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Nottinghamshire PEEL 2017

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 12/12/2017
Good

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.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

To what extent does the force treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect?

Nottinghamshire Police is good at treating the people it serves with fairness and respect, which the force has included as one of its shared values. The force ensures that all members of the workforce have the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to treat people fairly and with respect. However, not all members of the workforce receive unconscious bias training, and not all officers and staff we spoke with could demonstrate a clear understanding of unconscious bias and how to overcome it. The workforce understands the importance of effective communication skills and how to apply these in practice.

Officers and staff receive practical, online and classroom-based legal training on the use of their coercive powers, which is refreshed regularly, and the force monitors their understanding and use of these powers. The force has introduced a use of force working group that meets monthly. This group scrutinises the use of force to ensure people are treated fairly and with respect. The force also works with independent advisory groups who provide external challenge; it provides group members with the training and support they need to carry out their roles effectively.

The force provides officers with comprehensive training on using their stop and search powers fairly and with respect. It has robust and effective arrangements for managing and overseeing the use of stop and search that draw on a range of data. The force can identify quickly any potentially disproportionate use of stop and search. A quarterly stop and search scrutiny panel provides effective external scrutiny of use of stop and search powers.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that it uses the individual and organisational learning obtained from the scrutiny of information and data about the use of force to improve the way it treats people.
2

How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?

Nottinghamshire Police is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Leaders are positive ethical role models. Members of the workforce have a good understanding of the Code of Ethics and are guided by ethics and values in their decision making. The force clarifies and reinforces expected standards of behaviour. It is taking steps to reduce the considerable backlog in vetting for less sensitive posts.

The force makes it easy for people to make a complaint by letter, phone call, email or through a web form on the force website. The website includes a translation button, and large print and ‘easy read’ versions; there is also a contact email address for people who require additional assistance due to a disability. However, no printed information on how to make a complaint is available at police station front counters. Overall, the force 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.

Officers and staff have a good understanding of discrimination and the effect that it has. The force identifies and responds appropriately to initial reports of discrimination and refers more serious allegations to the IPCC, as required by law. It investigates allegations of discrimination well, with complainants, witnesses and subjects of allegations all receiving the support that they need.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should review its plan to ensure that by April 2018 it has achieved vetting clearance for all those people that it is required to clear.
3

To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?

Nottinghamshire Police requires improvement in some aspects of treating its workforce with fairness and respect. Good progress has been made in some areas and leaders have a good understanding of workforce perceptions. However, officers and staff do not always feel able to challenge and provide feedback to senior managers. The force is proactive in the way it identifies and resolves workforce concerns and its grievance procedure is perceived as fair.

The force is making considerable effort to encourage people from diverse or under-represented communities to join the force. However, the force recognises that it could still do more to improve diversity within its senior ranks.

Nottinghamshire Police has a good understanding of the risks and threats to the wellbeing of its workforce. It is developing a wellbeing action plan to prioritise the most important concerns, such as the ability to take entitled leave and time off. The force has a comprehensive and accessible wellbeing programme and it promotes a preventative approach to improving workforce wellbeing.

The force is only partially effective at managing and developing individual performance. The new performance development system is not effective and the workforce does not view it as useful. The force cannot be confident that it has fair processes to tackle poor performance. It has no structured method for identifying and developing talented individuals. However, the workforce views leadership selection and promotion processes as fair.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • Force leaders should improve the extent to which they prioritise workforce wellbeing, particularly to ensure staff receive their entitled leave and time off to support their health and wellbeing.
  • The force should make sure that it develops – and supports its supervisors and managers in conducting – fair and effective assessments, supporting continuous professional development and managing poor performance.