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Merseyside PEEL 2014


How well the force tackles crime

Last updated 12/11/2014

Merseyside Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force is good at investigating offending. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.

Merseyside has clear priorities to prevent and reduce crime. The force can clearly demonstrate how these priorities are reflected in resource allocation and activity. Its assessment of threat, risk and harm to communities enables the force to make appropriate decisions about how best to use its resources.

Most investigations are conducted thoroughly, with good levels of supervision by trained detectives. The force understands vulnerability, and is becoming increasingly victim-centred in its approach to investigation. There is scope for Merseyside to enhance its ability to capture evidence of ‘what works’ in investigation, and use this knowledge to further improve the services it provides to victims of crime.

Anti-social behaviour is a priority for the force. There are clear governance and oversight arrangements in place, allowing senior officers to drive activity in tackling this issue. At a local level, partnership working arrangements are effective, although these are not consistent across the force area with good practice not always being shared.

Further insights on effectiveness

The domestic abuse inspection found that the public in Merseyside could have confidence that, generally, the police provided a good service to victims of domestic abuse and helped keep them safe and staff demonstrated a high level of commitment and awareness; they exercised appropriate discretion and worked well with partners.

The ability of Merseyside to disrupt organised crime groups using a range of tactics is a clear strength, and it also deals particularly well with serious sexual offending. However, there is some inconsistency in the quality of victim contact.

Questions for Effectiveness


How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?


Merseyside Police has a clear set of priorities, and takes a systematic approach to identifying and tackling risks to communities.

Merseyside is placing a growing emphasis on improving the service provided to victims, especially the quality of victim contact. The force uses a broad range of tactics to prevent and reduce crime. The force’s response to organised crime is particularly well co-ordinated. There are examples of effective partnership working at a neighbourhood level although consistency across the force is lacking.



How effective is the force at investigating offending?


The quality of investigation in Merseyside is generally good, with good standards of supervision. The levels of training among detectives are appropriate, but there are few opportunities offered to non-detectives to develop their investigative skills. The force understands vulnerability, and is able to reliably identify vulnerable and repeat victims of crime. However vulnerability risk assessments are not always completed at the scene of a crime, creating a potential delay in assessing risk and taking appropriate action.

Merseyside Police has a good analytical capability, with mechanisms in place to review and learn from investigations. Its ability to capture evidence of ‘what works’ in investigation – and to use this to continually enhance the service it provides to the public – is limited but improving.



How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?


Anti-social behaviour is a clear priority for Merseyside Police, with good arrangements in place for understanding victim vulnerability and monitoring performance.

Partnership work is actively driven by the force at a neighbourhood level, although it is not consistently co-ordinated which means that some opportunities for sharing good practice are being missed.


How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?


The crime inspection found that tackling serious and organised crime, including child sexual exploitation, was among the force’s priorities. At a local level, the force made sure that there were sufficient resources to deal with community issues alongside more serious crimes. The force was particularly active in its approach to disrupting organised crime groups. Activity to dismantle these groups was well co-ordinated across the force, with clear oversight from senior officers. The force had a manual of tactics for disruption of organised crime groups, from which officers selected appropriate methods to tackle the threats that these groups posed. Police officers working within neighbourhood teams had responsibility for researching organised crime groups and for providing assistance to disrupt the activities of those operating in their area. Child sexual exploitation was discussed regularly at the multi-agency risk assessment conference, and there was a force child sexual exploitation co-ordinator working in every force district. A team that tackles child sexual exploitation worked closely with the Centre for Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP).

The value for money inspection found that the force had a number of collaboration arrangements predominantly with forces in the region to tackle serious and organised crime; the force was implementing a partnership approach to tackling serious and organised crime. The inspection found that the force gave due consideration to national requirements in relation to the regional and national impact of serious and organised crime originating in the force area. Neighbourhood staff were given clear direction, including prevention activity in relation to organised crime groups.


How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?


There was no Strategic Policing Requirement inspection for this force.


How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?