Nottinghamshire PEEL 2018
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Nottinghamshire Police is good at treating the public and its workforce legitimately.
It is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. But it needs to improve how fairly it treats its workforce.
The force has leaders who are good role models. Officers and staff understand the standards of behaviour the force expects. But it would be good if it had a separate forum where staff could refer ethical dilemmas. The force has vetted its workforce and makes sure vetting decisions are fair. It deals with corruption threats well. But is should make sure the action it takes to reduce corruption is working. The force may be missing opportunities to identify and deal with corruption, due to staff shortages in the specialist unit. It needs to develop better links with other organisations to encourage information sharing.
The force hasn’t made much progress in how it deals with potential unfairness at work. It doesn’t have a consistent way of dealing with workforce concerns. But it is improving its understanding of workforce wellbeing and is taking action to improve this. It reviews a range of 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. In particular, it 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.
The force is good at increasing the diversity of its workforce. It attracts new recruits from groups that aren’t well represented and is good at making sure they remain with the force.
In 2017, we judged Nottinghamshire 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 effectiveness inspection has been carried over. However, we reviewed a representative sample of 97 stop and search records to assess the reasonableness of the recorded grounds. We found that 96 percent had reasonable grounds recorded. 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 most of 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. It also doesn’t identify the prevalence of possession-only drug searches or the extent to which these align with local or force-level priorities.
We reviewed Nottinghamshire Police’s website and found that the force publishes comprehensive stop and search data, including analysis carried out to understand reasons for some, but not all, of the disparities.
We will continue to monitor progress in this area.
How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that its counter-corruption unit:
- 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
- builds effective relationships with individuals and organisations that support and work with vulnerable people.
Nottinghamshire Police is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. Its leaders are positive role models and members of the workforce have a good understanding of the standards the force expects. It reviews a range of data to monitor this. But it should have a separate place where staff can refer ethical problems.
The force has vetted its workforce, including those who need higher-level vetting. It monitors the results of vetting decisions to make sure they are fair. With recruitment decisions, it tries to reduce barriers if possible.
The force is good at making sure its workforce understands what behaviour is acceptable. Staff from the professional standards department (PSD) visit teams to discuss this. This helps to reduce any misunderstandings. They also promote current issues on the force intranet and the chief constable does the same in his blog.
The force deals with corruption threats well. It keeps a close eye on contacts or jobs officers and staff have that might cause problems. It reviews information to find anyone who might be a corruption risk. It takes action to prevent this happening, but should review whether this is working.
The counter corruption unit needs more staff. The force may be missing opportunities to deal with corruption. It monitors the devices used by its workforce. It has good systems in place to deal with officers or staff who abuse their position for a sexual purpose. But it needs to develop better links with other organisations to encourage them to share information.Detailed findings for question 2
To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?
Areas for improvement
- The force should improve how it manages and monitors individual performance, supporting its supervisors in conducting fair and effective assessments. Performance development reviews need to be consistently and fairly applied across the entire organisation.
- The force should have a talent management system that is consistent, fair and accessible to all the workforce.
Cause of concern
We are concerned that Nottinghamshire Police does not consistently support the wellbeing of its workforce. The force has a wellbeing strategy in place, but has not made enough progress to promote it and create a culture where wellbeing is prioritised. As a result, the force is not giving consistent and effective support to all its workforce.
To address this cause of concern, we recommend that within six months the force should:
- Put a communication plan in place to raise awareness of the wellbeing strategy across the workforce. This plan should ensure that all staff and officers have access to information.
- Ensure that all current supervisors are trained to recognise warning signs and are aware of the early intervention options available so that they can give appropriate support and prevent wellbeing concerns escalating.
- Ensure that it has an evaluation process in place to determine what interventions work. This should include a way to provide the learning to supervisors. It should also include a way to assess the views of the workforce on whether their wellbeing needs are being prioritised and appropriate support is available for them.
Nottinghamshire Police needs to treat its workforce more fairly. It hasn’t made much progress in how it deals with potential unfairness at work. Officers and staff aren’t sure how to raise ideas or concerns, other than speaking to their managers.
The force doesn’t have a consistent way of dealing with workforce concerns. Officers and staff aren’t generally aware of the grievance policy and line managers aren’t clear about their responsibilities. However, the force is getting better at understanding how the workforce perceives fairness and respect.
The force is improving its understanding of workforce wellbeing. It is taking action to improve this. Officers and staff told us that it should get better at spotting problems earlier. The force reviews data to understand patterns that might affect wellbeing, which should help its managers spot the early warning signs.
The force still needs to get better at managing performance and development. Performance reviews are compulsory, but staff don’t consider them useful. The force doesn’t use them to identify talent, support development or manage poor performance. It needs to help its managers carry out assessments that help spot and develop talent and should have a talent-management system that’s fair and open.
The force is good at increasing the diversity of its workforce. It attracts new recruits from groups that aren’t well represented and is also good at making sure they remain with the organisation.Detailed findings for question 3