Wiltshire 2018/19Read more about Wiltshire 2018/19
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Wiltshire Police. 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.
Wiltshire Police was inspected in tranche one 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.
Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am pleased with most aspects of Wiltshire Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. But it needs to improve its response to serious and organised crime, although extraordinary circumstances the force faced over the past year may have had an impact on its ability to demonstrate more consistent performance.
The force is good at preventing and investigating most types of crime. But while it understands the threat from serious and organised crime, it needs to adopt a more structured approach to tackling it. The force works effectively with other organisations to identify and protect vulnerable people.
The force understands its demand well. It uses this information to develop financial and workforce plans for the future.
Senior leaders ensure that the workforce understands the importance of treating the public and each other with fairness and respect. The force continues to promote well the standards of professional behaviour it expects.
I am encouraged by Wiltshire Police’s progress. I look forward to seeing more improvements over the coming year.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Wiltshire Police is good at preventing and investigating crime, and at protecting vulnerable people. It needs to improve how it tackles serious and organised crime (SOC).
The force understands vulnerability well. It could improve its supervision of control room staff by taking more dip-samples of audio files.
The force responds well to incidents involving vulnerable people, especially domestic abuse victims. Officers understand their responsibilities in safeguarding children. The force uses its legal powers, such as Clare’s Law, to protect victims of domestic abuse. It surveys all domestic abuse victims.
The force has enough case handlers to manage violent and sexual offenders and registered sex offenders. It tracks down offenders who view indecent images of children online.
Wiltshire Police needs to improve how it tackles SOC. It understands the level of threat well and now maps all organised crime groups promptly. But it needs to improve its prevention of SOC.
Because the force does not complete disruption assessments, it cannot check its success in disrupting crime and learn what works best.
It is too soon to know whether recent changes have improved how well the force works with other agencies in exchanging intelligence on SOC.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Wiltshire Police is good at planning to meet both current and future demand.
The force looks at previous trends and uses this to predict demand. These demand projections help managers plan how to make best use of their workforce. Since our 2017 inspection, the force has used analysis of demand to improve its response to non-emergency calls by changing shift patterns and numbers of call room staff.
The force is working hard to engage with the community. But it needs to update its technology to offer the public better ways of making contact, such as online.
The force has processes in place to manage the competing priorities it faces. It is still evaluating future workforce needs to address likely skills gaps. It has faced an increase in officers leaving the service but is investing in recruitment. It expects to return the force to its planned numbers in 2018/19.
Wiltshire Police is working to increase its diversity. The Department for Work and Pensions has recognised the force’s support for people with disabilities. More black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are gaining employment and now make up 2.6 percent of the workforce.
The force’s financial, service and delivery plans focus on frontline staffing. A medium-term financial plan sets out the framework until 2022.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Wiltshire Police’s leaders and workforce understand and promote the force’s values and ethics. Members of the workforce undertake an annual integrity health check and can refer any ethical concerns to the ethics board.
The force is making progress with meeting national recommendations on vetting. It has increased the vetting unit’s capacity and is prioritising high-risk posts. But it is still not evaluating its vetting decisions to see if they are affecting recruitment from diverse groups.
The force tackles internal corruption adequately but it could improve its monitoring of ICT systems. The counter corruption assessment also needs updating.
Supervisors are alert to warning signs of abuse of position for a sexual purpose and refer cases appropriately.
Wiltshire Police treats its workforce fairly. It has made progress in seeking feedback and challenge. The force is trying to encourage more diverse applicants.
The force understands wellbeing. It provides health screening and health promotion, a full-time mental health nurse, and wellness training for managers. A recent survey showed officers’ morale was among the highest in any force.
A new electronic personal development review means officers and staff can track their performance and career development. Several initiatives give staff and officers the chance to improve their skills. The workforce sees the promotion process as fair.
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.
We have not published any other reports about Wiltshire in this PEEL cycle.