it identifies and develops the talent it has, including through effective succession planning.
Greater Manchester Police prioritises 999 and 101 calls well, and has systems in place to prioritise different demand at both the strategic and operational level. However, it should improve the consistency with which it identifies incidents as being suitable for resolution without deployment. The force has a strong commitment to working collaboratively, particularly with other public sector organisations in Greater Manchester, and it understands the benefits of these arrangements. The force looks proactively for new opportunities to improve its services.
The force has a good understanding of likely changes in future demand, which it has developed in conjunction with academic analysis of historic demand. It has good plans for the future that are based on sound and prudent assumptions.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
After the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on 22 May, in which 22 people were killed by a suicide bomber, HMICFRS decided jointly with Greater Manchester Police that we would not undertake our early June inspection fieldwork. HMICFRS later completed a limited inspection, which included a series of interviews and visits to operational departments and police stations. Although we were unable to implement the full inspection methodology, our inspection was sufficient to allow us to report on the legitimacy of Greater Manchester Police and to provide a descriptive assessment, although not to award a graded judgment.
In 2016, the force was judged to be good for legitimacy, including good for the extent to which the force treated people with fairness and respect, good for the extent to which the force ensured its workforce behaved ethically and lawfully, and good for the extent to which the force treated its workforce with fairness and respect.
Police officers and staff in Greater Manchester Police understand the importance of treating the public fairly and with respect. Those we spoke with demonstrated good understanding of unconscious bias and recognised the importance of effective communication skills. Greater Manchester Police monitors the use of force and other coercive powers by its officers and staff, including stop and search, to assure itself that its workforce treats people with fairness and respect. The use of such powers is also subject to external scrutiny by a range of independent bodies.
Officers and staff we spoke with told us that, overall, senior leaders set, model and maintain ethical values. The force’s internal standards board and external independent ethics committee provide effective direction and challenge to support ethical decision-making at all levels. The force makes it easy for people to access the complaints system, but we found inconsistent records relating to continuing contact with complainants. The officers and staff we spoke with are confident they can identify and challenge potential discrimination, but we were disappointed to find that the force was not consistently referring cases to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) when discrimination was identified. The force has taken action to address both of these areas. The quality of investigations into allegations of discrimination is generally high.
The force works hard to ensure it treats its workforce with fairness and respect. Senior leaders encourage the workforce to provide feedback and challenge, and members of the workforce seem comfortable to do so. The force identifies and responds well to workforce concerns and is taking effective action to reduce disproportionality in the workforce. Workforce wellbeing continues to be a priority for the force. This is reflected both in the force’s focus on early intervention to identify and support wellbeing, and the workforce’s positive perceptions of the wellbeing provision. The force’s approach to managing individual performance remains inconsistent, although this year we were satisfied that line managers are holding regular meetings with their officers and staff. Its identification and management of those with leadership potential is also inconsistent, although it has revised promotion selection processes to ensure fairness, and we found that members of the workforce were confident these processes were more accessible, fair and open.
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.
Abuse of position assessment – Greater Manchester Police – published on 5 October 2017
Crime Data Integrity re-inspection 2018 – Greater Manchester Police – published on 11 April 2018