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Avon and Somerset PEEL 2018


How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?

Last updated 20/01/2020

The constabulary is good at treating the public fairly. Its leaders understand the value of policing by consent, and of treating the public with fairness and respect. The workforce knows about these values and understands them.

The constabulary consults with the public before setting priorities. Crucially, the public can let the constabulary know about their concerns, which it then considers for action. This approach has led to improvements in practice.

The constabulary uses its communications team well to reach communities that might not otherwise make contact. We note its positive outreach efforts with members of the Muslim community.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s supervision of use of force could be more challenging. Currently, it can’t always be sure that force is being used fairly and appropriately.

The constabulary has more of an understanding of its use of stop and search powers. Nonetheless, it should carry out a rigorous review to understand the high levels of disproportionality relating to stop and search that are continuing to occur in Somerset.

The constabulary is good at maintaining an ethical culture. And it is working towards a comprehensive assessment of its corruption risks. The workforce has a good appreciation of the harm caused by those who abuse their position within the constabulary.

In 2017, we judged Avon and Somerset Constabulary to be good at treating its workforce fairly.

Questions for Legitimacy


To what extent does the force treat all of the people it serves with fairness and respect?


Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary should continue with its plans to ensure effective monitoring of a comprehensive dataset on the use of force.
  • The constabulary should continue with its plans to ensure effective monitoring of a comprehensive dataset on stop and search.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the force’s performance in this area. 

Treating people fairly and respectfully

The constabulary’s leaders understand the value of working with communities and treating them with fairness and respect. The chief constable has introduced a statement of purpose, called ‘the mission, vision and values’. Clear themes advocate respect for the community by fostering a caring, inclusive and learning culture in the workplace. Chief officers communicate the importance of fairness and inclusivity at internal roadshows and through regular blogs. These consistently explore and reinforce themes of legitimacy and embracing difference. The constabulary emphasises strengthening relationships with those who may be less trusting of the police, as it seeks to overcome the legacy of previous encounters that may have adversely affected the public’s confidence. Importantly, staff were aware of these values and understood them. They translate them into effective engagement with the public, and fair treatment of them.

The constabulary’s policies, procedures and training reflect this commitment. For example, the constabulary has an independently chaired, well-established ethics committee. The constabulary refers new policies to the committee before approval. Staff and external stakeholders consider ethical issues before the committee documents and shares conclusions with the workforce.

The deputy chief constable chairs a quarterly diversity and inclusion board. This gives structured oversight and scrutiny of fair treatment. It is complemented by a financially-backed project called ‘five big initiatives. These projects intend to drive improvements in workforce diversity and provide more inclusive services to the public, underpinning the constabulary’s appetite for continuous improvement and inclusivity.

The constabulary has commissioned workshops on leading with cultural intelligence and inclusive leadership skills. It has done this to encourage community involvement, and to further develop leaders and staff. The training encourages leaders to work with communities, as well as to challenge their own personal behaviours and biases, and to better educate their staff.
Support and challenge through a different lens come from a refreshing range of IAGs, which work closely with the constabulary. These include groups representing Muslim communities, mosques, women and young people. For example, when the constabulary was considering introducing spit and bite guards, it consulted with its strategic IAG and ethics committee to assess the likely impact of this measure.

The constabulary has a citizens and communities engagement strategy. This focuses on the importance of treating the public with fairness and respect, under its service promise. To support this strategy, a key strand of the constabulary’s neighbourhood policing model is community engagement. This joined-up approach encourages innovation.

Staff actively work with their communities in a traditional sense, such as through regular neighbourhood consultation meetings. But the constabulary is also committed to extend its reach through an increasingly digitalised approach. For instance, it is reaching more people through Facebook community groups. It gives communications training to identify Twitter super users. And it encourages neighbourhood officers to digitally signpost where they are and what they are doing at all times.

Neighbourhood teams have well-developed engagement plans. The constabulary sets priorities after consulting with the public. The constabulary records the priorities on accessible internet pages. Importantly, the public can feed back their concerns, which the constabulary then considers for action. This has led to improvements in practice. By improving staff visibility, and tackling problems that matter, the public is likely to have more confidence in the constabulary.

