Wiltshire PEEL 2016
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Wiltshire Police is good in respect of its effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Our overall judgment is the same as last year, when we judged the force to be good. The force is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. It protects vulnerable people from harm, and has effective processes in place to investigate crimes. It is good at tackling serious and organised crime and has the necessary arrangements in place to respond to national threats.
Wiltshire Police is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. It understands the communities it serves and the threats they face. Problem solving is undertaken with other organisations as appropriate.
Wiltshire Police investigates crime and manages offenders well. It has good processes for the assessment of reported incidents and for assessing vulnerability. It has a good understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability and it works well with other organisations in multi-agency safeguarding arrangements. Victims of domestic abuse assessed as being at high risk receive full support from specialist detectives. Measures to monitor sexual and violent offenders are effective. Longer-term support for high-risk victims of domestic abuse is provided through effective joint agency arrangements. In addition, the force has programmes in place to reduce re-offending and provide effective victim care and support.
Wiltshire Police has a good understanding of the threat posed by serious and organised crime. Organised crime groups are generally mapped in accordance with national guidelines. The force works with partner agencies to build a complete picture, and prioritises activity aimed at tackling serious and organised crime systematically and objectively. It has effective links to regional and national assets, understands clearly how people may be drawn into serious and organised crime, and has measures in place to prevent this happening. The force has scope to improve its lifetime offender management and to develop an approach to organised crime group management, which encompasses prevention, protection and preparation, as well as more traditional ‘pursuit’ activity. The force continues to make progress in communicating more effectively with the public about organised crime.
Wiltshire Police has the necessary arrangements in place to assess all the threats identified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. The force is good at assessing the threat of an attack requiring an armed response.
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
Wiltshire Police is good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. It understands the communities it serves and the threats they face and analyses the threat, risk and harm to the communities.
The force has addressed, or is in the process of addressing, areas for improvement identified in HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness inspection.
Problem solving is effective across the force. Staff work well with partner organisations such as local authorities and health services, sharing information and resolving problems together. The force’s crime prevention strategy places focus on troubled families, mental health, integrated offender management and youth offending. It provides practical advice on information sharing and working with other organisations to tackle and reduce incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Although the force is in the process of introducing a new operating model with community policing teams, current activities across both the new and old systems are working effectively. Frontline officers and PCSOs are engage with the public in their local neighbourhoods in several ways to understand better the issues and threats faced by those communities. This is supported by the involvement of academics and other forces ensuring that any new methods are based on what works.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
Wiltshire Police is good at investigating crime and reducing re-offending. The force has a good process for the assessment of all reported incidents, from first point of contact (where there is a structured approach) through assessing vulnerability to ensuring an appropriate response. This ensures that police resources are deployed appropriately, providing a prompt and professional service to the victim.
Specialist resources are available where needed, initial scene attendance follows the ‘golden hour’ principles, and effective evidence-gathering opportunities are followed. Victims of domestic abuse assessed as high risk receive full support from specialist detectives even if the levels of violence to which they have been subjected are relatively minor.
HMIC found investigative caseloads were handled by officers with the appropriate levels of training and competence and with manageable workloads. Supervision levels and inputs were effective, as were measures to monitor sexual and violent offenders. Programmes are in place to prevent re-offending and to provide effective victim care and support, as well as to address the areas for improvement identified in HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness inspection.
Areas for improvement
- The force should take steps to understand the reasons why a high proportion of crimes fall into the category ‘Evidential difficulties; victim does not support police action’, to ensure that it is pursing justice on behalf of victims of crime.
- The force should ensure that those who are circulated as wanted on the police national computer, those who fail to appear on police bail, named and outstanding suspects and suspects identified through forensic evidence, are swiftly located and arrested.
- The force should ensure that frontline staff are aware of the registered sex offenders in their area so that they can play a part in monitoring and management.
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
Wiltshire Police is good at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims.
The force has a good understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability. It works well with partner organisations in multi-agency safeguarding arrangements and has developed in-depth profiles of high risk areas. The force has implemented structured processes, which officers and staff accept and understand, for assessing the vulnerability of callers, beginning at the first point of contact and subsequently through responding officers.
Encouragingly, the force has addressed the cause of concern identified in HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness report by improving its response to missing and absent children. The awareness of the risks associated with persistently missing children and the recording of the assessment of risk and supervision of these investigations has improved.
The force has configured its investigative resources to prioritise high-risk investigations, and longer-term support for high-risk victims of domestic abuse is provided through effective joint agency arrangements.
The force continues to prioritise the protection of vulnerable people. Investment in the new child sexual exploitation teams and multi-agency safeguarding hubs along with better training for specialist investigators is testament to this.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
Wiltshire Police has a good understanding of the threat posed by serious and organised crime, and has dedicated resources to improving its understanding further. The force has a clear and effective way of agreeing priorities, plans and decisions for its intelligence processes.
The force is particularly active in the way it pursues and disrupts criminal networks facilitating drug dealing in Wiltshire. It understands the threat these groups pose and is systematic in its approach to managing them. Activity against organised crime groups is effectively managed, and recent changes to where the lead responsible officer function is placed help to promote longer-term approaches to dismantling the groups. On the whole, organised crime group mapping is carried out correctly.
The force prioritises and scrutinises activity aimed at tackling serious and organised objectively. It works with other law enforcement agencies and relevant organisations in its operational activity, with scope to enhance partnership engagement at a strategic level.
The force clearly understands how people are drawn into serious and organised crime. Its approach to lifetime management of offenders is under review as is its development of a broader approach to serious and organised crime. The force has made progress in response to HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness report.
Areas for improvement
- The force should engage routinely with partner agencies at a senior level to enhance intelligence sharing and promote an effective, multi-agency response to serious and organised crime.
- The force should ensure that it maps all organised crime groups promptly following identification and re-assesses them at regular intervals in line with national standards.
- The force should enhance its approach to the ‘lifetime management’ of organised criminals to minimise the risk they pose to local communities. This approach should include routine consideration of ancillary orders, the powers of other organisations and other tools to deter organised criminals from continuing to offend.
How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?
Wiltshire Police has the necessary arrangements in place to assess all the threats identified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. Chief officers play an active part, both by robust internal governance and in collaboration with other forces and organisations in the South West, in ensuring that these threats are managed.
Wiltshire Police is good at assessing the threat of an attack requiring an armed police response. The force forms part of a tri-force armed policing collaboration with Gloucestershire Constabulary and Avon and Somerset Constabulary.