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Gloucestershire PEEL 2018


How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?

Last updated 02/05/2019

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.

Questions for Effectiveness


How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?


Gloucestershire Constabulary provides the public with effective crime prevention services.

The force has a good understanding of its communities. Neighbourhood policing teams talk with local people at community meetings and events, and also on social media. These teams focus on local problems.

A community harm reduction team works on prevention and early intervention.

The force works closely with different agencies and communities to deal with problems. It has effective information-sharing arrangements with partner agencies.

Dedicated police community support officers work with communities that do not usually contact the police to identify their concerns.

Officers and staff have enough time, support and training to work effectively. They use a problem-solving model in their daily work.

The force uses powers and tactics to help it tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. These include community protection notices, civil injunctions and dispersal notices.

Detailed findings for question 1


How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?


Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that the capability and capacity of the MASH enables it to process referrals promptly and effectively; it should ensure this approach is sustainable for the long-term.

Gloucestershire Constabulary gives clear instructions to officers and staff on how they should allocate crimes, and the level of investigative skill needed.

Most of the investigations we looked at were satisfactory. The force has changed its investigation teams so that they include people with the right training and experience.

An initial investigation team conducts telephone investigations. The force checks the risk allocated to telephone cases to make sure that they are investigated appropriately.

We saw examples of good handovers to investigators, which included results of initial enquiries.

Although it has made improvements, the force needs to do more to make sure that the standard of supervision is consistent throughout all teams. Supervision has a direct effect on the quality of each investigation.

The force provides victims of crime with a good service. We found that officers contact victims regularly and record this on crime files. But it does not have enough data to find out whether this contact meets victims’ needs.

Gloucestershire Constabulary is good at catching criminals.

The force makes effective use of bail legislation to keep the public safe.

It reviews investigations effectively and examines outcome data to improve services to the public.

Detailed findings for question 2


How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?


Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that it puts in place regular and active supervision consistently and records it appropriately, to monitor the quality and progress of investigations.

Gloucestershire Constabulary has a clear definition of vulnerability and a good strategy for protecting vulnerable people, which the workforce understands well.

Officers and staff use a tool to identify patterns of offending and the safeguarding measures needed to protect people who are at risk of harm.

The force is good at identifying vulnerable people when they first contact the police. Call handlers respond to calls quickly and use a structured risk-assessment process to make sure that they respond to incidents in a consistent way.

At incidents, officers complete a domestic abuse risk assessment for victims and other vulnerable people in the household. Delays are occurring when the force sends risk assessments to the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) for review, which means some victims might not get the protection they need soon enough.

The force uses feedback from victims to improve the services it offers.

Gloucestershire Constabulary works with other agencies and exchanges information with them to support vulnerable people and meet the needs of victims.

The MASH team is not reviewing Clare’s Law applications quickly enough. This could increase the risks to victims and their families. The force must deal with this problem as a matter of urgency.

The force is good at managing the risk posed by registered sex offenders. It uses preventative and ancillary orders to protect the public from dangerous and sexual offenders. It responds effectively when offenders break the rules of these orders.

Detailed findings for question 3


How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should further develop its serious and organised crime local profile to enhance its understanding of the threat posed by this criminality and to inform activity with partner organisations to reduce the threat.
  • The force should ensure that lead responsible officers maintain up-to-date management plans for all active organised crime groups as part of a long-term, multi-agency approach to dismantling these groups, taking a balanced approach across the ‘4P’ framework with should have a consistently good knowledge of available tactics.

Gloucestershire Constabulary has made progress in understanding the threat posed by serious and organised crime. But its local profile still does not include enough data from other agencies. It needs to do more to increase its understanding and to use its resources where harm is most likely to occur.

The force has identified five priority areas: child sexual exploitation, ‘sextortion’, dangerous drug networks, domestic abuse and human trafficking.

Neighbourhood officers are encouraged to identify crime groups operating in their local areas and to submit intelligence reports about them.

The force expects that the demand from cyber-related and cyber-dependent crime will continue to increase, so it is investing in workforce training and new technology.

Gloucestershire Constabulary is working with other agencies to identify people who might get involved in serious and organised crime, including gang-related crime.

It is improving its approach to disrupting and investigating serious and organised crime.

The force has made progress in recording and evaluating serious and organised crime disruption work. It has used independent reviews to obtain feedback. It also evaluates local operations to highlight good practice and ‘lessons learned’.

Gloucestershire Constabulary’s approach to tackling criminal finances within serious and organised crime is not effective. But it has recently appointed an economic crime lead for serious and organised crime so that officers investigating organised crime groups can get expert help.

Detailed findings for question 4


How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?


We have previously inspected how well forces provide armed policing. This formed part of our 2016 and 2017 effectiveness inspections. Subsequent terrorist attacks in the UK and Europe have meant that the police service maintains a focus on armed capability in England and Wales.

It is not just terrorist attacks that place operational demands on armed officers. The threat can include the activity of organised crime groups or armed street gangs and all other crime involving guns. The Code of Practice on the Police Use of Firearms and Less Lethal Weapons (PDF document) makes forces responsible for implementing national standards of armed policing. The code stipulates that a chief officer be designated to oversee these standards. This requires the chief officer to set out the firearms threat in an armed policing strategic threat and risk assessment (APSTRA). The chief officer must also set out clear rationales for the number of armed officers (armed capacity) and the level to which they are trained (armed capability).

Detailed findings for question 5