The scope of the constabulary’s work with communities is extensive. Programmes of work include volunteering schemes, such as Community SpeedWatch and Neighbourhood Watch. A Citizens’ Academy offers masterclasses to explain to the public how the police operate and to encourage discussion. The constabulary also runs an innovative Mini Police programme. This is active in an increasing number of schools as part of a wider schools’ engagement strategy.

At an interactive youth and policing website, teachers and other educators can access lesson plans that the constabulary’s staff have devised. The lesson plans are aligned to policing priorities such as hate crime, knife crime and sexual exploitation. Teachers can download the lesson plans or ask for support from the local schools officer. This approach increases opportunities to interact with children and safeguard them from cyber-related threats.

The communications team promotes positive interactions between the constabulary and the public. It does this to offer reassurance to those who may have less confidence in the police. For example, the team offered resources and help to Muslim leadership groups, with a view to improving confidence in the recording of hate crime. The team also made a video to illustrate the lived experience of the Muslim community. The team showed the video concurrently with a campaign to encourage people from the Muslim community to become involved in initiatives to assess and progress the constabulary’s legitimacy (for example, through custody visits or advisory groups).

The constabulary told us that 70 people from the Muslim community were now involved in initiatives to assess and progress its legitimacy. This work led to a female victim of hate crime agreeing to being filmed to tell her positive experience of the criminal justice process. The video has been shared widely. Similarly, male victims of sexual assault, and a local broadcaster who was subject to a prolonged campaign of stalking and harassment, have also worked with the communications team to share their experiences and give reassurance that their cases were taken seriously.

The workforce is well equipped to understand the importance of treating people with fairness and respect. Over the past two years, the constabulary has trained all operational officers and staff in unconscious bias. It did this as part of an initiative called ‘taking the hurt out of hate’. This package also forms part of initial recruit training. Most of the people we spoke to could explain what unconscious bias is, and how it influences their behaviour. The constabulary also gives specific communication training to staff such as control room operators and neighbourhood officers. The introduction of cultural intelligence workshops reflects the constabulary’s inclusive approach. It also illustrates the emphasis that the constabulary’s leaders place on policing by consent.

Using force

The constabulary gives training and guidance on the lawful use of force to all relevant staff. It assesses the extent to which officers and staff need to use force and it tailors its approach accordingly. The constabulary gives police officers instruction in all personal protective equipment. And it gives training that is specific to the needs of some police staff (such as PCSOs and detention officers). The staff we spoke to understood how to use force fairly and appropriately.

Police and staff record the occasions when they use force on a form that they submit electronically. This complies with national recording standards and is done in a timely way. The constabulary carries out monthly dip-checks of custody records and reviews of body-worn video to check recording compliance. But, like other forces, it can’t be certain that officers are submitting all forms on every occasion. There is an expectation that supervisors review how force is used. The constabulary has effective processes to check that forms are completed appropriately.

However, supervision is not as intrusive as it sometimes needs to be. For example, the constabulary encourages supervisors to review body-worn video footage, but generally, they only do so if injury occurs or a complaint is made. This means that officers don’t routinely receive feedback about their use of force. Also, trends within teams may not be identified, and some uses of force may go unrecorded.

Records show that administrators manually manage the completion of training courses. Some inputting isn’t completed as accurately as it could be. This means that the constabulary may not always know when refresher training is due. The agreed implementation of a new IT system should improve this situation and reduce associated risks.

Currently, Avon and Somerset Constabulary doesn’t have an internal, force-level meeting where it can monitor a comprehensive set of data relating to its use of force. In part, this is because Qliksense, with its graphs, charts, maps and apps, offers granular detail on how, when, where, and by whom force is being used. However, it is incumbent on managers to understand and act on this data, despite their competing priorities. This doesn’t happen consistently, which means that Avon and Somerset Constabulary can’t always be sure that force is being used fairly and appropriately.

The use of force is subject to some scrutiny. For example, there are well-developed external scrutiny processes, and some managers monitor the activity of their staff. Also, thematic areas are presented at senior leader forums and use of force by staff who work in custody centres is closely monitored, as are the monthly reviews of a sample of custody records.

The constabulary has increased its focus on the ways in which its officers use Taser. It has a heightened awareness of this; this type of use of force has been subject to closer monitoring and enhanced training. Leaders also review force data, such as complaints, to identify areas for improvement. As an additional safeguard, if potential concerns are identified about the way force is used, the professional standards department (PSD) can complete directed monitoring activities to offer reassurance to senior leaders.

