Merseyside 2017Read more about Merseyside 2017
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Merseyside 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 is not yet graded.
The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below.
Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
My overall assessment of Merseyside’s performance will be published in spring 2018, following the publication of the effectiveness inspections in March 2018.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Merseyside Police 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.
Merseyside Police is a good and efficient force. It has strong leadership. Some senior officers have been appointed recently and they bring new experience, as well as providing stability and continued strength in leadership for the force. Its financial plans are based on sound assumptions and the force is on track to meet the savings required.
The force considers that leadership comes from its entire workforce. It invests in ‘one team’ events and is providing individual personality-profiling for the whole workforce. The force is developing its future leadership and has senior officers on externally-supported development schemes. We found that the force had carried out an analysis of skills, but that this did not include the entire workforce.
The force’s assessment of demand for the services it provides is up-to-date and comprehensive. Also, it has processes in place to uncover the sort of demand that would be less likely to be reported. Through its force-wide operating model, the force has become more flexible in its deployment of resources across Merseyside, in order to meet demand for service. Its planning of major events, in particular sporting events, continues to make good use of resources, meeting both public expectations and safety.
The force leadership welcomes workforce ideas and feedback and ensures there is a response to suggestions. However, at the time of our inspection this was not reflected in the opinions of some uniformed officers. The force is improving its recognition of innovative ideas. The force is part of a tri-force collaboration with Cheshire Constabulary and North Wales Police. This collaboration is investing in IT solutions that enable efficient information-sharing between these forces.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Merseyside Police is judged to be good at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we assessed 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 judged to be good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
Merseyside Police has been graded as good at how legitimate it is in keeping people safe and reducing crime. The workforce understands the importance of treating people fairly and with respect, including recognising unconscious bias, using effective communication skills and proportionate use of coercive powers. The force has excellent arrangements for using external scrutiny to improve the extent to which the force treats people with fairness and respect, and effective monitoring of the use of force and stop and search.
Merseyside Police works hard to ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Leaders promote ethical decision making through clear behavioural expectations and encouraging the use of discretion within an ethical framework. The force has an easy-to-follow complaints process that is easy to access, and complainants receive consistently good service from the force. Well-trained and experienced investigators within the professional standards department identify and respond to allegations of discrimination and conduct good investigations, in line with IPCC guidelines but needs to ensure allegations meeting the mandatory criteria are referred to the IPCC.
Merseyside Police is committed to treating its workforce with fairness and respect. The force encourages and responds positively to challenge and feedback, making changes where possible, or explaining why not. For example, the force has responded promptly to frustrations following changes to the operating model. The force is conscious of the need to reflect the communities it serves and has carried out media recruitment campaigns to try to increase the diversity of its workforce. Wellbeing awareness – particularly regarding mental health – has increased and the force has invested in additional wellbeing resources. The force has improved its processes for managing individual performance, and leaders emphasise the importance of one-to-one meetings. However, the reduced availability of supervisors may hinder the potential value of the process and understanding of performance across the workforce is not yet complete. . The force intends to pilot a new talent management programme and it has undertaken work to improve the way it selects it leaders.
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 (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); 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.