Suffolk 2018/19Read more about Suffolk 2018/19
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Suffolk Constabulary. PEEL is designed to give you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year.
Suffolk Constabulary was inspected in tranche two and we found:
the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe is good.
the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is good.
the extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately is good.
Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am satisfied with most aspects of the performance of Suffolk Constabulary, but the force needs to improve some aspects of how it plans for the future.
The force prevents crime and tackles anti-social behaviour well. It works closely with partners to ensure that it safeguards victims. But it needs to improve the way it investigates crime through better training and more effective supervision.
The force operates efficiently, but needs a clear and detailed future plan to make its intended significant long-term improvements to its service. It will need to improve its understanding of the demands upon it and the capabilities of its workforce to achieve this.
The force continues to uphold an ethical culture and promote standards of professional behaviour well. However, I am concerned that it does not consistently comply with legislation when dealing with detainees in custody. It also needs to strengthen governance of its use of force in these facilities.
My overall assessment is that the force’s performance has declined since last year.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Suffolk Constabulary is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour and responds positively to areas for improvement identified by HMICFRS.
It has successfully addressed areas for improvement in how it investigates crime and tackles serious and organised crime and anti-social behaviour that we identified in our 2016 effectiveness inspection.
In our 2019 inspection, we found that complex and serious crime is investigated well by specialist staff, but the force needs to improve how it investigates some less complex crime. It is already working to improve the quality of these investigations but needs to make sure that these are consistently well supervised, and that staff have the skills to consistently conduct high-quality investigations. This will help investigations become of a consistently higher standard and focus on giving victims a satisfactory outcome.
The force is good at protecting vulnerable people. It understands the ways in which the population it serves are vulnerable and seeks out hidden harm and looks for vulnerability from the moment a person contacts the police. It responds promptly to incidents involving vulnerable people and makes good use of powers such as Clare’s Law to protect vulnerable people.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Suffolk Constabulary operates efficiently and we are satisfied that the 2017 area for improvement, relating to meeting current demands and using resources, has been addressed.
However, the force needs a clear, detailed future plan if it is to fulfil its vision of making Suffolk a safer place to live, work, travel and invest.
The force doesn’t have detailed enough recruitment and training plans to meet its future needs and it should build on its current plans to successfully make significant long-term improvements to its service.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Suffolk Constabulary is good at treating the public fairly.
The workforce has an ethical culture at all levels. It has a culture of learning not blame. But the force’s anti-corruption unit (ACU) is limited in its ability to pursue corruption proactively. A new ICT monitoring system intended to protect the force’s data may put further pressure on this unit.
Suffolk Constabulary is good at treating the workforce fairly.
How well has the force performed in our other inspections?
In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections; others are joint inspections.
Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.
Norfolk and Suffolk – Joint inspection of police custody – published 2 October 2018