North Yorkshire 2017Read more about North Yorkshire
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of North Yorkshire 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 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 North Yorkshire Police below.
I am satisfied with some aspects of North Yorkshire Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but the force needs to address some areas of concern to provide a consistently good service.
It continues to be effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime. I am pleased to note it has improved its approach to serious and organised crime since our last assessment.
The force has worked to improve the accuracy of crime recording since our 2014 inspection. However, I have concerns about its recording of violence, rape, and sexual offences, including domestic abuse.
The force has not maintained its previous year’s efficiency performance. It needs to improve its understanding and management of demand.
North Yorkshire Police treats the people it serves and its staff with fairness and respect. However, I am concerned about the lack of external scrutiny of its use of stop and search powers.
I commend the progress that North Yorkshire Police has made in some areas and will continue to monitor the force’s progress in areas where improvements are still needed.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has continued to progress in the areas identified for improvement last year, which includes how it tackles serious and organised crime.
The force is good at assessing and responding to incidents and investigating crimes. Officers attending crimes are mainly effective at gathering evidence at the scene and supporting the investigation. The force allocates crimes to experienced investigators who have received appropriate training to provide good victim care and to conduct effective investigations. It has good processes to catch criminals and to circulate information about wanted persons, while continuing to locate and arrest them.
North Yorkshire Police is also good at protecting people who are vulnerable through their age, disability, or because they have been subjected to repeated offences, or are at high risk of abuse, for example. The force has effective processes to identify vulnerability and evaluate the level of risk. It answers calls promptly, then assesses risk and provides the appropriate response. Officers responding to calls address individual safeguarding needs through effective risk assessment and actions taken at the scene. The force’s referral processes and working with partner organisations help it to provide a good level of victim care and support during investigations. The force is good at assessing the risk posed by dangerous offenders, but could do more to ensure that frontline officers and staff are aware of the identities of those offenders.
The force has improved how it tackles serious and organised crime. It uses both police data and data from other organisations to assess the threat and risk that serious and organised crime poses. The force has effective processes to identify and map those who are engaged in committing organised crime. It has developed a partnership approach to manage its response to tackling serious and organised crime, for example working with local authorities and Trading Standards. Trained officers are allocated responsibility for responding to and disrupting those who are engaged in organised crime.
North Yorkshire Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is judged to require improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This is not consistent with last year’s assessment, when the force was assessed as good for efficiency overall. The force’s understanding of demand is judged to require improvement; it is judged to require improvement for its use of resources to manage demand; and it is assessed to require improvement for its planning for future demand.
North Yorkshire Police is judged to require improvement in how it understands the demand for its services. The force has a good understanding of current demand, gathering and analysing data from a variety of sources. It is enhancing this through a review of its response services to provide a more sophisticated understanding of how best to allocate its workforce according to demand. While the force is increasing its understanding of future demand, it could do more to understand its growing communities, such as eastern European communities, and how it needs to develop its policing services and skills for the future. It also needs to do more work to understand and reduce inefficient processes.
North Yorkshire Police has a good understanding of the skills and capability of its workforce and the skills and experience that it needs to maintain a skilled workforce. The force has plans to recruit and fill identified workforce gaps in the future. While it is seeking to enhance the way it works with other organisations, it does need to address the problem of the negative impact that working with some other organisations, such as the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, is having. This is increasing demand on police time. It also needs to improve how it implements its plans for the introduction of new technology as it has experienced significant delays in providing frontline staff with new ICT. Because of such delays, the force’s plans are not as advanced or innovative as in some other police forces. The force’s financial plans are aligned with its workforce plans and it has change plans designed to meet future public expectations. Despite having a good record of making savings, the force still has a significant financial challenge ahead to meet the predicted shortfall in its budget from 2019/20.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is judged to be good at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy that we looked at this year, our overall judgment is the same as last year. The force is now judged to be requiring improvement in some aspects of how it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. However, it is judged to be good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully, and is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
North Yorkshire Police continues to be good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. However, the force requires improvement in some aspects of how it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. The force expects high standards from its workforce and has values which are underpinned by the Code of Ethics. The force communicates those standards to both its workforce and the community of North Yorkshire. Although not all frontline officers and staff have received unconscious bias or effective communication skills training, most were able to articulate their understanding of unconscious bias and provide examples of when they had used effective communication. The force does not have robust processes in place to scrutinise its use of stop and search powers, which is a concern to HMICFRS. The force should also improve how it encourages external scrutiny and challenge, in order to improve the extent to which it treats the public with fairness and respect.
North Yorkshire Police continues to be good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Senior leaders demonstrate and maintain the values expected of them. The force has maintained its commitment to developing an ethical culture by training officers in ethical decision making, and reviewing its decisions in consultation with the workforce and diverse groups. The force has clear and accessible information to make it easy for the public to make a complaint, and HMICFRS found that it keeps most complainants updated about the process of their complaint. We found that the force is good at both identifying and investigating allegations of discrimination.
HMICFRS found that the force works hard to ensure that it treats its officers and staff with fairness and respect. The force seeks challenge from the workforce, and has a commitment to understanding and addressing workforce concerns, including grievances. The force has undertaken more consultation and action to improve workforce wellbeing since the last inspection. Staff and supervisors generally feel supported by the provision for wellbeing. The force actively seeks to develop its workforce and improve performance through a new individual performance management process, which has generally been well accepted by staff. The force does not have a formal process to identify high potential in its workforce, and recognises that it could do more to identify and develop its future senior leaders.
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 – North Yorkshire Police – published on 5 October 2017
North Yorkshire Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017 – published on 18 February 2018