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Gwent PEEL 2018

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 20/01/2020
Good

Gwent Police is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe. It has made improvements in its approach to protecting vulnerable people and tackling serious and organised crime (SOC).

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.

Questions for Effectiveness

2

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

Good

The force is good at investigating crime. It has introduced a new investigations framework to focus and prioritise investigations on crimes that cause victims the most harm.

The force trains and supervises officers and staff to carry out investigations, including telephone investigations. Victims are generally satisfied with the way investigations are carried out.

The force promptly follows up outstanding wanted suspects so it can find and arrest them. The force has improved how it manages foreign national offenders. But it can’t be confident appropriate checks for foreign nationals always take place.

The force ensures that safeguarding discussions influence how it uses pre and post charge bail and RUI to effectively protect victims. The force generally understands and applies disclosure obligations.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve its processes for the management of foreign national offenders so that it is reassured that it is effectively managing the risk.

Detailed findings for question 2

3

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

Good

Gwent Police is good at understanding and identifying vulnerability, including vulnerability that might be hidden. Protecting vulnerable people is a clear priority for the force.

Call handlers assess the caller’s vulnerability to decide how quickly the person needs help. We found the force generally makes the right decisions in these assessments.

Staff in the mental health triage team give information and support to officers dealing with mental health incidents. They help the force respond effectively.

Gwent Police has made significant progress in improving its response to domestic abuse victims since our last inspection. It has improved training, resulting in an increase in risk assessments and using arrest and legal powers to protect victims of domestic abuse.

The force is effectively managing offenders who are known to be a risk to vulnerable people. It has reduced the number of registered sex offenders awaiting assessment.

Detailed findings for question 3

4

How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?

Good

Gwent Police is good at tackling SOC. The force takes a proactive approach to understanding SOC threats, including newer threats.

Neighbourhood teams’ awareness of organised crime groups (OCGs) varied. So they may not be reliably identifying people at risk of becoming involved in these groups, collecting intelligence and disrupting their activity.

The force has benefited from being part of the Home Office’s SOC pilot programme. It has developed several initiatives along with partners to identify and divert those at risk of being drawn into SOC.

The force is managing organised criminals in prison, but not consistently.

Gwent Police regularly publicises examples of when it disrupts organised crime and the impact it has on the community.

The force has built good working relationships with partners. It proactively shares information when planning any disruption activity. This ensures safeguarding arrangements can be put in place.

Gwent Police can show a positive and significant impact on SOC because of its work.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve the awareness of organised crime groups among neighbourhood teams to ensure that they can reliably identify these groups, collect intelligence and disrupt their activity. Neighbourhood teams should also recognise their role in identifying those at risk of being drawn into serious and organised crime.
  • The force should enhance 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.

Detailed findings for question 4

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 OCGs 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