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North Yorkshire PEEL 2018

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 27/09/2019
Good

North Yorkshire Police is good at looking after vulnerable people who are victims of crime. From the first contact with a victim, the force recognises when people need support and help. Those who handle calls in the control room can see the records and other information they need to judge how best to work with vulnerable victims. Officers were able to explain to inspectors how they assess risk. But the force should make sure that those risk judgments are properly recorded using the tools available. This would mean the force could be sure that it is offering a consistently good service to vulnerable victims. Officers and staff have recently been trained to recognise signs of vulnerability.

The control room also has good ways of quickly assessing people’s mental health needs at peak times, with plans to offer this service 24 hours a day every day. Street teams in some areas also have the skills to recognise people with mental ill health. However, officers and staff are concerned about the extra pressures resulting from some mental health suites closing.

In some places, daily meetings talk about the ‘most vulnerable, most demanding, most dangerous and most wanted’ people. The force should think about applying this way of working across North Yorkshire so that vulnerability is identified consistently.

The force has improved its data collection on domestic abuse since our last inspection in 2017. It has also introduced an additional post so that court applications in domestic abuse cases are improved and achieve positive results to protect vulnerable victims, with the vast majority of applications succeeding. This is a positive step. However, the force needs to understand why not all high-level domestic abuse cases are being properly referred for multi-agency support.

In 2017, we judged that North Yorkshire Police was good at preventing and tackling anti-social behaviour, investigating crime, and tackling serious and organised crime.

Questions for Effectiveness

3

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

Good

Officers and staff working for North Yorkshire Police have the information, training and leadership they need to understand how to treat vulnerable victims of crime well. Caring for the vulnerable is a priority at all levels of the force. We were pleased to find that many officers and staff were able to speak to us clearly about vulnerability. They had been trained recently to support broader understanding, including how to identify hidden harm.

The force’s call handling system helps staff to quickly identify vulnerable victims when they contact the control room. Staff were able to tell us how they assess risk, but we found that they don’t always record the reasons for the decisions they make using the THRIVE risk assessment tool. The force should make sure that the rationale behind these decisions is recorded so that all vulnerable victims are protected from harm.

Following the area for improvement identified in our 2017 inspection, the force now collects accurate data to protect victims, enabling comparison with other forces and supporting a consistent service. North Yorkshire Police co-operates well with partner organisations. This helps to keep people safe. The force is aware that it has work to do to make sure that the way multi-agency risk assessment conference(MARAC) referral processes are used means that all high-risk victims of domestic abuse are protected.

There is also mostly good partnership working in mental health services. And the force is working with its partner agencies to strengthen the services available across the county.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should assure itself that risk assessment processes are being appropriately recorded when dealing with calls from the public to manage risk for all vulnerable victims.
  • The force should review its MARAC referral processes to ensure that all high-risk victims of domestic abuse are protected.

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