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Humberside PEEL 2017


How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 22/03/2018
Requires improvement

Humberside Police’s overall approach to keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement. Since HMICFRS’ 2016 effectiveness report, the force has experienced major changes in its senior leadership team, including the appointment a new chief constable and, more recently, new deputy and assistant chief constables and an interim assistant chief officer.

HMICFRS is pleased to see that Humberside Police has continued to make good progress across the force; in particular that it now routinely identifies vulnerability at the first point of contact. However, more work remains to be done in a number of areas set out below, to provide the public with an effective service. The force is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. It has a good understanding of the communities it serves, and community policing teams are familiar with the use of problem-solving approaches. Early intervention teams work closely with partner agencies (such as local authorities, or health and education services) to identify and resolve underlying problems, with a view to reducing the demand placed on the services of public sector organisations.

By contrast, the force’s approach to investigating crime and reducing offending requires improvement. Although the quality of investigations in the more serious and complex cases generally is good, more needs to be done to improve the supervision and overall quality of investigations for those relatively less serious, but routinely-occurring crimes. The force should review its capacity to download evidence from digital devices; a backlog is causing undue delay to investigations. The force needs also to tighten up its procedures for tracking down criminals who are wanted for offences, both to ensure that they face justice promptly and to prevent them continuing to cause harm communities. More positively, the force has good procedures in place to curb the offending behaviour of Humberside’s most prolific criminals.

The force’s approach to protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims has improved, although more work remains to be done. Vulnerable people are now routinely identified at the first point of contact. However, the force is sometimes unable to match incoming demand with available resources; this is detracting from the initial investigation of some crimes. The force has a very good understanding of those suffering from mental ill-health and works well with partner agencies.

Humberside Police has the necessary arrangements in place that enable it to meet its responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.

Questions for Effectiveness


How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?


The force has a good understanding of the threat and risk of harm in the communities it serves. It works well with other organisations on problem solving and preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Most positively, it has:

  • revised the local policing model, reintroducing a local policing area on each bank of the Humber estuary;
  • increased its understanding of local communities through local profiles covering the whole force area;
  • improved links with local communities, including monitoring tensions and engaging with young people;
  • made good use of social media, using an external marketing agency to operate the Not in our community website, to provide guidance on grooming and sexual exploitation; and
  • increased its resource for community policing.

Less positively:

  • officers answering calls for assistance said work pressures sometimes prevented them from getting involved with local problem-solving; and
  • the force was unable to provide any data on its use of community protection notices, civil injunctions or dispersal orders.

In September 2016, the force held a community policing conference to identify good practice. It plans another conference, and should extend attendance at this to include 999/101 responders and its detective workforce.


How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?

Requires improvement

Humberside Police requires improvement in how it investigates crime and reduces re-offending. All calls from the public are now assessed appropriately in the command hub, but target response times are not always being met. The force records contact with victims inconsistently and retrieves digital evidence too slowly.

Most positively, the force:

  • operates a clear policy on allocating crimes for investigation, with experienced investigators handling more complex investigations;
  • works closely with the Home Office to manage foreign national offenders, and with the national probation service to reduce re-offending;
  • makes good use of electronic tagging devices; and
  • has brought forward to 2018 its plans to increase by 215 the number of police officers.

However, the force should improve its less complex investigations. It should do more to track down wanted criminals. The force had not circulated on the Police National Computer the details of some suspects wanted for a long time.

The force is addressing concerns about why the victim does not support action in such a high proportion of investigations. We will continue to monitor this to ensure that victims of crime receive a good service.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve the quality and consistency of its investigations by:
    • responding more promptly to reports of crime;
    • ensuring that investigations and handovers are subject to regular and active supervision;
    • investigators adhering to minimum investigative standards; and
    • properly and accurately recording contact with and updates to victims.
  • The force should ensure that all evidence is retrieved at the first opportunity to maximise the likelihood of investigations being conducted successfully.
  • The force should improve its ability to retrieve digital evidence from mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices quickly enough to ensure that investigations are not delayed.
  • The force should ensure that wanted persons are located and arrested as quickly as possible to protect the public from harm.


How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?

Requires improvement

Humberside Police requires improvement at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims. The force’s initial response to incidents involving vulnerable people is generally good. Call handlers are thorough in their approach to risk assessment, and command hub operators are now automatically notified if a caller has previously contacted the police.

However, some initial investigations into cases involving vulnerable people are poor. High workloads sometimes lead to delays in cases being referred for consideration alongside partner organisations.

The force has an exceptional understanding of mental health-related vulnerability. Its mental health team is well staffed. The force works with partner organisations to improve understanding of suicide risk, and its links with poor mental health.

The force also has good information-sharing arrangements, particularly at multi-agency child exploitation meetings.

Less positively, in the force:

  • reviews of DASH risk assessment forms cannot be completed on mobile devices, wasting supervisor time;
  • frontline officers and staff have not yet received body-worn video devices;
  • high workloads may prevent officers from completing all their tasks in the ‘golden hour’ after an offence has occurred; and
  • high workloads in the command hub and response teams occasionally lead to delays in referrals to the multi-agency safeguarding hub.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should review the process for the submission of DASH forms to reduce the burden on supervisors while retaining the effectiveness of the quality assurance process.
  • The force should make available to frontline officers and staff the body-worn video devices that it has already purchased, as soon as practicable.


How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?


National threats often require forces to work together, across force boundaries. These threats include terrorism, large-scale disorder and civil emergencies. We examined the capabilities in place to respond to these threats, in particular a firearms attack.

Most positively, the force:

  • works with other forces to ensure enough trained staff and officers are available to respond to national threats;
  • works with other forces to ensure enough trained staff and officers are available to respond to national threats;
  • carefully analyses training and testing exercises to improve its response to national threats.

However, the force should:

  • set out its understanding of the criminal use of firearms in a threat assessment that is specific to the Humberside area.