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Leicestershire PEEL 2017

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 22/03/2018
Good

Leicestershire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has made good progress since HMICFRS’ 2016 effectiveness inspection. The force has looked at, and changed, the areas that required improvement. It has made other significant changes to improve the overall quality of the service it provides for people who are affected by crime, particularly those who might be vulnerable.

Leicestershire Police has re-organised its workforce and has developed a more efficient method of allocating investigations, in order to speed them up and to stop cases being passed through several different teams. A training programme, ‘Back to Basics’, has addressed a lack of consistency in the way that officers supervise investigations. It has strengthened accountability and improved the quality of victim contact. In addition, the force has improved its methods of tracing people who are wanted for arrest, and has sustained its comprehensive approach to rehabilitating offenders.

The force has created a new digital hub which deals with cyber-crimes. The hub offers technical support to investigators, and is a very effective way of tackling online child sexual exploitation. The force has also reduced the waiting time for the examination of evidence from computers and mobile devices.

The force is fully committed to identifying and helping vulnerable people. It now works even more effectively with partner organisations. This helps it to get a co-ordinated view of the number of vulnerable people in the local community and of the needs which these people have. Officers and staff recognise when people are at risk of harm, and the force provides a comprehensive range of services to deal with the effects of mental ill-health, particularly through the work of the proactive vulnerability engagement (PAVE) team. This team is made up of police officers and mental health nurses, and they work with people who have the most complex needs.

Victims of domestic abuse now receive a better service from the force. This is because the force works more closely with partner organisations, has more staff who have been trained to carry out safeguarding, and because there are more frequent multi-agency meetings to consider high-risk cases. Joint work between the force and other organisations has resulted in an exemplary sexual assault referral centre (SARC). The centre offers comprehensive professional support to victims of sexual assault.

Leicestershire 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

2

How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?

Leicestershire Police has improved how it investigates all crimes. It carries out the initial stages of most investigations well. It has improved:

  • officer supervision of investigations; and
  • methods of tracing suspects to enable timely arrests, especially if a suspect presents a risk to the public.

Contact-handlers deal with calls from the public quickly and appropriately. They determine the level of risk to victims and witnesses, and decide on the appropriate police response. When victims and witnesses first contact the police, contact-handlers tell them how to identify and secure potential evidence.

The force’s investigations of sensitive crimes such as rape, and of complex crimes, are good.

The force is reducing the number of separate investigation teams. This will significantly reduce the delays that occurred in previous investigations, when one team handed a case over to another.

The force has created a new digital hub to deal with cyber-crime and provide support to investigators. This is proving to be a very effective resource for tackling online child sexual exploitation. The force has also reduced the time it takes to examine computers and smart phones which might contain evidence. There is no backlog.

The force:

  • identifies people at risk of becoming involved with criminal gangs or organised crime groups and works to prevent this; and
  • has robust, effective projects to reduce re-offending.

Good
3

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

Officers have the appropriate skills and understanding to identify and protect vulnerable people. Crimes involving vulnerable people are investigated well. The force has extensive knowledge of vulnerability in the community and effectively manages the risks posed by dangerous and sexual offenders.

Control room contact-handlers identify vulnerable callers. A team of experienced officers triages calls, ensuring that specialist staff deal with incidents involving vulnerable people.

Response officers recognise and respond appropriately to people showing symptoms of mental ill-health. The force works with partner organisations to support people with mental health conditions. A multi-agency team provides support for people with complex mental health problems, helping to reduce long-term demands on public services.

Officers have a good understanding of domestic abuse behaviours. The force makes domestic abuse victims aware of the support available, including from charities and the NHS, and of the long-term steps that can help reduce their vulnerability.

The force has an exemplary sexual assault referral centre, which provides victims with a professional, comprehensive and sensitive service.

It has also created a film (called Kayleigh’s Love Story) about internet grooming, which has been shown to local school children with trained officers in attendance explaining how to report abusive online behaviour. As a direct result, children and teenagers have made more than 50 separate disclosures to the police about abuse and exploitation.

Good
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 external organisations to develop the skills and experience required to respond to national threats;
  • tests its skills in training exercises;
  • has developed a good understanding of the threat to the public from an armed attack; and
  • has fulfilled its commitment to a national programme to increase armed policing in England and Wales.

Ungraded