Metropolitan 2017Read more about Metropolitan
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of the Metropolitan Police Service. 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 requires improvement.
The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.
The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of the Metropolitan Police Service below.
I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of the Metropolitan Police Service in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but the force needs to make improvements in some areas to provide a consistently good service.
I am reassured to see that since 2016, it has made changes to ensure it provides an effective service, particularly in responding to our recommendations in relation to tackling serious and organised crime where the force has made improvements.
However, the force needs to improve:
- its criminal investigations; and
- how it protects vulnerable people.
It has made improvements in child protection following our 2016 inspection, but our quarterly revisits in 2017 have shown that more needs to be done.
The Metropolitan Police Service is good at planning for the future. The force analyses various information to identify trends in demand. This work is not complete, but the analysis to date is being used to help plan its response. It needs to improve how it matches its resources to the demand and understand future demand.
The force treats the people it serves with fairness and respect and ensures its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully, but it needs to improve in some elements of treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
I am encouraged by the progress the Metropolitan Police Service has made over the past year, and look forward to seeing a more consistent performance over the coming year.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The Metropolitan Police Service requires improvement in keeping people safe and reducing crime but in general its performance is better than in 2016.
Since our 2016 effectiveness inspection the force has made progress in some areas, and HMICFRS is pleased to see that efforts have been made to ensure that improvements have been made throughout the force. However, further action is needed in several areas, set out below, in order to provide the public with an effective service.
The force invests significantly in local policing and has a good understanding of its communities. However, although we found some good examples of officers and staff using problem-solving techniques to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, there is little evaluation to enable them to learn from previous experience and improve their effectiveness.
The force needs to improve its approach to investigating crime and reducing re-offending. It is struggling to fill a large number of detective vacancies, despite the use of some innovative recruitment methods. This shortfall in officer numbers is having a detrimental effect on the quality of criminal investigations.
The force must also improve the way it protects vulnerable people. Officers and staff are aware that ensuring they respond appropriately to them is a priority; improvements have been made to the way the force deals with vulnerable victims of crime, particularly in relation to domestic abuse. However, the force must improve how it works with other agencies to safeguard victims.
The force has responded well in the areas for improvement relating to serious and organised crime which HMICFRS identified in 2016. It has improved its understanding of serious and organised crime and manages organised crime groups well, involving teams across the force and working in collaboration with local partners, for instance other policing authorities, HM Revenue & Customs and the National Crime Agency. The force is proactive in the way it prevents serious and organised crime. It works with victims to prevent repeat crimes against them, and also with potential perpetrators to divert them from criminality. It has some innovative approaches to improving its management of organised crime. The organised crime advisors in the borough-based teams are a significant and innovative investment for the force.
The Metropolitan Police Service has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities and for initial response to an incident requiring an armed policing response. It has regularly tested and evaluated its response through several exercises and actual deployments and has a comprehensive understanding of the six threats specified in The Strategic Policing Requirement.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The Metropolitan Police Service has been assessed as requiring improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. In 2016, HMICFRS assessed the Metropolitan Police Service as good for the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
The Metropolitan Police Service requires improvement in how well it understands current and likely future demand. It undertakes analysis to assess the demands for its services, including work to identify demands that are less likely to be reported and to better understand internal processes that create unnecessary work. An increase in 999 calls and staffing difficulties in the Metropolitan communications command have contributed to a reduction in call-handling performance, resulting in too many calls to the non-emergency 101 number going unanswered. This means that some people are not receiving the service that they need from the police. Initial response times in the two ‘pathfinder’ boroughs that are piloting the force’s programme to improve local policing have also increased, partly as a result of the transition to new ways of working. Systems for giving feedback are widely used but are not regarded highly by the workforce.
The force has made good progress in the areas for improvement identified in HMICFRS’ 2016 efficiency report, but it continues to require improvement in how well it uses its resources to manage current demand. It has built on the work it undertook in 2016 to understand the skills it needs in its workforce. However, a meaningful skills and capabilities audit has not been completed, which means that there are likely to be gaps in the workforce’s skills that have not been identified and addressed.
