Nottinghamshire 2017Read more about Nottinghamshire
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Nottinghamshire 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 good.
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.
Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of Nottinghamshire Police below.
I am satisfied with most aspects of Nottinghamshire Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but the force needs to make further improvements to provide a consistently good service.
I am very pleased to see improvements in the force’s approach to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and progress in identifying vulnerable people through its control room. However, lack of officer availability sometimes compromises its response to incidents involving vulnerable people, particularly victims of domestic abuse.
The force has improved its financial planning since 2016 and made progress on aligning demand with restructuring its workforce. Its continuing commitment to an increase in officer numbers means that it needs to identify future demand and capabilities, and analyse emerging priorities.
The force treats members of the public with fairness and respect, and it is addressing the areas for improvement in treatment of its workforce that we highlighted in our previous inspection.
Overall, I commend Nottinghamshire Police for the significant progress it has made since last year, and will continue to monitor the force’s progress in areas where there is still more to do.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Nottinghamshire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Our findings show the force has improved compared with last year, when we judged that the force required improvement.
The force has improved the way it prevents crime and tackles anti-social behaviour. It is developing its understanding of the communities it serves, and neighbourhood officers are exploring ways of engaging with local communities, to better understand what matters to them most and respond better to their needs. The force works with local partners with a view to solving problems and dealing with the underlying causes of crime. However, it still needs to undertake more detailed analysis to help focus preventative activity to achieve maximium benefit for local communities in terms of preventing crime from happening in the first place.
Over the last 12 months, the force has improved how it protects vulnerable people from harm and the support it offers victims. It has paid considerable attention to maintaining and furthering the achievements it has made. It investigates complex crimes involving vulnerable victims well and has effective safeguarding procedures. However, problems remain in relation to the initial response provided to some victims. Because demand for service often outstrips the number of available officers, the force cannot attend some incidents involving victims of domestic abuse as promptly as it would wish to – within one hour. The force intends to undertake work to understand and predict future demand better, recruit more police officers and align its workforce to improve the level of service to its communities and protect those who are vulnerable.
Nottinghamshire Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response. The force is part of the East Midlands Operational Support Services collaborative unit, which has adequately assessed the threat of an attack requiring an armed response.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Nottinghamshire Police is judged to require improvement 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 for its understanding of demand; it is assessed to require improvement for its use of resources to manage demand; and its planning for future demand is judged to require improvement.
Nottinghamshire Police’s understanding of the demand for its services is improving. The force’s good understanding of current demand is based mostly on analysis of police data and could be broadened by regular analysis of data from other organisations. It is developing its understanding of those crimes which are less likely to be reported. The force only partially understands the factors that can affect demand and is developing an approach to assessing external factors that are likely to affect future demand, such as technological, economic and social changes. It could improve how it manages, prioritises and filters demand. Sometimes it may be inadvertently suppressing demand and there are times when demand exceeds available resources, placing pressure on frontline officers.
The force has improved its understanding of the skills and capabilities of its workforce. It does not yet have a good understanding of the skills and capabilities of its leaders, but has well-developed plans to achieve this. Until it completes its leadership skills audit and subsequent skills needs analysis, it cannot tailor its development opportunities effectively and it would benefit from a formal talent management programme. Leaders continue to seek out new ideas, approaches and working practices. The force encourages its workforce to make suggestions and put forward ideas, and leaders listen to them.
The force would benefit from a wider programme to identify and analyse trends to understand future demand and improve its ability to plan. It does not always identify benefits achieved through change programmes or eliminate inefficiency effectively. However, it plans to conduct annual departmental assessments using priority-based budgeting which will help identify inefficiency. The force works well with others to manage local demand for its services and continues to consider other options for collaboration that will reduce costs and increase resilience and capacity.
Nottinghamshire Police has made good progress in improving the quality and robustness of its financial planning and management. The force is investing to increase its capacity and capability, and has good ICT infrastructure and estates projects. Although its current limited funds in reserve could restrict its ability to invest, the force has committed to making additional one-off savings to replenish these reserves and provide greater financial resilience for the future.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Nottinghamshire 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 the people it serves with fairness and respect. It is also judged to be good at how well it ensures its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. The force is judged to require improvement still in some aspects of treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
Nottinghamshire Police ensures that all members of its workforce have the understanding they need to treat people fairly and with respect. Ethics and values are well established in the force and guide leaders in the decisions they take. Officers and staff receive regular training on the use of coercive powers, such as stop and search and the use of force. In addition to the force’s internal scrutiny of its activities, the force seeks external scrutiny from independent advisory groups, which provide effective challenge and advice.
Leaders in the force are good role models and ensure that members of the workforce behave ethically and lawfully. The force is taking steps to ensure that the whole workforce has appropriate vetting clearance but a considerable backlog remains in vetting for less sensitive posts.
The force makes it easy for people to make a complaint. Overall, it investigates complaints well, including those that involve potential discrimination. However, not all complainants are updated on the progress of an investigation in a timely way.
Nottinghamshire Police requires improvement in some aspects of the way in which it treats its workforce fairly and with respect. Leaders have a good understanding of the workforce’s perceptions. However, officers and staff do not always feel able to challenge and offer feedback to senior managers. The force is proactive in identifying and resolving workforce concerns and its grievance procedure is perceived as fair. It is working to improve the diversity of its workforce, but recognises it could do more to improve diversity within its senior ranks.
The force has a comprehensive and accessible wellbeing programme and takes a preventative approach to improving workforce wellbeing. It has a wellbeing action plan to address the risks to the wellbeing of its workforce, such as the ability to take agreed leave. However, its individual performance assessment process is only partially effective. The force has no formal method for identifying and developing talented individuals, although the workforce views leadership selection and promotion processes as fair.
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.
Abuse of position assessment – Nottinghamshire Police – published on 5 October 2017