North Yorkshire 2016Read more about North Yorkshire
This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of North Yorkshire Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.
The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
Michael Cunningham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am very pleased with the overall performance of North Yorkshire Police.
North Yorkshire Police works well with partner organisations to tackle local problems and keep people safe. The force has a clear commitment to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, with a strong focus on neighbourhood policing.
I am reassured that the quality of crime investigation is generally good, and the force works well with other organisations to manage offenders, particularly dangerous and repeat offenders.
However, it needs to improve its understanding of the threat and risk posed by serious and organised crime, and improve its approach to tackling it. I would like to see the force adopting a longer-term approach to dismantling organised crime groups that encompasses preventative measures as well as reactive investigation.
North Yorkshire Police is good at identifying at the earliest opportunity people who may be vulnerable. The force uses its assessments of the risks people face to determine the most appropriate response, and it puts significant effort into dealing with vulnerable victims appropriately. I am pleased with the force’s improvement in the level of support it provides to victims of domestic abuse, and with its approach to preventing further incidents while dealing firmly with perpetrators.
The force has a very good understanding of both the present demand for its services and of potential future demand, which informs the force’s allocation of resources. The force’s financial and people plans are similarly aligned with its understanding of current and future demand.
I am reassured that North Yorkshire Police is good at treating the people it serves and its workforce with fairness and respect. Senior leaders actively promote ethical and lawful behaviour through the force’s values, and the workforce is positive about the force’s culture.
North Yorkshire Police seeks feedback from the public using a variety of methods, such as surveys and social media. It also actively monitors and analyses data on complaints, compliments, misconduct, grievances and diversity. The force is good at acting on this information and at responding to the issues of greatest concern to the public: for example, it has established a rural taskforce to deal with problems in more remote parts of the county.
I am impressed by North Yorkshire Police’s strong commitment to valuing and developing its workforce. Police staff and officers have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and feel comfortable challenging more senior staff.
In summary, the force provides a good level of service to the people of North Yorkshire. I am pleased that it has maintained its performance since my previous assessment.
North Yorkshire Police provides policing services to the county of North Yorkshire. North Yorkshire is generally affluent, although there are some areas of deprivation. The force area is home to around 0.8 million people, who live in a predominantly rural setting. Its distinct urban areas include the coastal towns of Scarborough and Whitby as well as the city of York.
The resident population is increased by university students and the very large numbers who visit or travel through the county each year. The transport infrastructure includes 151 miles of motorway and trunk roads and major rail stations.
The proportion of areas in North Yorkshire that are predicted (on the basis of detailed economic and demographic analysis) to present a very high challenge to the police is lower than the national average. The most challenging areas are generally characterised by a high concentration of people living, working, socialising, or travelling in the area.
Features that both cause and/or indicate a concentration of people include the number of commercial premises, including licensed premises and fast-food premises, public transport, and social deprivation. In some areas, these features are combined. The police force area is very large, relative to other forces in England and Wales, and it takes a comparatively long time to travel across the area by road, which increases the difficulty of providing police services.
The force policed the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race in April 2016, which was a significant additional resource requirement.
North Yorkshire Police collaborates with other police forces in the Yorkshire and Humber region to provide a range of specialist policing services. It also has shared arrangements with other forces in areas including major crime investigation and dog support.
The force is part of a longstanding collaborative arrangement with Durham Constabulary and Cleveland Police, operating as ‘Evolve’.
Looking ahead to 2017
In the year ahead, I will be interested to see how North Yorkshire Police responds to this assessment and to the areas for improvement that HMIC identified last year.
I will be particularly interested to see further development of the force’s understanding of the threat and risk posed by serious and organised crime, and its approach to dismantling organised crime groups.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year, when we judged the force to be good in respect of effectiveness.
The force works well with partners to tackle local problems and keep people safe. The quality of crime investigation is generally good, and the force has improved the support it provides to vulnerable victims. It works well with others to manage offenders, but the force needs to improve its approach to tackling serious and organised crime.
