Gloucestershire 2018/19Read more about Gloucestershire
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Gloucestershire Constabulary. PEEL is designed to give you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year.
Gloucestershire Constabulary was inspected in tranche one and we found:
the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe is good.
the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is good.
the extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately is good.
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Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am pleased with most aspects of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. But it needs to improve in some areas to give a consistently good service.
The force is good at preventing and investigating most types of crime. It works effectively with partners to identify and protect vulnerable people. However, while the force has made progress in relation to serious and organised crime, it must do more to increase its understanding of it and target its resources where harm is most likely.
The force understands its demand well. It uses this information to develop financial and workforce plans for the future.
Senior leaders support the workforce. They encourage a culture of continuous learning and ethical behaviour.
Overall, I commend Gloucestershire Constabulary for the progress it has made over the past year. This gives a good foundation for continuing improvement in the year ahead.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Gloucestershire Constabulary is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe.
The force focuses on preventing crime, rather than just reacting to it. Police officers and police and community support officers (PCSOs) talk with the public to find out what they are worried about. They provide a good service to victims of crime.
The force is good at investigating crime and catching criminals. It needs to make sure that investigations by local teams receive regular supervision.
It protects vulnerable adults and children well. But there are some delays in referring vulnerable children to other agencies, such as social services. Delays in processing ‘Clare’s Law’ applications are unacceptable.
The force is good at managing registered sex offenders and violent offenders. It works well with the prison service to monitor offenders who have been released from prison.
Gloucestershire Constabulary needs to improve its understanding of the threat from serious and organised crime by collecting more information from other agencies.
The force continues to identify new organised crime groups. It has a good understanding of modern slavery and child sexual exploitation.
The force is working to identify vulnerable young people who might be tempted into serious crime. It aims to help them to avoid getting involved in crime.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Gloucestershire Constabulary is efficient in the way it operates and its services are sustainable.
The force is good at working out what demand for its services might be like in future. It uses police data for this, but it would be better if it also used data from other agencies.
It has enough skilled and experienced people and the financial resources to meet current and future demand.
The force has invested in the skills and equipment it needs to protect the public from cyber-crime. It has invested in IT.
Frontline officers and staff use mobile working. Officers and staff like the technology and say that it is efficient.
The force has recruited specialist staff so that it can digitise as many of its services as possible.
It has made £33m of savings since 2011 and has invested in priority areas.
The medium-term financial plan has a good balance between savings and investment in important areas. It has identified savings which will balance the 2018–19 budget without using its reserves.
The force’s future plans are realistic. It understands how increased demand can affect an organisation.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Gloucestershire Constabulary’s leaders act as positive ethical role models. Officers and staff understand the force’s values. Leaders use these values when they make decisions. There is an annual integrity check. The promotion process includes an assessment of ethical behaviour.
Leaders foster a no-blame culture that does not try to blame people for mistakes but instead learn from what went wrong. Officers and staff feel that the force supports them if they have made mistakes.
Although the force has vetted all officers and staff, it has a backlog of employees who have worked for the force for over ten years but whose vetting has lapsed. The constabulary has not re-vetted them. This poses a considerable security risk. It has recruited more vetting staff to solve this problem.
The force has effective methods of telling all officers and staff about the standards of behaviour it expects. It manages and identifies any risks of corruption. But the counter-corruption unit does not have enough resources to monitor the workforce’s use of internet searches and social media, which presents a possible risk.
Officers and staff understand the harm caused by abuse of authority for a sexual purpose. The force has trained supervisors to recognise the warning signs of this type of serious corruption.
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.
Gloucestershire – National child protection post-inspection review – published 22 May 2018