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Kent PEEL 2018

Legitimacy

How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?

Last updated 01/05/2019
Outstanding

Kent Police treats the public and its workforce legitimately.

It is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. Force leaders model this and support a culture of learning. The force encourages officers and staff to think about how they would respond to ethical dilemmas.

The force has an anti-corruption plan. But it needs good monitoring systems to support this. And it needs to have more people working in this area. The force is making better links with groups that work with vulnerable people. This will help it manage corruption better.

In 2017, we judged Kent Police as outstanding at treating the public and its workforce fairly.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

To what extent does the force treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect?

Outstanding

This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2017 legitimacy inspection has been carried over. However, we reviewed a representative sample of 103 stop and search records to assess the reasonableness of the recorded grounds. We found that 80 percent had reasonable grounds recorded. Our assessment is based on the grounds recorded on the record by the searching officer and not the grounds that existed at the time of the search. 

In our 2017 legitimacy report, we recommended that all forces should:

  • monitor and analyse comprehensive stop and search data to understand reasons for disparities;
  • take action on those; and
  • publish the analysis and the action by July 2018.

We found that the force has complied with some of this recommendation. But it doesn’t identify the extent to which find rates differ between people from different ethnicities and between different types of searches (including separate identification of find rates for drug possession and supply-type offences). It also isn’t clear that the force monitors enough data to identify the prevalence of possession-only drug searches or the extent to which these align with local or force-level priorities.

We reviewed the force’s website and were unable to find analysis it had carried out to understand reasons for disparities or an explanation of subsequent action taken.

We will continue to monitor progress in this area.

2

How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure its counter corruption unit:
    • has sufficient capability and capacity to be effective in its proactive approach to counter corruption; and
    • can fully monitor all of its computer systems, including mobile data, to proactively identify data breaches, protect the force’s data and identify computer misuse.
  • The force should ensure it builds effective relationships with the groups and organisations that support and work with vulnerable persons.


Kent Police is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. Force leaders show how to make ethical decisions. They support a culture of learning. Officers and staff have an excellent understanding of how to police ethically. The force encourages them to think about how they would respond to individual ethical dilemmas.

The force has a plan for preventing and dealing with corruption. But it needs to have full ICT monitoring to support this. And it needs to have more people working on it. The force is making better links with groups that work with vulnerable people. This will help it manage officers who abuse their position for a sexual purpose.

Detailed findings for question 2