Lincolnshire PEEL 2018
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Lincolnshire Police is good at treating the public and its workforce legitimately. It is good at behaving ethically and lawfully.
Its leaders are good role models. Officers and staff understand the standards of behaviour expected of them. But the force doesn’t have a separate forum where staff can discuss ethical dilemmas. Its approach could be strengthened by letting the workforce know the results of complaint and misconduct investigations.
The force has vetted its workforce. But it doesn’t have a process to make sure all vetting decisions are fair.
It deals with corruption threats adequately. But it should make sure there are enough staff in the anti-corruption unit. Staff shortages mean the force may be missing opportunities to identify and deal with corruption. It needs to build better links with other organisations to encourage information sharing.
The force is getting a better understanding of workforce wellbeing. It reviews data to understand patterns that might affect wellbeing. But it needs to help its managers spot the early warning signs.
It needs to get better at managing performance and development. This should help its managers carry out performance assessments that help identify and develop talent. It should also bring in a talent management system that is fair and open.
In 2017, we judged Lincolnshire Police as good at treating the public fairly.
To what extent does the force treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect?
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 sample of 206 stop and search records to assess the reasonableness of the recorded grounds. We found that 81 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 force has complied with some of this recommendation. But it doesn’t monitor 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 force’s website and found no obvious mention of analysis it had carried out to understand and explain reasons for disparities or any subsequent
How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?
Lincolnshire Police has an ethical culture. Leaders and the workforce understand the professional Code of Ethics that governs policing. It reviews a range of data to monitor this and has an independently chaired Ethics Board. But it should have a separate place where staff can refer ethical problems.
The force meets its obligations under the new Vetting Code of Practice. This includes those who need higher-level vetting. It gives the College of Policing details of former officers and staff who it has dismissed. This prevents them from working in law enforcement. But it needs a clear process to make sure all vetting decisions are fair.
In our 2017 legitimacy report, we recommended the force improve the quality and speed of its updates to complainants. It has done this.
The force has a counter-corruption strategic assessment and control strategy. These are subject to governance and review processes. But it could improve how it uses the information it holds about its employees to identify those at risk of becoming a corruption risk to the force. This would allow the force to intervene earlier to reduce the risk of corrupt activities taking place.
The force’s anti-corruption unit (ACU) is limited in capacity and capability. The ACU needs more staff. The force may be missing opportunities to deal with corruption.
It can’t yet monitor all its IT systems. But, with new equipment, it will soon be able to do this.
To tackle the problem of abuse of position for a sexual purpose, the force needs good links with organisations that support vulnerable victims of crime. It recognises that it has more work to do.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure it has an effective process for the workforce to refer, discuss and publish ethical issues.
- The force should monitor its vetting decisions to identify disparities and disproportionality (e.g. black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups), and act to reduce them where appropriate.
- The force should ensure it has a process for sharing outcomes of complaint and misconduct investigations with the workforce to develop organisation learning.
- The force should ensure it has enough capability and capacity to counter corruption effectively and proactively; 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 and build effective relationships with individuals and organisations that support and work with vulnerable people.
- The force should ensure it has enough capability and capacity to counter corruption effectively and proactively. The force should ensure it can fully monitor all its computer systems, including mobile data, to proactively identify data breaches, protect the force’s data and identify computer misuse. The force should build effective relationships with individuals and organisations that support and work with vulnerable people.
To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?
Lincolnshire Police is working hard to create a fairer and more supportive environment for its workforce. The officers and staff we spoke to were confident that they could raise concerns with senior leaders.
The force is getting better at understanding workforce wellbeing. It is committed to building on this. This is an improvement on our last inspection where we identified senior management teams needed to promote the benefits of wellbeing. The force reviews some data to understand patterns that might affect wellbeing. But it needs to help its managers spot the early warning signs.
It needs to get better at managing performance and development. This should help its managers assess performance, which will help identify and develop talent. It should also bring in a fair and open talent management system. The force can’t make sure it is tackling poor performance effectively or identifying talent consistently.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that it has effective processes in place to identify and understand the causes of potential disproportionality and to take effective action to address these causes in the:
- recruitment, retention and progression of its workforce; and
- treatment of officers and staff with protected characteristics, who are subjected to complaint and misconduct investigations.
- The force should ensure it has good governance arrangements to analyse a range of workforce data and information. This would help it identify the greatest threats to wellbeing, and take effective action to address them.
- The force needs a talent management system that is consistent, fair and accessible to all its workforce.