Surrey PEEL 2017
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Surrey Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
The force has made good progress since our 2016 effectiveness inspection, particularly in its investigations, which have improved considerably. The force’s standard of investigations is now consistently good, with comprehensive plans, effective supervision and regular victim contact in the vast majority of cases. The force’s approach to re-offending could be improved through a greater emphasis and more co-ordinated approach to apprehending people who are wanted by the police.
The force continues to be good at protecting people and supporting vulnerable victims, with the protection of vulnerable people a clear priority for all staff throughout the force. Members of staff in the force control room are able to identify vulnerable people, and officers and staff deal with incidents appropriately, putting effective safeguarding measures in place where necessary. The force has improved its response to victims of domestic abuse and has effective partnership arrangements in place, with a well-established multi-agency safeguarding hub.
Surrey Police is good at tackling serious and organised crime. The force manages organised crime groups in line with national guidance, using specialist regional resources when necessary. The force is good at investigating and disrupting serious and organised crime and works well with Sussex Police as part of a collaborative arrangement to determine and manage the most serious threats to both forces. However, the force could do more to deter people from participating in organised crime, and to evaluate its activities in this area.
Surrey Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
This question was not inspected in 2017. The grade and findings from last year’s inspection still stand.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
Surrey Police is good at investigating crime and reducing re-offending.
- conducts investigations of consistently good quality;
- provides victims with appropriate contact as investigations progress; and
- ensures that investigators are properly supervised.
However, Surrey Police’s approach to reducing re-offending could be improved: limited progress has been made since our 2016 inspection. The force:
- recognises it should do more to manage foreign national offenders;
- needs to pursue suspects more proactively; and
- should place more emphasis on integrated offender management, in order to maximise the reduction of threat, harm and risk.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that people who are circulated as being wanted on the police national computer, people who fail to appear on police bail, named and outstanding suspects, and suspects identified through forensic evidence, are swiftly found and arrested.
- The force should consider widening its approach to integrated offender management, in order to maximise the reduction of threat, harm and risk. There should be clear measures of success which enable the force to evaluate how effective it is at protecting the public from prolific and harmful offenders.
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
Surrey Police is good at identifying vulnerable people and is effective at identifying and supporting people with mental health conditions. The force generally investigates crimes involving vulnerable people well.
- The force uses the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s guidance to identify vulnerability and is currently developing a strategy for protecting vulnerable people.
- Staff are able to identify vulnerable people, including domestic abuse victims, at the first point of contact.
- The control room has systems in place to identify repeat callers, and the force has a quality assurance process that is clearly improving the force’s threat and risk identification.
- Risk assessments are consistently applied and immediate safeguarding is carried out, where appropriate.
Officers and staff consistently demonstrate a good understanding of vulnerability, and have received training to understand ‘hidden harm’, such as coercive control and so-called honour-based abuse.
- makes good use of legal powers to protect victims of domestic abuse, such as domestic violence protection notices; and
- recognises that its domestic abuse arrest and charge rates are both declining, while its use of voluntary attendance for suspects of domestic abuse has increased. In response, in June 2017 it introduced a ‘domestic abuse framework’.
Frontline staff understand their responsibilities in relation to mental health, and have received relevant training on understanding sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
Surrey Police is good at tackling serious and organised crime (SOC). The force:
- has a good understanding of both emerging and traditional SOC threats;
- has identified clear priorities for tackling SOC; and
- is effective at disrupting and investigating SOC.
Neighbourhood officers are aware of organised crime groups (OCGs) which operate in their areas, and submit intelligence in relation to their activity. However, we found limited evidence of effective identification of new or emerging OCGs.
We also found limited evidence of the force trying to deter young people from being drawn into organised crime, but the force has recently appointed a ‘prevent co-ordinator’ for this purpose.
The force should improve its understanding of the effect of its activity against SOC, and ensure that it learns from experience to maximise the disruptive effect of its activity.
Areas for improvement
- The force should take steps to identify those people who are at risk of being drawn into serious and organised crime, and ensure that preventative projects are put in place with partner organisations to deter them from offending.
- The force should improve its understanding of the effect of its activity against serious and organised crime, and ensure that it learns from experience to maximise the disruptive effect of its activity.
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 closely with Sussex Police to ensure that enough trained staff and officers are available to respond to national threats;
- tests its skills and capabilities in training exercises; and
- has developed a good understanding of the threat to the public from an armed attack.