North Yorkshire PEEL 2017
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is judged to be good at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy that we looked at this year, our overall judgment is the same as last year. The force is now judged to be requiring improvement in some aspects of how it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. However, it is judged to be good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully, and is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
North Yorkshire Police continues to be good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. However, the force requires improvement in some aspects of how it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. The force expects high standards from its workforce and has values which are underpinned by the Code of Ethics. The force communicates those standards to both its workforce and the community of North Yorkshire. Although not all frontline officers and staff have received unconscious bias or effective communication skills training, most were able to articulate their understanding of unconscious bias and provide examples of when they had used effective communication. The force does not have robust processes in place to scrutinise its use of stop and search powers, which is a concern to HMICFRS. The force should also improve how it encourages external scrutiny and challenge, in order to improve the extent to which it treats the public with fairness and respect.
North Yorkshire Police continues to be good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Senior leaders demonstrate and maintain the values expected of them. The force has maintained its commitment to developing an ethical culture by training officers in ethical decision making, and reviewing its decisions in consultation with the workforce and diverse groups. The force has clear and accessible information to make it easy for the public to make a complaint, and HMICFRS found that it keeps most complainants updated about the process of their complaint. We found that the force is good at both identifying and investigating allegations of discrimination.
HMICFRS found that the force works hard to ensure that it treats its officers and staff with fairness and respect. The force seeks challenge from the workforce, and has a commitment to understanding and addressing workforce concerns, including grievances. The force has undertaken more consultation and action to improve workforce wellbeing since the last inspection. Staff and supervisors generally feel supported by the provision for wellbeing. The force actively seeks to develop its workforce and improve performance through a new individual performance management process, which has generally been well accepted by staff. The force does not have a formal process to identify high potential in its workforce, and recognises that it could do more to identify and develop its future senior leaders.
To what extent does the force treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect?
North Yorkshire Police requires improvement in some aspects of how it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. Last year, we assessed the force as good in respect of how it treats people with fairness and respect. The force communicates its values and standards to both the community and its workforce, and these are underpinned by the Code of Ethics and procedural justice. Through a variety of means, the force actively seeks feedback from the community to identify areas of concern to the public; it has listened to their concerns and made changes to the service it provides. However, it could make more effective use of its independent advisory groups and encourage more external scrutiny and challenge.
The force monitors data in relation to the use of force and stop and search, although the monitoring of stop and search could be more comprehensive and there is a lack of structured external scrutiny in respect of stop and search. The force should also do more to ensure that officers and supervisors understand what constitutes reasonable grounds for stop and search and how to record them.
Areas for improvement
- The force needs to improve the way its independent advisory groups function so that they can provide effective advice, scrutiny and challenge to help the force to improve the way it treats the public.
- The force should ensure that officers and supervisors who are likely to use stop and search powers understand what constitutes reasonable grounds and how to record them.
How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?
North Yorkshire Police continues to be good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. HMICFRS found that the force has maintained its commitment to developing an ethical culture for its workforce in the provision of its policing services. The force has processes to oversee ethical decision making, ensures that policies are in line with the Code of Ethics, and has provided training in ethical decision making to its workforce. There is internal scrutiny through the force inclusion and diversity board, and the force carries out consultation and equality impact assessments to inform policy. It uses peer reviews and academic research to challenge its decision making. The force makes the complaints system accessible for the public, but it should improve the way it records updates to complainants, witnesses and those who are the subject of allegations. The force is good at identifying, responding to and investigating allegations of potential discrimination in line with IPCC guidelines for handling allegations of discrimination.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that it provides and records timely and informative updates to complainants, witnesses and those who are the subject of allegations, in line with IPCC statutory guidance.
To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?
North Yorkshire Police continues to treat its officers and staff with fairness and respect. The force maintains its commitment to understanding what affects workforce concerns, and leaders recognise that they need to seek more challenge from the workforce beyond formal consultation. The workforce are encouraged to report concerns they might have, and HMICFRS has found that the force clearly makes a determined effort to manage grievances effectively, to maintain open communication with those making complaints, and to identify opportunities for resolution. The force has made a concerted effort to be more representative of the community it serves and has increased the number of police officer applications from its BAME community.
The force has repeated its consultation on wellbeing with the workforce through a staff survey and has improved the wellbeing programme for its workforce since the last inspection. Staff and supervisors generally feel supported by the provision for force wellbeing.
The new force performance development review (PDR) process is becoming a valuable tool for the development of staff, and it has been well accepted generally. The force recognises that it could do more to identify and develop its future senior leaders, but it provides opportunities for supervisors and leaders to understand, develop and improve their leadership styles.