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Cumbria PEEL 2018


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

Last updated 02/05/2019

Cumbria Constabulary is good in the way it treats the public and its workforce.

The constabulary is good at treating the public fairly. Senior leaders make sure officers and staff understand the importance of fairness and respect when dealing with the public. Neighbourhood teams engage with communities to understand their problems and keep them updated about actions. Schemes such as the mini-police in schools help to improve understanding.

Officers and staff are trained to use force and stop and search powers appropriately. Frontline staff use body-worn video cameras, giving extra reassurance that they act professionally. Internal scrutiny of these powers ensures they are being used properly. The constabulary publishes data for the public. But there could be better external scrutiny.

The workforce is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. Policies and processes align with the Code of Ethics. The workforce understands the principles of the code. But the constabulary should improve how it discusses ethical dilemmas with the workforce.

All officers and staff are vetted to the correct level, with minimal backlogs.

The outcomes of complaint and misconduct investigations are published. This ensures lessons are learned about acceptable standards of behaviour.

The constabulary has a good capability to tackle potential corruption. But it needs to improve its ability to gather intelligence proactively.

Officers and staff have a good awareness of the problem of abuse of position for a sexual purpose. They have been trained to look for warning signs.

In 2017 we judged Cumbria Constabulary as 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 force should ensure effective external scrutiny of its use of force.
  • The force should ensure effective external scrutiny of its use of stop and search powers.

Officers and staff understand that it is important to treat people fairly and respectfully. The constabulary works with the public to prevent crime.

Officers and staff understand when and how to use force. Since 2017 the constabulary has improved its use of body-worn video cameras. It scrutinises how it uses force and it tells the public how it uses force. But it should improve external scrutiny.

Officers and staff understand stop and search powers. The constabulary scrutinises its use of these powers. It uses what it finds to make better use of the powers. It asks the public to scrutinise its use of stop and search, too, but could do more in this area.

Detailed findings for question 1


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


Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that its counter-corruption unit:
    • has enough capability and capacity to counter corruption proactively and effectively; and
    • continues to build effective relationships with individuals and organisations that support and work with vulnerable people.
  • The force should ensure it has an effective process for the workforce to refer and discuss ethical concerns.

Cumbria Constabulary promotes the Code of Ethics in different ways. It uses the code when it makes policies and procedures. The workforce understand the code better than they did in 2017. The constabulary could do more to encourage the workforce to discuss ethics.

The constabulary has worked hard and cleared the workforce vetting backlog that we found in 2016.

It assesses the risk of corruption among its workforce. But it should develop this process further.

Cumbria Constabulary intervenes early where there is a corruption risk.

Its counter-corruption unit is small, but leaders have approved a plan to increase capacity.

We saw good knowledge of the problem of abuse of position for a sexual purpose. The constabulary exchanges intelligence about this with other organisations. It needs to continue to develop these relationships.

Detailed findings for question 2