City of London 2017Read more about City of London
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of City of London 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 requires improvement.
Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of City of London Police below.
I am satisfied with most aspects of City of London Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but the force needs to make improvements in some areas to provide a consistently good service.
The force continues to protect vulnerable people well, which is consistent with my last assessment. I am pleased that since last year it has improved how it prevents crime and tackles anti-social behaviour, and how it deals with serious and organised crime.
The force has improved its understanding of demand and is planning for the future, but it needs to do more work on how it uses resources to manage demand.
City of London Police treats its workforce with fairness and respect. However, the force could do more to satisfy itself that it treats the public with fairness and respect and that its workforce is behaving ethically and lawfully. It needs to improve how it records the grounds for and supervises stop and search.
I commend City of London Police for the progress it has made over the past year, which provides a good foundation for continuing improvement in the year ahead.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
City of London Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
Since our 2016 effectiveness inspection the force has made good progress in the areas HMICFRS identified as requiring improvement. We are pleased to find this year that City of London Police is good across all elements of keeping people safe and reducing crime covered by our 2017 inspection.
City of London Police has an effective approach to preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. The force has a comprehensive understanding of its local community and the threats and risks it faces. These feature in problem-solving plans, which are produced and implemented by officers and staff. To ensure it is deploying its resources where they are most needed, and providing the most effective crime-prevention service to the public, the force needs to develop its understanding of the impact its activity has in the community.
The force protects vulnerable people well. It has an effective system in place to identify such people, and its workforce has a clear understanding of how they may be vulnerable. Risk assessments and investigations involving victims of domestic abuse are comprehensive, tailored to each victim, and regularly checked for quality. The force’s response to people with mental health conditions is good, and it works closely with other agencies on this.
City of London Police responds capably to serious and organised crime. It has developed an effective system to identify, disrupt and investigate organised crime groups. It holds its officers to account, and uses a wide range of intelligence sources to increase its understanding of serious and organised crime. The force works well with other agencies but needs to improve its approach to preventing serious and organised criminals from re-offending.
City of London Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response. The force has taken part in local and regional mobilisation exercises and it works closely with the Metropolitan Police Service and the British Transport Police to provide adequate public order capabilities for the London area. The force has a sound understanding of all six threats specified within The Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) and has carried out exercises to test its response.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
City of London Police is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This is an improvement on the overall judgment last year, when the force was judged as requiring improvement. The force’s understanding of demand for its services is good; its planning for the future is also good; but its use of resources to manage demand still requires improvement.
Overall, City of London Police is good in how efficient it is at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Through the introduction of its strategic threat and risk assessment (STRA) process, the force has improved considerably its understanding of both current demand, and demand less likely to be reported to the police. It has good structures in place for receiving feedback from its workforce about its efficiency, but it should do more to understand how inefficient processes create demand. It also needs to continue the work it has done since 2016 to achieve the full benefits of the change programmes that are already under way.
The force needs to improve how it uses its resources. Until a full skills audit of its workforce is completed (at the time of inspection this was due in October 2017) it cannot fully understand or plan for the gaps in its current capability. The force also needs to complete work to understand the levels of service that can be provided at different levels of cost. However, the force is one of only a few to take the positive action to recruit externally to provide skills and capabilities it lacks. It is developing an understanding of the leadership skills and gaps in its workforce.
City of London Police is good at planning for the future. The force’s plans have developed significantly since last year and although it is reliant on the City of London Corporation to underwrite this year’s budget, it is investing in infrastructure to make savings for the future. The force’s understanding of how technology can benefit policing, and criminals, particularly in fraud and internet-based crime, is outstanding. So too is the force’s understanding of what the public wants and how this expectation is changing.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
City of London Police is judged to be requiring improvement in how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is less positive than last year, when we assessed the force as good overall. The force is judged to require improvement in some aspects of how it treats all of the people it serves with fairness and respect and in ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. However, it is judged as good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
City of London Police requires improvement in the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It needs to improve some aspects of how it treats people. Although it is clear that its leadership understands the importance of treating people fairly, some officers are not effectively recording grounds for stop and search and the force is failing adequately to supervise officers’ recording of these grounds. It has not provided enough training on unconscious bias for its workforce, or completed stop and search training for all frontline officers. The workforce has good communication skills, which include showing empathy and listening. External scrutiny has improved considerably since last year but could be further developed if the force appointed an independent chair to the community scrutiny group.
More should be done to ensure its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Although we have seen outstanding practice from the force’s leadership in building a strong base in ethical decision-making through its ethics panel and membership of the London police challenge forum – and also through the ethical decision-making training that the entire workforce has received – this is not reflected in how the force investigates allegations of discrimination. The force learns from the outcomes of grievance cases, communicating the resulting lessons effectively to the workforce in terms of learning rather than censure. The complaints process can be easily found and understood, and additional help is offered to people who have difficulty in using it, for instance in assistance with language or with people wishing to be spoken to in their own home. However, the service that all parties receive during investigations of discrimination is unsatisfactory.
The force is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect. Its leaders actively seek feedback and challenge from the workforce and make changes as a result. Although the force has yet to put its wellbeing strategy fully into practice, the support it offers to its workforce is good. It values wellbeing and provides good support to its workforce, although it could understand more clearly the risks and threats to its personnel in this respect, and prioritise the services it provides accordingly. The force needs to develop its system for assessing performance (performance development review process, or PDR) and link this to the career aspirations of individuals and the offer of development opportunities. The force has used external recruitment effectively to address gaps in its capability.
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.
Abuse of position assessment – City of London Police – published on 5 October 2017