Gwent 2018/19Read more about Gwent 2018/19
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Gwent Police. PEEL is designed to give you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year.
Gwent Police was inspected in tranche three and we found:
the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe is good.
the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is good.
the extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately requires improvement.
Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am satisfied with most aspects of the performance of Gwent Police, but the force needs to make improvements in its legitimacy to provide a consistently good service.
The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. Since our last inspection, the force has improved how it investigates crimes. It has also developed better ways to make sure it identifies and respond to people at risk. It works closely with other agencies to protect vulnerable people. However, the force should do more to provide a consistently good service in child protection investigations.
Gwent Police has a good understanding of current and likely future demand for its services. It is using this information to develop sustainable financial and workforce plans – which include increased collaboration with neighbouring forces.
The force recognises the importance of working closely with communities, but frontline officers and staff vary in their knowledge of unconscious bias. It understands how and when to use stop and search, but needs to improve how it monitors its use, and the use of force. Gwent Police also needs to improve how it identifies and manages the risk of corruption, and needs to do more to ensure all members of its workforce are appropriately vetted.
I commend the progress that Gwent Police has made and will continue to monitor its progress in areas where improvements are still needed.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
The force is good at investigating crime. It has introduced a new way of investigating crime, which prioritises investigations into crimes that cause the most harm to victims. The force trains and supervises officers and staff to carry out investigations, and victims are generally satisfied with the service they receive.
The force has improved its use of pre and post charge bail, released under investigation (RUI) and managing foreign national offenders. But it can’t be confident that appropriate checks for foreign nationals always take place.
Protecting vulnerable people is a clear priority for the force. Officers and staff are aware of the importance of identifying and responding to vulnerability appropriately.
Gwent Police has made significant progress to improve its response to domestic abuse victims since our last inspection. Better workforce training has increased the use of arrest and legal powers to protect victims of domestic abuse.
The force is good at understanding, disrupting and preventing SOC. But it could improve frontline officers’ awareness of it.
The force has built good working relationships with partner organisations. When planning to disrupt organised crime, it shares information with them to make sure victims are protected. With these partner organisations, it has also developed ways to intervene in situations and divert people at risk of being drawn into organised crime.
Gwent Police is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2016 effectiveness inspection has been carried over.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Gwent Police is good at planning for the future and has used a wide range of information to understand future demand. It has used software to inform its future predictions. This links to its FMS, which it uses to test its predictions and build a better picture of gaps in future policing.
The force is improving its understanding of what the public expects, which will help it plan for future demand.
The force is good at prioritising resources, and adapting them to meet demand.
The force has predicted future retirements and staff increases. But it needs to consider changing requirements to ensure its workforce has the right skills for the future.
The force has a comprehensive medium-term financial plan (MTFP). This includes the longer-term financial issues facing the police service in Gwent.
The force’s plans for future joint working and collaboration are ambitious and based on a clear understanding of the benefits. Collaborative working has increased efficiency and created savings.
In 2017, we judged that the force’s approach to meeting current demand and using resources was good. We have carried over our judgment from the 2017 efficiency inspection.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Gwent Police requires improvement at treating the public fairly and on behaving ethically and lawfully. It is good at treating the workforce fairly.
The force recognises the importance of working closely with communities. Officers and staff understand how important it is to treat people with fairness and respect. However, frontline officers and staff varied in their knowledge of unconscious bias.
The workforce understands how and when to use force and stop and search. The force needs to improve how it monitors the use of stop and search and use of force.
Gwent Police needs to do more to ensure all members of its workforce are appropriately vetted for the posts they hold. It also needs to monitor people who apply to see if they belong to certain protected minority groups.
The force needs to improve how it spots and manages risk of corruption. It also needs to make sure it has enough people and resources to do this work.
Gwent Police is good at treating its workforce fairly. This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2017 legitimacy inspection has been carried over.
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.
Gwent Police – Crime Data Integrity inspection 2018 – published 5 December 2018
Gwent – National child protection inspection – published 27 June 2019