Hampshire 2018/19Read more about Hampshire
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Hampshire 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.
Hampshire was inspected in tranche three 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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Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am pleased with Hampshire Constabulary’s overall performance, and the force continues to improve despite being one of the lowest funded forces in England and Wales.
The force has successfully addressed many of those areas where we identified it could do better in our previous inspections. We have seen improvements in how it investigates and records crime, protects vulnerable people and treats its staff and the public. In other areas, work is in progress.
I am particularly pleased to see the work that the force does to protect victims of domestic abuse. It is making good use of a range of options to both support victims and to protect them by preventing offending behaviour by perpetrators.
The force has made a good assessment of future demand and used this to develop a workforce plan moving staff into high priority areas of activity. This is good as it means that resources are focussed into the areas of highest risk to the public. Senior leaders are clear though that this means that they can’t always give the level of service they wish in every area of activity. We will monitor the impact of the expected increase of 156 officers on the how the force resolves this issue.
Staff are well trained to recognise when a person is vulnerable, and there are good arrangements in place for officers to assess and record this. The force works well with local partners using this initial information to keep people safe.
The chief constable has made the values in the Code of Ethics central to all force activity. This means that the workforce understands the importance of treating the public and each other with fairness and respect. While the force needs to reinforce the training given to staff about the signs and symptoms of abuse of authority for a sexual purpose, overall, it continues to uphold an ethical culture and promote well the standards of professional behaviour it expects.
I strongly commend Hampshire Constabulary for sustaining its positive performance over the past year.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Hampshire Constabulary is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe. Since our 2017 effectiveness inspection the force has improved how well it investigates volume crime. Action taken by officers when they first respond to reports of crime has improved. And staff are now better at gathering evidence at this early stage of the investigation.
Overall the force has a good understanding of vulnerability and works effectively with partners to protect and support vulnerable people.
Officers and staff understand vulnerability well, and identify the less obvious signs that a person may be vulnerable.
The force responds to 999 callers quickly but in too many cases 101 calls are abandoned. A new contact management system that the force is due to start using later this year should help it better understand the types of calls that are abandoned.
The force assesses risk to people at domestic abuse incidents well, and records when children are present. Officers use domestic violence protection notices and orders (DVPNs and DVPOs) and safety planning to safeguard victims well. Neighbourhood officers use follow-up visits to victims to make sure they are safe. The force uses charge and bail to reduce risk of further harm. It asks for feedback from victims of domestic abuse, including those who don’t support police action.
The force works well with mental health care providers to assess and respond to people with mental health problems.
Neighbourhood officers and beat managers have a good understanding of dangerous offenders, including sex offenders, in their areas. The force’s online investigation team has dedicated staff to quickly stop offenders sharing indecent images.
In 2016 we judged Hampshire Constabulary to be good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, and at tackling serious and organised crime. In 2017 we judged it to be good at investigating crime.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Hampshire Constabulary is an efficient police force. Although it has a lower level of funding than most other forces in England and Wales, it uses its resources well and has a good track record of achieving savings and putting improvements in place to become more efficient.
The force has a balanced budget for this financial year. At the time of the inspection the force told us that without extra funding they will need to make greater savings in the 2020/21 financial year. There are high-level plans to achieve these if needed, but the force is clear that any further savings can only be achieved to the detriment of the service it provides to the public. Since our fieldwork the force has been allocated additional funding as part of the national uplift programme. The impact of the uplift will not be felt immediately but the force is not now under the same pressure to make these savings. We will continue to monitor the effect of any savings on service to
It is good at analysing future demand for its services and how it may need to respond. The force uses a range of data to understand demand and uses different processes to examine short, medium and long-term demand. It has worked with local authorities, academics and health services to look at the themes that will affect demand in the long term. It has also consulted the public on what it expects of police services.
It has made good use of force management statements in its future planning. Through this we can see how the force is identifying the demand and risks of the future and starting to change how it uses its resources to respond to these.
So, for instance, the force is aware of the effect of new technology on its services. It is improving its capacity to investigate IT-related crime by putting more resources into tackling internet-enabled crime. It has also changed how the public can access services and report crime by using a new online portal to let the public contact the police and report crime and accidents. The force has also recognised that it has a need for increased investigative capabilities and is changing how it uses some staff to achieve this.
In 2017 we judged Hampshire Constabulary to be good at meeting current demands and using resources.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Hampshire Constabulary is good in the way it treats the public and its workforce.
The workforce is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. The force continues to develop and maintain an ethical culture. Policies and processes align with the code of ethics. The workforce clearly understands the principles of the code. But the force should make sure the work of its ethics committee is more widely known about. It should also make sure officers know how to raise ethical dilemmas with the force.
Standards of professional behaviour are regularly reinforced and clarified on the force’s intranet and in messages from senior leaders. Cases of misconduct and breach are published in a quarterly newsletter. This shows how officers and staff can learn from them. Members of the public who have made a complaint to the force are now given a copy of their recorded complaint.
The force has an effective counter-corruption strategy. Members of the workforce know they can report wrongdoing in confidence and know how to do it.
The force uses the information it holds on its workforce to identify people at risk of corruption. This means it can intervene early. It also monitors whether officers and staff comply with their decisions about notifiable associations or business interests. It has realistic plans in place to make sure that it will very soon be able to automatically monitor all IT systems to identify potentially corrupt behaviour.
The workforce generally has a good understanding of abuse of position for a sexual purpose but not all staff and supervisors could recall their training. The force has good links with organisations that support vulnerable people but should make sure these relationships are effective.
In 2017 we judged Hampshire Constabulary to be good at treating both the public and its workforce fairly.
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.
Hampshire Constabulary – Crime Data Integrity inspection 2018 – published 7 March 2019