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Wiltshire 2017

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This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Wiltshire 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 is good.

The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Wendy Williams

HMI's observations

Read my assessment of Wiltshire Police below.

I am very pleased with the performance of Wiltshire Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The force works effectively with a range of partner organisations to identify and protect vulnerable people, and provide them with services that meet their individual needs. An expanded mental health triage team provides access to trained professionals in the force control room.

Wiltshire has also improved its crime recording processes since our 2014 report.

The force continues to be good at understanding the demands for its services, targeting its resources, and planning for the future.

Leaders model ethical standards, and I am pleased to see the involvement of frontline officers and staff in the development of an ethics and culture board.

Leadership development continues to be an area of strength, with comprehensive development programmes available to officers and staff.

Overall Wiltshire Police has consolidated and improved the standard of its performance since last year.


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

Last updated 22/03/2018

Wiltshire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. It has performed consistently well in our effectiveness inspections and is making good progress.

The force is good at protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims. It is effective in how it identifies vulnerability. The force uses risk assessments for all calls for service into the force control room to identify threat, risk, harm and vulnerability of callers and others, and to ensure an appropriate response in accordance with individual needs. Daily review meetings ensure the officers deployed to calls for service involving vulnerable people have the skills to meet the needs of the people involved. The workforce understand vulnerability and know how to identify the signs that a person may be at risk of harm.

Our review of investigation case files (undertaken before our inspection) found that the force provides vulnerable victims with a generally good standard of service. Call handlers, frontline officers and staff take a consistent approach to safeguarding vulnerable people.

Wiltshire Police is outstanding at identifying and supporting people experiencing mental health problems. It works exceptionally well with partner organisations through comprehensive and well-established meetings to ensure that continuing support and specialist safeguarding arrangements are in place for vulnerable people, including those who have experienced domestic abuse. In addition, the force works proactively with other organisations to ensure continual improvement of services to protect and reassure people at risk of harm.

Wiltshire Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response. Appropriate governance processes are in place to assess and review force capability and capacity to respond to major incidents. Plans are tested with other organisations and information on outcomes is exchanged within the partnerships using a joint ICT system.

View the five questions for effectiveness


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

Last updated 09/11/2017

Wiltshire Police is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year. The force continues to have a good understanding of demand; how it uses its resources to manage demand is judged to be good and how the force plans for future demand is also judged to be good.

Wiltshire Police is good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force regularly assesses a wide range of information to understand the demand for its services. It then uses this information as the basis for how the force conducts its day-to-day business. A culture of continuous improvement is in place throughout the force, resulting in better services for the public.

Wiltshire Police uses and allocates its resources well. It has implemented a new way of working that redirects its resources to deal with potential problems. However, in times of high demand, there are sometimes delays in answering non-emergency calls to the force control room. The force invests well, working with other organisations to manage demand for services. The force has a good understanding of its workforce’s current operational skills and capabilities, and future requirements are understood and resourced appropriately.

Wiltshire Police is good at planning to ensure that the right people are recruited, trained and in place to meet the changing needs for how it operates. Leadership development continues to be an area of strength. Comprehensive development programmes are provided for officers and staff to meet the current and future leadership requirements of the force. The force has a good record in achieving cost savings; strong governance procedures have served it well in ensuring that project managers are held to account for savings and other service improvements.

View the three questions for efficiency


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

Last updated 12/12/2017

Wiltshire Police is judged to be good at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we assessed 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. It is judged to be good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.

Wiltshire Police is committed to the principle that the behaviour of its workforce has a profound effect on community perceptions of fairness and respect. Improving communication skills forms an important part of training courses and it is clear that that this is having a positive effect on interactions with the public. However, the force needs to do more to ensure frontline officers and staff have an understanding of unconscious bias. The force has hate crime and stop and search scrutiny panels which provide external scrutiny and challenge for its decision making, and additional external bodies give advice on the policing of significant operations. However, as we also found in our 2016 legitimacy inspection, the force does not work with independent advisory groups (IAGs). We found significant progress was being made to introduce local and force level independent advisory groups from September 2017, but they were not in place at the time of our inspection.

Ethical standards are a high priority in the force and the members of the chief officer team provide good role models of these standards. The force has a number of programmes to build on the progress it has made, including the involvement of over 100 frontline officers and staff in developing an ethics and culture board chaired by a leading academic. The force is good at keeping complainants updated and it generally identifies, responds to and investigates allegations of discrimination well, in line with Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) guidelines.

The force has new initiatives to support workforce wellbeing and resolve workforce concerns, including a strong commitment to address workforce disproportionality. The force has effective ways for senior leaders to seek feedback and challenge from the workforce, and it has effective methods for identifying and resolving workforce concerns. The force has established a comprehensive programme of leadership training and development, although it has more work to do to improve how it manages the individual performance of its workforce.

View the three questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

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.

Last updated 11/04/2018

Wiltshire Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2017 – published on 7 September 2017

Abuse of position assessment – Wiltshire Police – published on 5 October 2017

View other reports

Key facts – 2019/20

Force Area

1,346 square miles


0.727m people
up7% local 10 yr change


93% frontline police officers
92% national level
3.04 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
up2% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.04 per person
0.06 national level
down9% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


48p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • Wiltshire covers a varied but mainly rural geographic area, including flourishing market villages, and strong industrial towns.
  • Wiltshire Police is proud to be a values-based organisation, which it uses to provide the best possible service.

Police and crime plan priorities

A PCP sets out the police and crime commissioner’s (PCC’s) priorities for policing and the resources the PCC has allocated to the chief constable for achieving these priorities.