Reassuringly, Avon and Somerset Constabulary can present comprehensive information on how force is used. It acknowledges the benefits of using this data to improve organisational understanding and to encourage learning. It is now introducing structured internal monitoring processes. At this meeting, the constabulary will also consider the use of stop and search powers and inform a regular agenda item at the inclusivity and diversity board.

Using stop and search powers

By contrast, the constabulary has a better understanding of the use of stop and search powers by the workforce. It gives training when officers and staff join the constabulary. And there is a two-year refresher training cycle. This is complemented by some additional training in areas of greater sensitivity. Supervisors check stop and search forms. But some advised us that they don’t review body-worn video footage. Supervisors have access to detailed information about their officers’ use of stop and search via Qliksense. However, they don’t access this information regularly. This means that supervisors and staff won’t necessarily know if they are using their powers, or recording their grounds, correctly.

Prior to our fieldwork, we reviewed a representative sample of 648 stop and search records to assess the reasonableness of the recorded grounds. Of these, 81 percent had reasonable grounds recorded. Our assessment is based on the grounds recorded by the searching officer, and not the grounds that existed at the time of the search.

The constabulary has responded positively; it has completed specific refresher training aimed at all response officers. And it intends to train neighbourhood and other officers in September 2019. This training offers guidance on identifying and recording reasonable grounds. A member of the external scrutiny panel of police powers has given presentations.

As with use of force, Avon and Somerset Constabulary doesn’t currently have an internal force-level meeting where it regularly monitors a comprehensive set of data. Nonetheless, Qliksense does allow it to retrieve information on all elements of stop and search. For example, it is evident that senior leaders use this to scan geographical disparities that may lead to increased community tension. In addition, a quarterly bulletin published on the constabulary’s website gives a breakdown of stop and search statistics. This is being developed to better present and include all data that accords with national recommendations. Some managers weren’t aware of trends in the use of stop and search. And they weren’t consistently accessing data that could help their understanding and encourage improvements.

In our 2017 legitimacy report, we recommended that all forces should:

  • monitor and analyse comprehensive stop and search data to understand reasons for disparities;
  • take action on those; and
  • publish the analysis and the action by July 2018.

The constabulary has complied with some of this recommendation. It identifies the extent to which find rates differ between people from different ethnicities. (Find rates are the rate at which officers find what they were searching for). But it doesn’t identify the extent to which find rates differ across different types of searches (including separate identification of find rates for drug possession and supply-type offences).

However, the most recent publications of the constabulary’s quarterly report don’t include information on find rates. Also, it isn’t clear that the constabulary monitors enough data to identify the prevalence of possession-only drug searches, or the extent to which these align with local or force-level priorities.

The constabulary carried out a review to understand the high levels of disproportionality that are continuing across Somerset, in sharp contrast to Avon where levels of is proportionality are much lower. It published this review on its website. But it now needs to repeat this review with more rigour and analysis, and at a force level. This is necessary so that the constabulary can understand and explain the reasons for disparities, tailor activity to address this issue, and share learning.

A university research paper that offers detailed analysis of the use of stop and search is nearing completion and publication. This is important because recently published force data shows that black people are still nine times more likely to be stopped than white people.

The constabulary acknowledges the benefits of using comprehensive data to improve organisational understanding and to encourage learning. It is instigating structured internal monitoring processes. The inclusion and diversity board will give oversight. This should lead to a more sophisticated understanding of heightened disparities in some locations. It could also inform action to reduce inconsistencies in the way that the constabulary records reasonable grounds.

Throughout our inspection fieldwork, it was evident that senior leaders and staff have proper regard for the fair and respectful treatment of their communities. The breadth of the constabulary’s engagement activity and additional training are testament to this. For example, the constabulary has given additional one-to-one training to officers who were identified as using stop and search the most. The constabulary’s ongoing monitoring has identified sustained improvement. This is supplemented by the constabulary’s regular monthly dip-sampling of stop and search records. Reassuringly, the constabulary gave extra training from the outset to officers on Operation Remedy who tackle knife and drug crime. Chief officers consistently advocate the use of body-worn video. Due to close monitoring, this is now used in 87 percent of all stop and search encounters.

