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Derbyshire PEEL 2018


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

Last updated 20/01/2020

Derbyshire Constabulary is good at treating the public and its workforce legitimately. It continues to work well, and closely, with local communities. They help to set operational priorities for the force. The force encourages people from all backgrounds to join its well-organised volunteer programmes.

Derbyshire Constabulary has significantly improved its scrutiny of the use of force. It now has better data analysis, and an independent advisory group (IAG) aids transparency. The force also scrutinises its exercise of stop and search powers well. Supervisors and senior leaders check records, as do IAG members. Chief officers can monitor trends in the force’s use of stop and search, and its connection to force priorities.

Officers’ training about stop and search has been well received. The force needs to improve knowledge of unconscious bias across the workforce. It also needs to improve how frontline staff receive annual safety training: a significant minority are waiting more than 12 months for updates.

Senior leaders are driving a positive ethical culture, and take organisational learning seriously. All staff are encouraged to make decisions based on values, and in a spirit of ‘doing the right thing’. The force shares the results of misconduct cases with the workforce in a way that promotes awareness about why judgments have been reached.

The force has kept its high standards in vetting and in dealing with corruption. The workforce is clear about what constitute professional boundaries, especially in terms of abuse of authority for sexual purposes. The force manages intelligence about potential corruption well. Officers and staff know about their responsibilities to register business interests and notifiable associations.

In 2017, we judged the force as good at its treatment of the workforce.

Questions for Legitimacy


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


Derbyshire Constabulary is good at treating the public fairly. This is consistent with our last inspection of this area in 2017. The force has a long-standing commitment to neighbourhood policing, and it works closely with local communities. It regularly seeks feedback about its services from all sections of the community. And it consults the public about local and force-level priorities.

The force has a large, well-established and effective volunteer programme. Participants feel valued by the force. Many are prepared to offer more support, but the force doesn’t have a way of capturing all its volunteers’ relevant skills.

Since early 2019, Derbyshire Constabulary has considerably improved the way it scrutinises use of force. It now has a consistent depth of scrutiny for all instances when force is used. This includes assessments by members of the IAG, who review a sample of incidents monthly.

Nearly one third of the force’s frontline officers and staff haven’t received safety training in the past year. This is a situation that the force must remedy soon. It must also take action to improve the understanding of unconscious bias across the workforce. There was considerable disparity among the staff we spoke to.

Officers’ line managers scrutinise use of stop and search. Senior leaders also carry out dip-samples, as does a sub-group of the IAG. The force generates extensive data every month so that chief officers can monitor trends or signs of inappropriate use. Officers praised recent training events for their innovation and realism. These events also raised their awareness of unconscious bias. The force is now compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme (BUSS).

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that all relevant officers and staff have in-date officer safety training.

Detailed findings for question 1


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


Derbyshire Constabulary is good at making sure that its workforce operates in an ethical and lawful way. This is consistent with our last inspection of this area in 2017. Chief officers are developing a values-driven culture within the force. They encourage the workforce to make all decisions on an individual ethical basis. To support this, they emphasise organisational learning and a shift away from allocating blame when mistakes happen.

The force publishes outcomes from misconduct cases on its intranet in a way that stimulates discussion. The workforce can add comments on the webpage. Case summaries explain the shortfall in standards, and the basis for the sanction applied.

Senior officers and some representatives attend a meeting that discusses ethical dilemmas encountered by the workforce. The force could better publicise the results of these discussions.

The force has sustained its high standards with regards to vetting and dealing with risks relating to corruption. Backlogs for vetting are rare. Effective processes help to mitigate potential unfairness in outcomes between people from different ethnic backgrounds. The workforce understands its responsibilities in relation to business interests and notifiable associations. There is also clarity about professional boundaries, especially in terms of abuse of authority for sexual purposes.

The force manages well intelligence about potential corruption. Specialist investigators can monitor all ICT systems and devices. The force has a well-structured approach to preventing and investigating corruption.

Detailed findings for question 2