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Greater Manchester PEEL 2018

Effectiveness

How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?

Last updated 01/05/2019
Requires improvement

Greater Manchester Police requires improvement in the way it reduces crime and keeps people safe.

The force should improve how it tackles crime and anti-social behaviour. It doesn’t have enough officers to carry out preventative activity, but is working to address this. The force should monitor how often it uses neighbourhood officers on other duties. This would ensure they have enough time to solve problems in their own wards.

The force should also improve how it investigates crime. It doesn’t always supervise investigations well enough. The force sometimes responds to high demand by downgrading incidents, resulting in delays. These delays can cause victims to disengage from the investigation, resulting in fewer positive outcomes.

Greater Manchester Police requires improvement in the way it protects vulnerable people. The force doesn’t have a clear process for deploying specialist investigators when interviewing vulnerable victims. This means vulnerable victims don’t always get support right away. In our 2017 effectiveness inspection, we were concerned about the way the force responds to vulnerable people at risk. This meant that evidence might be lost and victims put at risk.

In 2017 we also recommended the force ask victims of domestic abuse about their experience. It hasn’t done this yet. We recommend the force extends how it assesses vulnerable people at first point of contact. It always assesses people who call about sexual offences and hate crime. But it may not assess the vulnerability of other callers, particularly when its control room is dealing with high demand for service.

In 2016, we judged Greater Manchester Police outstanding at tackling serious and organised crime.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure its engagement and prevention strategy is part of routine workforce activity to provide consistent neighbourhood policing.
  • The force should ensure that it monitors abstractions for neighbourhood beat officers to enable problem-solving activity.
  • The force should give neighbourhood beat officers the training and skills for their role.

Greater Manchester Police requires improvement in the way it tackles crime and anti-social behaviour.

The force doesn’t have enough officers to do prevention work. It is seeking to address this by introducing a new neighbourhood policing model. It wasn’t clear to us that neighbourhood officers understood the force’s vision for neighbourhood policing. The force has a draft strategy, but should ensure the workforce puts this into practice.

Neighbourhood officers stated they were frequently abstracted from their duties onto other jobs, resulting in less time problem solving in their wards. The force should monitor the impact of this.
The force recruited 50 more neighbourhood officers this year. This is a positive step.

Greater Manchester Police has place-based teams that collaborate with other organisations to address crime and anti-social behaviour. Less positively, most neighbourhood officers have not been trained recently in problem solving.

We saw good practice in the way the force uses evidence-based practice to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. In particular, its ‘hotspot pulse policing’ operation led to a reduction in crime and incidents.

Detailed findings for question 1

2

How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure the availability of Achieving Best Evidence-trained staff provides vulnerable victims with the necessary support.
  • The force should ensure regular and active supervision of the quality and progress of investigations. This supervision should be properly recorded.

Greater Manchester Police requires improvement in the way it investigates crime.

The force doesn’t have enough accredited detectives, but plans to address this through recruitment.

The force’s crime management policy means that it finalises some solvable crimes without further investigation. We saw some incidents were downgraded because of delays caused by high demand. Not all callers were told about delays. Some victims distanced themselves from the investigation as a result. This makes positive outcomes less likely. The force should improve its regular and active supervision of investigations.

We found that the force had inappropriately assigned some investigations to neighbourhood officers. We referred these to supervisors.

The force has no clear process for allocating specialist investigators to interview vulnerable victims. It relies on officers volunteering their skills, and staff felt there were not enough of these trained officers. This means that vulnerable victims may not get prompt support. This is an area for improvement.

Detailed findings for question 2

3

How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?

Requires improvement

Cause of concern

Greater Manchester Police is failing to respond appropriately to some people who are vulnerable and at risk. This means that it is missing some opportunities to safeguard victims and secure evidence at the scene and victims are being put at risk.

Recommendations

  • The force should increase its use of STRIVE within the control room (OCB) to ensure that it appropriately identifies and responds to all vulnerability.
  • The force should improve its response to calls for service and its initial investigation for all vulnerable victims.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should implement its domestic abuse survey process without further delay.

Greater Manchester Police requires improvement in how it protects vulnerable people. It is still not responding appropriately to some vulnerable people when they are at risk. This means it is missing chances to safeguard victims and secure evidence. We made recommendations to help it improve in this area.

The force needs to improve some aspects of its understanding of vulnerability. Staff assess callers’ vulnerability with a commonly used model, STRIVE (safeguarding, threat, risk, investigation, victim and engagement). But the force only requires the use of this model in sexual offences and hate crime. For other crime types, call handlers are not required to use STRIVE at times of high demand. Consequently the force may not always identify vulnerability immediately.

The force doesn’t always respond quickly enough to incidents involving vulnerable people. We saw evidence of delays caused by high demand. And we saw that incidents were downgraded without a recorded reason.

In our 2017 effectiveness report, we found an area for improvement and recommended the force survey domestic abuse victims. The force hasn’t yet done this. But it does get feedback from victims of child sexual exploitation and victims of hate crime.

We found the force’s scrutiny of registered sex offenders to be robust and its management of them proactive.

Detailed findings for question 3

5

How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?

Ungraded

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).

Some forces in England and Wales have joint arrangements in place to provide armed policing. Greater Manchester Police is a force of such stature that it can provide its own armed capability. However, it shares training facilities with other forces in the North West of England and North Wales.

Detailed findings for question 5