Overall, North Yorkshire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has a clear commitment to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, with a strong emphasis from the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable on protecting neighbourhood policing. The importance of preventing crime is well understood by officers and staff. The force works well with other organisations to understand and solve local problems, including intervening early to tackle local concerns and stop problems from getting worse.
Generally, the force carries out good quality investigations and makes sure that victims are safe. It works well to identify, investigate and bring to justice repeat and dangerous offenders and prevent them from re-offending.
The force has made some improvements since HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness inspection, and vulnerability is recognised as a priority across the force. The force puts significant effort and resources into offering a high quality service to the public, ensuring that it deals with vulnerable victims appropriately. It works well in identifying, at the earliest opportunity, people who might be vulnerable and assesses the risks which they face in order to provide the most appropriate response. The levels of support provided to victims of domestic abuse have improved. The force has a proactive approach to preventing further incidents while dealing robustly with perpetrators.
The force has made good progress in developing joint working arrangements with local partner organisations, although more work is needed to ensure that all relevant organisations are contributing. The force has adequate arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. However, it needs to improve its understanding of the threat and risk posed by serious and organised crime to the communities of North Yorkshire and adopt a longer-term approach to dismantling organised crime groups which includes preventative measures as well as reactive investigation.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
HMIC found North Yorkshire Police to have a very good understanding of present demand and a good understanding of potential future demand. The force is developing a systematic approach to understanding demand more fully and managing it more effectively, as well as developing its ability to undertake predictive analysis. The force uses its operating model to allocate available resources to force and national priorities, taking account of known and predicted levels of demand. At the operational level, the force uses an assessment process in the control room that helps officers and staff identify the most appropriate response to each incident. The use of this assessment process is also being extended to officers and staff on the front line.
The force’s medium-term financial and people plans are well aligned with the force’s analysis of demand. Governance arrangements are in place to enable management and monitoring of the finance and people plans. Internal and external audit arrangements are in place and provide a high level of confidence that the force will implement these plans successfully.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
North Yorkshire Police has been assessed as good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. North Yorkshire Police is good at treating the people it serves and its workforce with fairness and respect and at promoting ethical and lawful behaviour. The culture of the organisation reflects this through fair and respectful treatment of people, and ethical, lawful approaches to integrity. The organisation’s fair and respectful treatment of its workforce and concern for its welfare and wellbeing also demonstrate this. Senior leaders actively promote the force’s values, and the workforce is positive about the force’s culture.
North Yorkshire Police is good at treating the people it serves with fairness and respect. Its values are underpinned by the Code of Ethics and are widely understood across the force. North Yorkshire Police seeks and acts on feedback from the public.
The force is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully; it has comprehensive vetting arrangements and regularly reinforces standards of acceptable behaviour. It publishes the outcome of gross misconduct cases and provides comprehensive details of gifts and hospitality received by its officers and staff.
The force is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect. It understands problems that affect the perception of fair treatment and wellbeing of the workforce. The force monitors and analyses data in respect of complaints, compliments, misconduct, grievances and diversity. The force responded well to the findings of its wellbeing survey and introduced a new individual performance development review in April 2016.
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.
Police leadership is crucial in enabling a force to be effective, efficient and legitimate. This inspection focused on how a force understands, develops and displays leadership through its organisational development.
North Yorkshire Police has made a clear commitment, in its people strategy, to valuing and developing its workforce, and has set clear expectations for its leaders at all ranks and grades. It uses a number of methods to promote the standards it expects from its leaders across the whole workforce. The force has introduced a series of leadership engagement events, which allow the chief officer team to communicate directly with managers at sergeant, inspector and police staff equivalent levels, resolving a shortcoming which was identified in HMIC’s PEEL leadership inspection in 2015. Police staff and officers have a clear understanding of what is expected from the force’s leaders and feel comfortable challenging the more senior staff.
Senior leaders in North Yorkshire Police have a very good understanding of the leadership capabilities throughout the organisation. The force uses a broad range of methods to develop leadership capability. The force recognises and develops the leadership skills of its own workforce, but it also seeks to attract new people. The force is one of only a few that have selected a candidate for Direct Entry at superintendent level.
This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of North Yorkshire Police.