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Lancashire PEEL 2018

Legitimacy

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

Last updated 20/01/2020
Good

Lancashire Constabulary is good in the way it treats the public and the workforce.

It is good at ensuring that the workforce behaves ethically and lawfully.

Senior leaders act as role models, engaging with the workforce and giving guidance on ethical dilemmas. However, it needs to ensure that all leaders are discussing ethics with their officers and staff.

The constabulary has ethics committees to scrutinise its decisions. This helps to satisfy the public and the workforce that it is being fair.

The constabulary is introducing new technology to enable it to monitor the use of IT systems. This may generate more work for the counter-corruption team. The constabulary needs to ensure it has enough people to cope with any increase in demand.

The constabulary is good at treating the workforce fairly.

It seeks the views from every section of the workforce, and it involves them in making improvements. It is good at dealing with workforce concerns.

It makes sure that it looks after the wellbeing of the workforce. It has invested in occupational health services to support people. It treats mental health and physical health with equal importance. This is helping the workforce cope with the challenges of policing.

In response to a request from the workforce, the constabulary has developed a new IT system to support workforce development. The system meets the needs of the workforce, but not everyone uses it yet. In addition, not all supervisors hold regular meetings with their staff. This means that the constabulary could manage individual performance better. It recognises this and is developing a course to give supervisors the skills they need to develop people and manage their performance.

It recognises that it doesn’t have a scheme to identify talented people and is developing one. This will help it develop its future leaders.

In 2017, we graded the constabulary as good at treating the public fairly.

Questions for Legitimacy

1

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

Good

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 243 stop and search records to assess the reasonableness of the recorded grounds. We found that 86 percent or those records contained reasonable grounds. Our assessment is based on the grounds recorded 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 constabulary has partly complied with this recommendation. But it doesn’t identify the extent to which find rates differ between people from different ethnicities and across different types of searches (including separate identification of find rates for drug possession and supply-type offences). Additionally, it isn’t clear that it 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 constabulary’s website and found no obvious mention of analysis it had carried out to understand and explain reasons for disparities or any subsequent action taken.

2

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

Good

The constabulary is good at ensuring the workforce behaves ethically and lawfully.

Senior leaders give advice and guidance to the workforce, so that everyone knows the expected standards of behaviour. But line managers need to have more regular discussions with their officers and staff to help them make good decisions.

The workforce can tell senior leaders their concerns using an online forum. This means that the constabulary can act quickly to help with ethical dilemmas.

The constabulary has ethics committees to scrutinise its decisions. This helps to satisfy the public and the workforce that it is being fair.

It makes sure that the whole workforce has been vetted and it monitors its vetting decisions so that everyone is treated equally.

The constabulary is introducing a new IT system so that it can check that the workforce is accessing and using information properly. It needs to make sure it has enough people to deal with the increase in work that this may generate.

It analyses information about the workforce so that it knows the risk of people being corrupted. A counter-corruption team works with other departments to prevent people from being corrupted. The team also has the skills to investigate allegations of corruption. Its investigations are of a good standard, but supervisors need to ensure they record the advice they give to their investigators.

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary should undertake work to ensure methods are in place for supervisors to have regular discussions and interactions with staff about ethical dilemmas and ethical decision making.
  • The constabulary should ensure it 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 constabulary should ensure that its counter-corruption unit has enough capability and capacity to counter corruption effectively and proactively including the ability to meet future demand created by improvements in IT monitoring.
  • The constabulary should ensure that there are effective processes to record supervision of counter-corruption investigations.

Detailed findings for question 2

3

To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?

Good

The constabulary is good at treating the workforce fairly.

It makes sure that it seeks the views of every section of the workforce. Senior leaders meet regularly with unions and staff associations. They all work together to make improvements. When grievances are raised, they are taken seriously and dealt with properly.

The constabulary analyses workforce feedback and other information so that it can make better decisions on how to improve fairness at work. It works hard to ensure its workforce represents all the communities it serves.

It makes sure that it looks after the wellbeing of the workforce. It has invested in additional services to support people. And looking after mental health has equal priority with physical health. This is helping the workforce to cope with the challenges of policing.

The constabulary has responded to feedback from the workforce and developed a better IT system to support its development. However, not everyone uses it, and not all supervisors hold regular meetings with their staff to discuss their development and performance. A course is being developed to give supervisors the skills and confidence they need to improve the management of individual performance.

The constabulary doesn’t have an effective scheme to identify talented people. It knows this and is developing one.

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary should ensure that it develops and supports its supervisors and managers to conduct honest, fair and effective assessments, supports continuous professional development and manages poor performance.
  • The constabulary should ensure it has a comprehensive, transparent and well publicised system to identify and support talented individuals across all ranks, grades and roles.

Detailed findings for question 3