Derbyshire 2017Read more about Derbyshire
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Derbyshire Constabulary. 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 constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the constabulary is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of Derbyshire Constabulary below.
I am very pleased with the performance of Derbyshire Constabulary in keeping people safe and reducing crime.
The force has sustained strong relationships with other public sector organisations and charities. They work well together to provide effective long-term safeguarding for vulnerable adults and children, including those experiencing mental ill-health.
Specialist teams provide a good service to people affected by domestic abuse. The force is also successfully tackling complex issues such as modern slavery.
It has capitalised on changes it made in late 2016 to how its workforce is organised and to the infrastructure supporting its services. It is in a stable financial position and has robust plans.
The force understands and meets the expectations of the public. It has a strong ethical culture, and its values inform an innovative workforce appraisal system and the selection of its leaders.
I commend Derbyshire Constabulary for another strong performance this year and am confident that this is set to continue.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Derbyshire Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. It consistently provides a good service to its communities, and continues to have an effective approach towards protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims.
The force has a comprehensive understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability in the community, helped by its strong working relationships with public-sector partner organisations, including local councils and charities. Frontline officers and staff, including those in the control room, are confident in their ability to recognise the signs that someone may be vulnerable and identify appropriate safeguarding measures. The force has improved the way in which it handles calls about domestic abuse. Officers in general conduct effective risk assessments at domestic abuse incidents, and an improvement in the quality of information that officers record underpins an effective referral process.
Two multi-agency safeguarding hubs operate in Derbyshire, where the force works alongside partner organisations to meet the needs of vulnerable adults and children. In addition, specialist officers and staff in two vulnerability units are effective in arranging support for vulnerable people and organising long-term safeguarding measures.
The force is committed to providing the best possible service to people with mental health conditions. Call handlers are trained to recognise mental health problems and are skilled in providing the best response to callers. Close co-operation takes place with mental health practitioners and expert advice is available to frontline officers while dealing with incidents.
Derbyshire Constabulary has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities and to respond in the first instance to an attack that requires an armed response. It has plans in place to test the effectiveness of this capability regularly.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Derbyshire Constabulary is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year. The force has maintained a good understanding of demand, its use of resources to manage demand is judged to be good and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.
Derbyshire Constabulary has developed a good understanding of the demand for its services after carrying out detailed research and analysis. The force is responding to changes in demand by allocating additional staff to more complex, hidden and new types of demand, such as modern slavery, cyber-crime and child sexual exploitation. Its local and force-level performance management boards will continue to monitor trends in demand and improve the sophistication of its ability to predict future demand.
The force is good at understanding things that affect demand and identifies ways to improve efficiency. For example, it is making changes to further improve its call management scheduled appointment system and has introduced new IT systems such as smart phones for all frontline staff. The force also realises that demand can be reduced or prevented by working closely with other emergency services and public organisations, and has a strong commitment to joint working.
The force is improving its understanding of its workforce’s skills. It is proactive in developing its workforce, for example ensuring their IT skills were upgraded before new systems were introduced. The new leadership framework will expand the information held on leaders beyond their completed role-specific training and operational competence; expectations of leaders are now based on a set of core values rather than competencies. The force aims to open career pathways to all of the workforce, explore new ways of recruiting police officers and specialist staff, and nurture talent.
Derbyshire Constabulary has realistic financial plans for the future that are built on sound assumptions and are subject to informed challenge. Its plans include a further IT upgrade, joint training facilities with the fire and rescue service and wider estate remedial work. Although it has no current plans for savings, the force is confident it can achieve additional savings if needed.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Derbyshire Constabulary is judged to be good at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force is judged to be good at treating the people it serves with fairness and respect. It is judged to be good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is slightly less positive than last year, but we looked at different areas of legitimacy this year.
Derbyshire Constabulary continues to treat people fairly and with respect, which is an important component of the force’s values. The workforce understand the force’s values-driven approach and the importance of effective communication skills. The force is taking an innovative approach to using social media to make its workforce and services more accessible. It is very good at seeking external scrutiny of its services and changing its practice when necessary. An independent advisory group provides the force with comprehensive and constructive challenge. The force also seeks feedback directly from minority groups. It seeks to understand and learn from instances of force being used and has improved its methods for recording and scrutinising use of its stop and search powers.
Last year the force was outstanding in how well it ensures its workforce behave ethically and lawfully, based on its excellent work to prevent corruption and abuse of authority for sexual gain. We have assessed different areas of legitimacy this year.
The force continues to have a strong values-driven culture. Leaders in the force act as role models and consider the ethical implications of their decisions. Members of the workforce are confident in making decisions on an ethical basis rather than just by following policies. However, although the force investigates complaints well, it does not always comply with the mandatory requirement to refer complaints involving allegations of discrimination to the IPCC.
Derbyshire Constabulary treats its workforce fairly and with respect. The force continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to the health and wellbeing of its workforce. Leaders are trained to understand wellbeing problems and to help provide access to support. The range of support the force provides continues to grow and includes preventative action to improve wellbeing.
The force seeks to ensure that all its policies and processes are fair and equitable. It plans to address under-representation of minority groups in its workforce by using a targeted recruitment campaign that encourages applications and offers the support of a mentor. It has developed a new appraisal system and plans to evaluate regularly the workforce’s views about the new system and how it is being used. The force has talent management, direct entry and fast track schemes, which the workforce consider to be accessible and fair. Its new leadership framework aims to produce leaders with diverse styles and backgrounds.
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 – Derbyshire Constabulary – published on 5 October 2017