The force worked with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to set its priorities and take into consideration the public’s views on priorities in London. It has routine processes to help understand the demands for its services, though work to understand how changing costs will affect the level of service it can provide is in the early stages. The force is able to assess the financial benefits that it gets from changing the way it works, but further work is required to measure non-financial benefits. It is too soon to evaluate whether the force is getting a return for its investment under the One Met Model 2020 programme of changes, and collaboration work is still in its early stages, so benefits are anticipated and cannot be confirmed.
The force is good at planning for the future. It analyses different information to identify trends in demand; the results identified so far are being used to help plan how it will work in the future. The force is making very significant investment in new technology to improve the public’s access to its services, and the way in which it works. It is developing its approach to succession planning for senior leaders, and offers recruitment and development opportunities, mainly for officers, although development opportunities at an officer’s existing rank are immature. Its plans are ambitious and match its vision for the future, but its biggest challenge will be to make savings of £400m over the next three years.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
The Metropolitan Police Service is judged to be good in how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is the same as last year. The force is judged to be good at treating all of the people it serves with fairness and respect and ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully, but judged to be requiring improvement in some elements of treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
The Metropolitan Police Service is good at treating all the people it serves with fairness and respect. Force leaders show the value and benefits of procedural justice and the force ensures the workforce understands its importance. The force provides unconscious bias training, but understanding of unconscious bias varies throughout the organisation. It also provides communications training to improve how its officers interact with the public. Internal and external scrutiny of use of force is good and the force is compliant with the national recording standard. All aspects of the force’s arrangements for the use and scrutiny of stop and search are impressive.
The force is good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. It is co-founder of the London police challenge forum, which considers and advises on ethical dilemmas. Force leaders regularly clarify, and reinforce understanding of, what behaviour is considered acceptable and unacceptable, and are open to challenge about their decision making. The force has an achievable plan for carrying out re-vetting to ensure all vetting is up to date, and has made good progress against the other areas for improvement noted in our 2016 legitimacy report. The public can make complaints in different ways, although information about written complaints is not consistently made available to the public and is not targeted at communities who are reluctant to complain. We were not told of any formal process for additional assistance being offered to complainants, and records of keeping complainants updated are poor. The workforce understands discrimination. The force has reviewed its grievance procedure and is continuing its work to increase the workforce’s trust and confidence in this process.
The force needs to improve the way it treats its own workforce. It continues to offer its personnel many ways to provide feedback. It has carried out work to identify any unfairness in its recruitment, promotion and misconduct processes, and has taken action when needed. Some progress has been made in the areas that our 2016 legitimacy report noted as requiring improvement, including piloting a new performance appraisal process, and in general the changes made have been well received. However, the workforce has low levels of trust and confidence in its leaders and morale appears to be at a three-year low. The force continues to have good provision of workforce wellbeing.
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.
Joint targeted area inspection of the multi-agency response to abuse and neglect in Hounslow – published on 13 June 2017
Metropolitan Police Service – National child protection inspection post-inspection quarter 1 update – published on 20 June 2017
Operation Lynemouth: First interim report – published on 27 June 2017
Metropolitan Police Service – National child protection inspection post-inspection quarter 2 update – published on 10 August 2017
Abuse of position assessment – Metropolitan Police Service – published on 5 October 2017
Operation Lynemouth: Second interim report – published on 2 November 2017
North London – Joint inspection of police custody – published on 8 November 2017
Metropolitan Police Service – National child protection inspection post-inspection quarter 3 update – published on 24 November 2017
Joint targeted area inspection of the multi-agency response to abuse and neglect in Haringey – published on 30 January 2018
Operation Lynemouth: Third interim report – published on 20 February 2018
Metropolitan Police Service – National child protection inspection post-inspection quarter 4 update – published on 22 February 2018