Helpfully, supervisors now have a link to their officers’ body-worn video footage when search forms are submitted for supervising. And an innovative application on Qliksense can indicate how effectively (or not) officers use their powers; it overlays crime hotspots with areas where stop and search is used. Senior managers and analysts review this information. The constabulary has made sure that this will form part of its recently instigated force-level internal monitoring process.

The constabulary has a transparent approach to the external scrutiny of stop and search and use of force. It collaborates with the OPCC on its regular Scrutiny of Police Powers panel. This well-attended forum has a diverse membership, offering a broad range of views. A comprehensive pack is given in advance of each meeting. This includes documents and data on use of force, and statistics on the use of body-worn video. At the meetings, the panel considers relevant issues within a varied agenda.

For example, members of the panel view randomly selected incidents that have been captured on body worn-video. They then split into groups to consider them and report any concerns. An independent chair and vice-chair channel the exchanges of views, which are sometimes robust but respectful. They share learning with relevant officers, supervisors and the organisational learning team. Chief officers and thematic leads attend the meetings. Their presence reinforces the importance of the meetings. The well-informed panel members have received training and have seen different types of use of force and stop and search activity.

We spoke to some members of the panel at a meeting we observed. They told us that the constabulary took their concerns seriously and acted on them. Actions have included a change in policy for Taser use (where body-worn video is now mandatory), and a request to vary the language that is used in unconscious bias training. The panel shows its intent by insisting on regular updates that verify whether the constabulary has acted on requests for changes.

The minutes of panel meetings, including recommendations, are published on the OPCC website and members share their considerations with the communities that they represent. A recent and welcome initiative involved panel members on the police apprentice curriculum. This unique view into the use of police powers shows the constabulary’s willingness to work and build relationships with those harder to reach or less trusting members of the community. It could be further enhanced with representation from some younger people.

The constabulary takes other opportunities to seek views and build on fair treatment. It does this through bespoke IAGs, and by running regular community meetings with neighbourhood staff. The constabulary has also introduced a problem-solving forum called ‘the engine room’. The constabulary’s aim is to make sure that it captures and understands the views of all communities. Recently, participants have mapped existing engagement channels to identify whether more opportunities exist to offer support. This inclusive approach improves the likelihood of the constabulary securing the public’s ongoing co-operation and approval.

Summary for question 1

How well does the force ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully?


Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure all staff have received at least the lowest level of vetting clearance for their roles and clear any backlogs, ensuring it is fully compliant with the national vetting guidelines.
  • The force should monitor vetting decisions to identify disparities and disproportionality (e.g. BAME groups) and act to reduce them where appropriate.
  • The force should ensure it has a counter-corruption strategic threat assessment and control strategy that meets the force’s needs to help it understand and manage the risk corruption poses to the organisation.
  • The force should ensure it has enough capability and capacity in its counter-corruption unit to be effective in its proactive approach to counter corruption; has full information technology (IT) monitoring to effectively protect the information contained within its systems; and build effective relationships with the individuals and organisations that support and work with vulnerable persons.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the force’s performance in this area.

Maintaining an ethical culture

The constabulary’s leaders consistently promote the values of the organisation and the Code of Ethics. The workforce understands them well. The constabulary’s vision is to provide outstanding policing for everyone. Its values are ‘caring, courageous, inclusive and learning’. The chief constable and other chief officers reinforce the importance of high standards of ethical behaviour when they meet the workforce at roadshows and training events, and in blogs that are published regularly on the constabulary’s intranet. The workforce told us that the chief constable and other senior leaders act as positive role models who promote ethical decision making and are receptive to ideas and challenge.

The constabulary’s policies refer to the Code of Ethics. Prior to their publication, the constabulary’s ethics committee reviews the policies to give further assurance about the suitability of content.

During our inspection, we examined the extent to which supervisors and staff understand the Code of Ethics and the constabulary’s values. They gave good examples of ethical decision making relating to the handling of sensitive evidence, the disclosure of information and the scope of enquiries in criminal cases. Officers and staff understand how they can report inappropriate behaviour. They also told us that the constabulary has improved the support it gives to those who are subject to allegations of misconduct. These measures include the allocation of trained welfare officers, who help to make sure that people’s wellbeing needs are met.

The constabulary has a well-established process that gives the workforce opportunities to refer challenging ethical issues for consideration. The ethics committee meets monthly. It is independently chaired. Representatives include the staff associations and independent members of the public. We were told that some 90 different ethical dilemmas have been debated at the panel since it was formed. These include the content of recruitment adverts, the application of surveillance tactics against young people, and the dilemma of showing graphic body-worn video footage to a victim’s mother.

