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Kent PEEL 2018


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

Last updated 02/05/2019

Kent Police is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe.

It is good at investigating crime. But it should quickly resolve the problems with its new information and communications technology (ICT) system. The force should also make sure it doesn’t close investigations too early.

The force is good at protecting vulnerable people. It works well with partner organisations to do this. It also uses its protective powers well. But it needs to make sure it has enough staff in its online investigation team to manage demand.

In 2017, we judged Kent Police as good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour and at tackling serious and organised crime.

Questions for Effectiveness


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


Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure it progresses cases effectively, even if the victim does not support the investigation, and that officers understand the importance of this.

Although the force is good at investigating crime, investigations by response officers need to get better. Some officers’ workloads are too high. The new ICT system has caused delays in crime allocation and created problems. The force should make sure this doesn’t affect victims.

The force is outstanding at recording crime. But it closes many investigations early when the victim doesn’t support prosecution. The force could continue to investigate some of these cases. It should therefore make sure officers are making the right decisions.

The force is good at catching criminals. It is working hard to reduce the number of suspects who haven’t yet been interviewed.

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 within three months review its use of THRIVE within the control room and the incident management unit (IMU) and ensure that staff understand the importance of correctly assessing incidents.
  • The force should, within three months, review its incident management unit recovery plan to ensure it gives victims an appropriate service.
  • The force should review demand and capacity in its police online investigation team (POLIT) and reduce the backlogs in the department.

Kent Police is good at understanding and identifying vulnerable people. It is good at identifying them when they first make contact. But it should make sure staff apply the risk-assessment tool consistently.

The force is good at supporting vulnerable victims. It works with a range of partners to do this. Officers are good at risk-assessing domestic abuse incidents. They identify safeguarding needs well. The force is good at responding to people experiencing mental ill health.

The force makes good use of its protective powers. It manages sex offenders well. But it needs to make sure it has enough staff in its online investigation team to manage demand.

Detailed findings for question 3


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