City of London PEEL 2018
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
The force is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. This judgment has been carried over from our last inspection in 2017/18.
The force is also good at investigating crime. Its economic crime victim care unit provides excellent support. However, its victim satisfaction rate has fallen this year as officers have less time to spend with victims.
The force has a comprehensive understanding of vulnerability in its area. A specialist nurse supports officers in dealing with incidents related to mental health.
The force’s handling of domestic abuse has improved during the last year. However, it still needs to improve how it shares information with schools about children who may have witnessed domestic abuse.
In relation to tackling serious and organised crime, the force does some particularly good work on fraud and cyber-enabled crime.
However, it needs to improve its understanding of other forms of serious and organised crime, particularly drug dealing and county lines.
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2017 effectiveness inspection has been carried over.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
Areas for improvement
- The force should improve its use of its crime-recording and management system to better manage its case files and investigative processes.
The force is good at investigating crime. It has enough detectives to meet its demand as it has recently transferred in a number of detectives from other forces. They are all trained to a high standard. Its economic crime victim care unit provides excellent support.
However, it needs to improve the way it uses its crime recording and management system to manage its case files and investigative processes better. It is still not using a new system consistently, and as a result is making mistakes. It has taken almost a year to put old records onto the new system.
Also, its victim satisfaction rate has fallen this year for those who are not victims of economic crime or vulnerable victims. Officers have less time to spend with victims than they used to.
But the force is good at catching criminals. Since 2016, the force has almost halved its number of ‘wanted’ persons.Detailed findings for question 2
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
Areas for improvement
- The force should implement a process to get feedback from vulnerable victims.
- The force should implement the necessary processes to share information with schools in relation to children affected by domestic abuse incidents, to ensure information is shared as quickly and effectively as possible.
The force has a comprehensive understanding of vulnerability in its area, including hidden vulnerability – for example, modern slavery on building sites and sex workers in pop-up brothels. It safeguards vulnerable victims to a high standard.
Call handlers assess callers for vulnerability. Even though the command and control system does not automatically identify repeat callers, officers and staff manually check other systems for signs of vulnerability. It gives them good advice about staying safe and preserving evidence. Domestic abuse risk assessments we reviewed were found to be of a high quality.
The force responds well to incidents that involve someone with mental health problems. It works well with other agencies to assess and respond to these incidents. A specialist nurse supports officers in dealing with incidents related to mental health.
The force’s handling of domestic abuse has improved during the last year. However, it still needs to improve how it shares information with schools regarding children who may have witnessed domestic abuse. It also needs a more effective system for collecting feedback from vulnerable victims.Detailed findings for question 3
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
Areas for improvement
- The force should improve its approach to the ‘lifetime management’ of organised criminals to minimise the risk they pose to local communities. This approach should include routine consideration of ancillary orders, the powers of other organisations and other tools to deter organised criminals from continuing to offend.
- The force should strengthen its response to county lines, which are criminal networks involved in the distribution of drugs to different areas of the country that frequently exploit children and vulnerable people.
The force does some particularly good work to combat fraud and cyber-enabled crime. One recent investigation into Bitcoin fraud was identified as best practice that is being shared with other forces. Neighbourhood officers look for signs of modern-day slavery and organised criminals such as those who use aggressive begging tactics. The force is good at publicising successful campaigns and raising awareness about fraud and cyber-enabled crime.
However, it should improve the way it approaches its ‘lifetime management’ of organised criminals to reduce the risk to local communities. Also, it needs to improve its understanding of other forms of serious and organised crime, particularly drug dealing and county lines. It should take a regional approach to tackling these problems. A new drugs reduction strategy focuses on a co-ordinated response to county lines-related drug dealing with its partner organisations.
The force records disruptions of organised crime groups using the national scale, but it has the lowest number of disruptions per group of all England and Wales forces. This is probably because cases are complex economic crimes so are not straightforward to solve.Detailed findings for question 4
How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?
We have previously inspected how well forces provide armed policing. This formed part of our 2016 and 2017 effectiveness inspections. Subsequent terrorist attacks in the UK and Europe have meant that the police service maintains a focus on armed capability in England and Wales.
It is not just terrorist attacks that place operational demands on armed officers. The threat can include the activity of organised crime groups or armed street gangs and all other crime involving guns. The Code of Practice on the Police Use of Firearms and Less Lethal Weapons (PDF document) makes forces responsible for implementing national standards of armed policing. The code stipulates that a chief officer be designated to oversee these standards. This requires the chief officer to set out the firearms threat in an armed policing strategic threat and risk assessment (APSTRA). The chief officer must also set out clear rationales for the number of armed officers (armed capacity) and the level to which they are trained (armed capability).Detailed findings for question 5