The constabulary responds positively to feedback from the committee. For example, it has considered feedback as to how it should communicate effectively with the public about locations where children are vulnerable to sexual exploitation. The constabulary routinely shares these dilemmas, and the feedback of the ethics committee, with the workforce. It does this on its ‘pocket book’ intranet site and through a ‘team members’ room. But the constabulary could do more to inform the committee about the outcome of deliberations.

Officers we spoke to knew about the committee. Some could give examples of ethical dilemmas they had submitted and their attendance at the meeting. If the constabulary promoted the outcomes of the ethics board’s discussions more widely, this could stimulate the submission of more ethical dilemmas. In turn, this would support organisational learning and continuous improvement.

The constabulary’s leaders actively encourage learning through experiences, rather than merely apportioning blame in a punitive way. Learning is one of the constabulary’s core values. Recently, it has promoted this well. However, the extent to which the workforce has absorbed these messages varies. Most staff acknowledged that leaders promoted a culture of learning, and they felt supported. However, some were apprehensive about the consequences of making mistakes. This is because, historically, the constabulary tended to use formal disciplinary measures to deal with officers who fell short of expected standards. Reassuringly, we identified that the PSD works to support complainants, and the workforce, by endorsing learning and a proportionate approach to the handling of complaints. This means that minor matters of underperformance can be resolved more quickly, through personal reflection and development.

Supervisors told us about the day-to-day discussions they hold to support ethical decision making. Officers and staff apply the national decision model to make sure that their decisions are well thought through. And they understand the expectations of professional behaviour. The constabulary’s values and policies have regard to the Code of Ethics. And the workforce generally had a well-developed understanding, which was reinforced through training and briefings. This shows that the constabulary is committed to keeping its ethical culture, and to further making it routine. In turn, this will support the extent to which communities can be confident in the constabulary’s legitimacy.

During our previous inspection of the constabulary, we assessed how well it was developing and maintaining an ethical culture through effective initial vetting. The constabulary has made good progress in reducing its vetting backlog. However, when we revisited this area, we identified that the constabulary isn’t keeping accurate information on its vetting system. This means that the vetting status of different groups of employees is sometimes difficult to determine. Also, not all members of the workforce hold current vetting clearance for their roles.

In response to these challenges, the constabulary commissioned a peer review of its vetting unit. And it has acted to improve the timeliness of its vetting processes by temporarily doubling staff numbers, as well as reviewing the status of all personnel, and prioritising its work to reduce backlogs based on risk assessment. Positively, the constabulary does comply with national standards when performing vetting for different posts. It reports that only two members of the workforce who joined Avon and Somerset Constabulary prior to 2006 haven’t been vetted. In total, five percent of the workforce doesn’t hold up-to-date security clearance.

A manager quality-assures vetting decisions that are made within the unit. These decisions don’t take account of available information relating to protected characteristics. This may reduce the likelihood of unconscious bias influencing the decision maker. But the constabulary doesn’t routinely monitor decisions to make sure there are no disparities evident for those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. Unsuccessful applicants have a right to appeal vetting decisions. In the case of external applicants, a panel that includes an IAG member reviews these decisions. The constabulary maintains that this process is good enough to make sure that decision making is fair throughout its recruitment processes. However, the constabulary should have additional safeguards to make sure that applicants from under-represented groups aren’t being adversely affected. Recently, the constabulary identified a preferred supplier for new vetting software. Among other improvements, this will enable it to identify disparities relating to a broader range of protected characteristics more easily.

The constabulary complies with its obligations to give details to the College of Policing for the barred and advisory lists. (These prevent people who have left the service under investigation, or who have been dismissed, from re-joining or working in law enforcement.)

The constabulary clarifies and reinforces standards of behaviour by publishing the results of local cases of serious misconduct both internally and externally. Lessons are learned through review and post-investigation contact with staff and the PSD lead. The constabulary has trained a small team of officers to support those who are involved in misconduct investigations. Learning is shared through regular contact with staff associations. Importantly, the constabulary recognises and rewards positive standards of behaviour.

