Suffolk PEEL 2017
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Suffolk Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has performed consistently well in our effectiveness inspections and maintains high-quality services for its communities. This overall judgment is based partly on evidence gathered in 2016, but it was reviewed following the most recent inspection.
The force is good at supporting victims and protecting people who are vulnerable through their age, disability, or because they have been subjected to repeated offences, or are at high risk of abuse. Staff are good at identifying whether someone is vulnerable when people first contact the police. Officers generally provide a good initial response, and, despite some inconsistencies in the initial recording of risk assessments, we found that all necessary immediate safeguarding actions are carried out appropriately.
Crimes involving vulnerable victims are investigated to a good standard, and supervisors provide proper oversight. We found some investigators with high workloads, but the force has plans in place to address this and victims generally receive a good service. Outcomes in domestic abuse investigations are in line with those of other forces in England and Wales, and Suffolk Constabulary makes good use of the powers available to protect victims of domestic abuse.
The force also works well with partner organisations such as local councils, the health service, and charities to support vulnerable people and address their needs appropriately. It provides effective support to people with mental health conditions, and manages the risks posed by registered sex offenders to its communities.
Suffolk Constabulary has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities, and to respond initially to an attack which requires an armed response.
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
Suffolk Constabulary is good at protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims. The force:
- identifies vulnerability satisfactorily at initial contact with people;
- provides a good initial response; and
- investigates crimes involving vulnerable victims to a good standard, with clear and effective supervision.
The force has good working relationships with partner organisations, such as the local authority, public sector agencies and charities. It also understands its role in supporting people with mental health conditions. This means it can:
- provide vulnerable people with a good standard of support; and
- address the needs of vulnerable people appropriately.
However, the force needs to:
- do more to ensure that officers understand and follow the process for completing risk assessments for domestic abuse incidents.
The force is prepared to manage the registered sex offenders in the county. Local officers are made aware of these where appropriate, and understand the importance of submitting intelligence about them.
Areas for improvement
- The force should review its processes for completing DASH risk assessments to ensure that they are all carried out face to face and at the time of initial officer attendance.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
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 Norfolk Constabulary to build skills and competence in this area;
- tests its skills in training exercises; and
- has developed a good understanding of the threat to the public from an armed attack.
However, the force should:
- complete its analysis of the time taken for armed officers to attend incidents.