Derbyshire PEEL 2017
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.
To what extent does the force treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect?
Derbyshire Constabulary is committed to treating people fairly and with respect, which is an important part of the force’s values. The workforce understand the force’s values-driven approach and receive relevant training through induction courses, leadership training and online resources. They also understand the importance of effective communication skills and those we spoke with could demonstrate using them in a variety of different situations. The force is taking innovative action to develop its use of social media, to make its workforce and services more accessible.
The force is very good at seeking external scrutiny of its services and at changing its practices when necessary. The independent advisory group represents a wide cross-section of the local community and meets regularly. The group is confident in providing comprehensive, thorough and constructive challenge to senior leaders in the force. The force also seeks feedback directly from minority groups that may be less likely to take part in traditional ways of scrutinising the force’s work.
Frontline officers and staff have a good understanding of how to use coercive powers fairly and respectfully. The force has recognised that there is some inconsistency in the workforce’s understanding of unconscious bias and is introducing training to remedy this.
Derbyshire Constabulary seeks to understand and learn from instances of force being used. The force’s ability to monitor the use of stop and search powers is improving, following the introduction of a new computer system. It can now provide data showing the connection between stop and search outcomes and the original reason for the search. It is introducing new training for all officers that is based on national best practice and that reaffirms what constitutes reasonable grounds for the use of stop and search powers.
How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?
Derbyshire Constabulary is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Last year, we assessed it as outstanding, based on its excellent work to prevent corruption and abuse of authority for sexual gain. We have examined different areas of legitimacy this year.
The force continues to have a strong values-driven culture. Leaders at all levels understand their responsibility to be role models and routinely consider the ethical implications of their decisions. Senior officers have worked hard to maintain an environment that supports learning, promotes innovation and welcomes feedback. The workforce have a clear understanding of making decisions on an ethical basis. The confidence and ethics board and the learning the lessons group demonstrate that the force is open to challenge, willing to listen, wants to learn and endeavours to operate ethically and in line with its own values. This could be improved by the force providing the workforce with more information on the context for the decisions it makes in misconduct cases.
Information about how to make a complaint is available on the force’s website, which includes links to the IPCC and a video for deaf people, but no information tailored for people whose first language is not English. Police station enquiry offices display information on making a complaint, and some provide information in different languages. The force undertakes targeted activity to encourage vulnerable people to come forward with complaints, such as those affected by domestic abuse. Derbyshire Constabulary is good at identifying potential discrimination. The workforce can recognise discriminatory behaviour and are quick to challenge it. However, not all complainants receive a good service and we found problems in the way it records contact with complainants and in the language it uses in letters sent at the end of investigations. The force has reacted quickly to deal with those matters. Additionally, investigations into potential discrimination are not always referred to the IPCC when they should be.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that all allegations which meet the mandatory criteria for referral to the IPCC are so referred.
To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?
Derbyshire Constabulary is good at treating its workforce fairly and with respect. Leaders at all levels are seen by the workforce as being inclusive, open to ideas and willing to listen. The workforce can give feedback or discuss concerns at informal sessions held with senior officers and by using the force intranet; the force makes changes as a result. The force has conducted a workforce survey in 2017 and intends to work to resolve any problems that this survey raises.
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 through a targeted recruitment campaign that encourages applications and offers the support of a mentor.
Derbyshire Constabulary continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to the health and wellbeing of its workforce. Leaders are trained to understand emotional and mental health and to help provide access to occupational health services and other forms of employee support, such as counselling. The range of support that the force provides continues to grow, including preventative action to improve wellbeing. However, the force should adopt a more systematic approach to detecting signs of potential post-traumatic stress disorder.
The force has introduced a new appraisal system designed to meet the needs of the individual, which the workforce has welcomed. It is based on the force’s values but also meets the requirements of the national Police Performance Framework and work-based assessment promotion programmes. The force plans regularly to evaluate how it is being used and to seek the workforce’s views about the new system.
Derbyshire Constabulary has comprehensive, accessible and well-publicised talent management schemes to identify and develop individuals with senior leadership potential. It has also introduced direct entry in addition to its fast-track scheme. The force’s new leadership framework will help it to draw on best practice from other industries and produce a leadership with a wide diversity of backgrounds and styles.