The PSD offers further information about risks to integrity on dedicated intranet pages. This subject matter has included a video on standards, and a communication on ‘landing the lessons’. The department head and colleagues also give regular inputs to the workforce about the expected standards of professional behaviour.

During our inspection, we tested the extent of workforce knowledge of, and compliance with, integrity policies. In general, the workforce had a good level of appreciation of responsibilities. These included understanding the requirement to report business interests, as well as associations that may increase the opportunities for corruption, and what to do when gratuities are offered. This strongly suggests that the constabulary’s approach to reinforcing the standards of behaviour is effective.

However, once a business interest or reportable association has been declared, the constabulary doesn’t monitor further. Annual integrity checks could help to identify those officers or staff who may be at risk of corruption, through personal circumstances or wellbeing-related factors that can increase vulnerability.

Tackling corruption

The constabulary identifies and manages internal corruption risks sufficiently well. But it is addressing areas that will strengthen its response. Currently, it is reviewing its counter-corruption strategic assessment and control strategy. It completed its current tri-annual strategic assessment in 2016, using data from 2015. The constabulary told us the seven types of corruption that it views as priorities. These include infiltration and extremism, and the abuse of position for a sexual purpose. But these priorities aren’t based on a comprehensive assessment of current threats. There is an expectation that the constabulary submits this assessment to better inform a regional and national understanding. The constabulary is addressing this situation. By September 2019, it aims to have completed a comprehensive strategic assessment of its corruption risks.

The constabulary’s ability to look for the indicators of corrupt behaviour is limited by the capacity of its counter-corruption unit (CCU). It does draw together different sources of information – such as data held on its registers of business interests and notifiable associations – to assess corruption risks. It compares this with financial information and other forms of intelligence to identify members of its workforce who are at risk of corruption. However, the CCU’s approach is mostly reactive. There is no regular forum that brings together representatives from different departments to review information and identify and track intervention measures in a structured way.

We reviewed 60 counter-corruption investigation cases. It was clear that once a potential issue is identified, the assessment and development of intelligence and investigation was of an acceptable standard. Most, but not all, of the constabulary’s ICT systems can be monitored. But the fact that not all of them can be censored inhibits the constabulary’s ability to identify and respond to corruption risks. The constabulary is exploring ways to monitor all ICT systems in their entirety. The CCU does possess the useful capability to monitor open source and social media.

The constabulary enjoys good working relationships with agencies that offer support for vulnerable people, including those who are victims of crime. The CCU has taken steps to raise awareness of the signs of corrupt behaviour with these agencies. But it could maintain and develop better communications with these partners.

Reassuringly, when we spoke to staff in the partner agencies during our fieldwork, they indicated that they would be confident to report any concerning behaviour by officers. When this had been done in the past, the constabulary took such reports seriously and gave appropriate updates.

The constabulary promotes its whistleblowing policies and anonymous reporting systems. Officers and staff were aware of the confidential reporting systems available to them. And they were confident that their anonymity would be assured, if sought. They were also assured that their concerns would be taken seriously.

The constabulary has adopted the strategy of the National Police Chiefs’ Council to respond to the problem of police officers and staff who abuse their position for a sexual purpose. The constabulary recognises this behaviour as serious corruption and refers cases to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

We reviewed the extent to which the constabulary has responded to our 2016 national recommendation relating to the abuse of position. The constabulary has made progress. But its partial ability to monitor all its ICT systems effectively, and the limited capacity of the CCU to develop intelligence, remain areas of obvious risk.

However, it was evident from our inspection activity, and shown by the effective handling of misconduct cases, that the constabulary does act robustly in tackling individuals who abuse their position. The constabulary has given ‘where’s the line?’ workshop training to supervisors. This training includes a video that highlights the threats. The training has raised awareness and shown supervisors how to identify warning signs.

The workforce has a strong appreciation of the harm caused by those who abuse their position, which was particularly demonstrated by officers and staff who work in investigation teams, including those who deal with serious and sexual offenders and their victims. They also understand the severe consequences of developing inappropriate relationships with vulnerable members of the public who they encounter in a professional capacity. The chief constable reinforces the high standards that are expected of the workforce in the regular messages he communicates after cases of serious misconduct have concluded. The constabulary actively publicises cases to show how it deals effectively with this type of corrupt behaviour.

Summary for question 2

To what extent does the force treat its workforce with fairness and respect?


This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2017 legitimacy inspection has been carried over.