Hampshire 2017Read more about Hampshire 2017
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Hampshire Constabulary. 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 constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the constabulary is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of Hampshire Constabulary below.
I am very pleased with the performance of Hampshire Constabulary in keeping people safe and reducing crime, particularly for the action it has taken to address the areas for improvement identified in previous inspections.
The force investigates serious crime well, and is good at protecting the public from dangerous offenders. Its efforts to improve the response to victims of domestic abuse are of particular note. However, investigations into some less serious crimes are not always satisfactory and there is a need for more consistent supervision and more victim updates.
It has a good understanding of demand for its services, and processes to predict future demand. It has realistic financial plans that include investing in infrastructure, such as IT and estate, which will help it to achieve savings in the long term and will improve its service to the public.
The chief constable has created an environment of fairness and respect, benefiting both the people who the force serves, and its own officers and staff.
Overall, I commend Hampshire Constabulary for the improvements it has made to its performance this year.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Hampshire Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
The force has made good progress, and it is to be commended for the steps it has taken to address the areas for improvement identified in our 2016 effectiveness inspection.
The force is good at investigating crime. It allocates investigations to officers and staff who have the appropriate skills and experience. Officers and staff are busy, but workloads are manageable. The force’s investigations and updates to victims for more serious crimes are of a consistently high standard, and have improved for other, less serious, crimes. However, the consistency and recording of victim updates and supervisory instructions could be improved further. We also found that the quality of initial enquiries carried out by response officers is inconsistent.
The force has improved its contact with victims of crime and its ability to examine digital devices in support of investigations.
Hampshire Constabulary is good at identifying and protecting vulnerable people.
All officers and staff display a good understanding of when a person might be vulnerable and use structured risk-assessment methods. The quality of referrals to specialist officers is good. However, the force needs to ensure that information about children who might be affected by an incident is fully recorded. The force works well with partner organisations, like local councils. It works with mental health trusts to support people who have a mental health condition, and it is involved in effective multi-agency arrangements to provide support to vulnerable victims. The force has increased its use of powers of arrest and ancillary orders, and has reduced the proportion of victims of crime who do not support police action. It has good processes in place to protect the public from prolific and dangerous offenders, and to manage the risk from foreign national offenders.
Hampshire Constabulary has effective specialist capabilities and is generally well-prepared to deal with national threats such as terrorism and civil emergencies.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Hampshire Constabulary is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year. The force is judged to be good in its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is assessed to be good; and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.
Hampshire Constabulary has a good understanding of demand for its services, including demand that is less likely to be reported, that is based on systematic analysis of comprehensive data from a wide range of sources. The force has processes in place to help it to predict demand and has consulted widely to understand how demand and the public’s expectations may change. It has improved its knowledge of the skills of its workforce and its leaders. A new personal development review process that includes a formal annual appraisal should provide the force with a deeper understanding of its workforce’s skills. The force is improving its leadership capabilities through training and recruitment.
The force seeks ideas and feedback from the workforce and is working hard to ensure that everyone feels that they are participants in the changes taking place, but not all who we spoke with felt their views were valued. Overall, the force prioritises its activities well and it has a good understanding of the effect of investments or cuts in resources on service provision or return on investment.
Hampshire Constabulary has developed excellent working relationships with other organisations, such as the ambulance and fire & rescue services. It has strong and increasing numbers of collaborative working arrangements with other police forces, especially Thames Valley Police. These collaborations are providing both cost savings and a better service to the public. The force makes good use of technology. For example, mobile technology reduces the need for frontline officers and staff to continually return to their bases; and a new contact management system should improve the efficiency of call management and provide the public with online tools for contacting the police. All potential change projects are assessed against the force’s vision and the benefits they will bring. Project management arrangements are robust with a clear focus on realising benefits. The force’s financial plans are achievable but its current financial assumptions mean that it will need to identify and achieve further savings for the 2019/20 financial year.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Hampshire Constabulary is judged to be good in how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is the same as last year. The force is judged to be good at treating the people it serves with fairness and respect and at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. The force has improved the extent to which it treats its workforce with fairness and respect and this is also now judged to be good.
Hampshire Constabulary treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. The workforce understand the importance of treating people this way, but the force should ensure they understand how unconscious bias may affect their decision making. Officers and staff use their communication skills effectively in their interactions with the public.
The force scrutinises its use of coercive powers so that it can identify lessons to be learned and looks for any unfairness in its use of stop and search. Members of the workforce understand how to use coercive powers such as arrest and stop and search in accordance with the law and in a fair and respectful way. The force seeks feedback from members of the public through its website and social media and external scrutiny from independent advisory groups. However, members of independent advisory groups would benefit from more structured training by the force so that they can undertake their role effectively.
Hampshire Constabulary ensures that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Leaders are good role models and promote the force’s values. Its ethics committee identifies lessons learned, which are then shared with the workforce, who are well informed about ethics and ethical decision making.
The force ensures the public can find information about how to make a complaint on its website, through social media and from leaflets and posters in public areas in force buildings. It also encourages complaints from those less likely to complain or take part in traditional forms of engagement. Generally, Hampshire Constabulary works well with complainants and updates them on progress, but letters about the results of its investigations could be clearer. The workforce are aware of the negative effect of discriminatory behaviour. Overall the force has a satisfactory approach to dealing with complaints of discrimination.
Hampshire Constabulary treats its workforce with fairness and respect, and uses a number of ways to identify and resolve workforce concerns. It is committed to dealing with any disproportionality in its treatment of its workforce. The force has a positive approach to workforce wellbeing and provides access to a wide range of wellbeing support. It has improved its processes for assessing individual performance, and has plans for further improvements. The force’s new procedure for selecting staff for promotion is effective, and is seen as fair and open by the workforce.
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.
Hampshire – Joint inspection of police custody – published on 28 February 2017
Abuse of position assessment – Hampshire Constabulary – published on 5 October 2017