Humberside 2017Read more about Humberside 2017
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Humberside 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 requires improvement.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of Humberside Police below.
I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of Humberside Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but the force needs to make improvements in some areas to provide a consistently good service.
Although the force continues to be assessed as requiring improvement in its effectiveness and efficiency, we have found evidence of continued progress. I am encouraged by improvements in the force’s:
- ability to identify vulnerability at the first point of contact;
- understanding of the demand it faces, now and in the future; and
- grasp of mental health issues.
However, it needs to do more to:
- improve the quality of investigations;
- understand the skills and capabilities of its workforce; and
- ensure independent oversight of its use of coercive powers.
In addition, while I am pleased with the force’s commitment to improving child protection and police custody, it still has more to do.
I commend the improvements that Humberside Police has made since last year, and look forward to seeing further progress in the coming year.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Humberside Police’s overall approach to keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement. Since HMICFRS’ 2016 effectiveness report, the force has experienced major changes in its senior leadership team, including the appointment a new chief constable and, more recently, new deputy and assistant chief constables and an interim assistant chief officer.
HMICFRS is pleased to see that Humberside Police has continued to make good progress across the force; in particular that it now routinely identifies vulnerability at the first point of contact. However, more work remains to be done in a number of areas set out below, to provide the public with an effective service. The force is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. It has a good understanding of the communities it serves, and community policing teams are familiar with the use of problem-solving approaches. Early intervention teams work closely with partner agencies (such as local authorities, or health and education services) to identify and resolve underlying problems, with a view to reducing the demand placed on the services of public sector organisations.
By contrast, the force’s approach to investigating crime and reducing offending requires improvement. Although the quality of investigations in the more serious and complex cases generally is good, more needs to be done to improve the supervision and overall quality of investigations for those relatively less serious, but routinely-occurring crimes. The force should review its capacity to download evidence from digital devices; a backlog is causing undue delay to investigations. The force needs also to tighten up its procedures for tracking down criminals who are wanted for offences, both to ensure that they face justice promptly and to prevent them continuing to cause harm communities. More positively, the force has good procedures in place to curb the offending behaviour of Humberside’s most prolific criminals.
The force’s approach to protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims has improved, although more work remains to be done. Vulnerable people are now routinely identified at the first point of contact. However, the force is sometimes unable to match incoming demand with available resources; this is detracting from the initial investigation of some crimes. The force has a very good understanding of those suffering from mental ill-health and works well with partner agencies.
Humberside Police has the necessary arrangements in place that enable it to meet its responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Humberside Police is judged to require improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This is consistent with last year’s assessment. The force’s understanding of demand is judged to require improvement; it is assessed to require improvement for its use of resources to manage demand; and its planning for future demand is judged to be good.
Overall, Humberside Police has been assessed as requiring improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. However, we have observed some level of improvement since HMICFRS’ 2016 efficiency inspection. This is positive, but the force must improve in several areas to be assessed as good overall. This year’s inspection was carried out at a time when the force had a temporary chief constable, and since then a new chief constable has been appointed.
Humberside Police has improved in the way that it understands demand for its services. It now has resources in place to identify and analyse data, working with both police and non-police partner organisations to understand its current and predicted future demand better. Nonetheless, inefficient processes and unintended consequences of force activities are affecting how it can manage and reduce its demand.
HMICFRS is pleased to find that the force has started to address the cause for concern found last year, namely the absence of a comprehensive workforce plan, and to see that a five-year workforce plan is in development. The force still needs a better understanding of the skills in its workforce to help identify gaps, support succession planning and recruit new officers and staff for the future. It has a good understanding of its priorities and has plans to meet them. Humberside Police works well with its partners and collaborates with others, such as local authorities and the fire and rescue service. Collaborative working has helped the force make the savings it needs and improve efficiency in the policing services it provides to the public.
Humberside Police plans for the future well. It has produced a change programme based on realistic and sound assumptions. This is aimed at making the financial savings required as well as the efficiencies necessary to provide the workforce and infrastructure needed for the force to provide the policing service it expects.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Humberside Police is judged to be good at 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 all of the people it serves with fairness and respect. It is also judge to be good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
Humberside Police continues to be good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
The force has clear values and standards which emphasise the importance of treating people with fairness and respect, and these are understood by the workforce and communicated to the public. The force has a mixed understanding of unconscious bias. Training is provided to new starters and newly promoted officers and staff. The force has provided bespoke effective communication training to its frontline workforce, who understand its importance. It gathers data to monitor its use of force and of stop and search powers; it needs, however, to do more to ensure that officers understand what constitutes reasonable grounds for the exercise of these powers and to encourage external scrutiny of their use.
The force continues to develop its ethical decision-making processes; it provides its workforce with the skills and training they need to help them make ethical and fair decisions. It could enhance this further by establishing an effective referral process for submitting and considering ethical questions and dilemmas. A complaints process is available to the public and easy to find on the force website, but the force does not always provide complainants with regular and meaningful updates and does not always record these when it does so. We found that the force is good at identifying, responding to and investigating incidents of discrimination.
HMICFRS has seen an improvement in the way the force treats its officers and staff with fairness and respect. The workforce now have more ways to provide feedback or challenge and to hear about action taken in response. The force has plans to address disproportionality in the recruitment, retention and progression of officers and staff with protected characteristics (such as age, race or sexual orientation). It has continued its focus on improving workforce wellbeing by identifying wellbeing concerns and taking early action to respond to them. It has made a good start on implementing its new performance management process; however, it has yet to be fully used and valued by all members of the workforce. The workforce perceives the force selection processes to be fair, open and transparent.
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.
Humberside – National child protection inspection – published on 13 April 2017
Abuse of position assessment – Humberside Police – published on 5 October 2017
Humberside – National child protection inspection post-inspection review – published on 5 April 2018