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Hampshire PEEL 2018

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 20/01/2020
Good

Hampshire Constabulary is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe. Since our 2017 effectiveness inspection the force has improved how well it investigates volume crime. Action taken by officers when they first respond to reports of crime has improved. And staff are now better at gathering evidence at this early stage of the investigation.

Overall the force has a good understanding of vulnerability and works effectively with partners to protect and support vulnerable people.

Officers and staff understand vulnerability well, and identify the less obvious signs that a person may be vulnerable.

The force responds to 999 callers quickly but in too many cases 101 calls are abandoned. A new contact management system that the force is due to start using later this year should help it better understand the types of calls that are abandoned.

The force assesses risk to people at domestic abuse incidents well, and records when children are present. Officers use domestic violence protection notices and orders (DVPNs and DVPOs) and safety planning to safeguard victims well. Neighbourhood officers use follow-up visits to victims to make sure they are safe. The force uses charge and bail to reduce risk of further harm. It asks for feedback from victims of domestic abuse, including those who don’t support police action.

The force works well with mental health care providers to assess and respond to people with mental health problems.

Neighbourhood officers and beat managers have a good understanding of dangerous offenders, including sex offenders, in their areas. The force’s online investigation team has dedicated staff to quickly stop offenders sharing indecent images.

In 2016 we judged Hampshire Constabulary to be good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, and at tackling serious and organised crime. In 2017 we judged it to be good at investigating crime.

Questions for Effectiveness

2

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

Good

This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2017 effectiveness inspection has been carried over.

However, there are two areas for improvement identified from this inspection:

  • The force should take steps to ensure that all available evidence is recorded at the scenes of crimes.
  • The force should ensure that volume crime investigations receive consistent, regular, and active supervision, and that it maintains meaningful contact with victims to further improve investigation quality and progress.

During our fieldwork for this year’s inspection we checked what progress the force had made in these areas. We found that the force has made good progress.

Action taken by officers when they first respond to reports of crime is good. They are also good at gathering evidence at this early stage of the investigation.

We also found that the quality of supervision of frequently committed crimes had improved. But we still found some instances where it could have been done to a higher and more consistent standard.

3

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

Good

Hampshire Constabulary understands vulnerability well and works effectively with partner agencies to protect and support vulnerable victims.

The force has worked hard to address the areas for improvement identified in our 2017 effectiveness inspection. 

Contact management staff generally identify when someone is vulnerable and give the correct initial response. It will become easier for them to identify vulnerable people and record risks to them when the force installs its new contact management system. Calls to the emergency 999 line are answered more promptly than calls to the non-emergency 101 line. We found that around 25 percent of 101 calls are abandoned before the call is answered. The force can’t identify the nature of abandoned calls or whether callers use another route, such as 999 or online, to get in touch.

The force responds well to domestic abuse. It uses arrests, prosecution and ancillary orders such as DVPNs to protect vulnerable victims. It is now better at getting feedback from victims of abuse and more consistently records the effect on children in households affected by domestic abuse.

Awareness of vulnerability caused by mental health problems is good. Staff can get clinical advice 24 hours a day from mental health nurses to help provide the right support to people with mental health problems. There is a dedicated ambulance provider for people with mental health problems in a public place. This works well in most cases, but we heard of instances of people having to wait a long time with police officers for the ambulance to arrive.

The force manages dangerous offenders, including sex offenders, well. But it needs to make sure that it proactively identifies online sex offenders.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should take steps to reduce the proportion of 101 calls that are abandoned. It should make sure that it has effective processes in place to understand the types of calls that are often abandoned.
  • The force has an effective approach to identifying those sharing indecent images online, but it needs to make sure that it proactively reduces the threat of indecent image sharing online through the best use of intelligence.

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).

Detailed findings for question 5