Metropolitan 2018/19Read more about Metropolitan
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Metropolitan Police Service. 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.
Metropolitan Police Service was inspected in tranche two and we found:
the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe requires improvement.
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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Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am satisfied with most aspects of the Metropolitan Police Service’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force’s national and international functions bring with them huge pressures and intense scrutiny. It will never get everything right; but we believe the force’s performance is moving in the right direction. During this inspection I found some areas of exceptional service to the public, aspects that were clearly underfunded, and some poor areas. The force needs to make some improvements, particularly in its effectiveness, to provide a consistently good service. But Londoners should acknowledge the challenges their police service faces and the progress being made.
The force is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. It is very good at dealing with serious and organised crime. But it needs to improve how it investigates less serious crime and how swiftly it brings offenders to justice. Investigations aren’t always conducted by appropriately trained staff and need to be better supervised. The force has improved how it records crime since our last inspection.
The force needs to improve how it protects vulnerable people. It needs to accurately assess the level of risk to all vulnerable people. I am concerned that it doesn’t have enough resources in place to effectively manage all dangerous offenders.
The Metropolitan Police Service has a good understanding of current demand. It is developing sustainable financial and workforce plans. Leaders are ambitious and want to be innovative in making the organisation more efficient in the future.
The force upholds an ethical culture and promotes standards of professional behaviour well. However, it needs to improve its healthcare provision to detainees and how its use of force in detention facilities is governed. I am also concerned about the backlog in staff vetting.
Overall, I commend the Metropolitan Police Service for the progress it has made over the past year. The force is generally improving and changes it is making are working. I will continue to monitor the force’s progress in areas where it still needs to improve.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Overall, the Metropolitan Police Service could be more effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe. Performance across the areas we assessed is mixed. While the force is outstanding at tackling serious and organised crime (despite the worrying high levels of some crime types) and is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, we remain concerned about how the force protects vulnerable people, in particular how it protects children from registered sex offenders (RSOs) and generally how well the force investigates crime.
The force is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. Once its new model is fully staffed, it should provide a higher standard of crime prevention and problem solving force-wide. It works well with other organisations to tackle local problems. It uses a good range of tactics. But it needs to get better at understanding how it uses anti-social behaviour powers.
The force needs to get better at investigating crime. It should train its staff to investigate to a consistently good standard and use risk assessments reliably. It should review how it allocates investigations. This will help make sure that it gives vulnerable people the right level of response. It also needs to improve how it gathers early evidence.
The force doesn’t protect vulnerable people well enough. It needs to have more sex offender managers. And it should brief local officers about medium- and low-risk sex offenders. It should use its powers more effectively to protect victims of domestic abuse. It should also collect feedback from vulnerable domestic abuse victims to improve its response.
The force’s approach to tackling serious and organised crime is outstanding. It has an excellent understanding of these threats. It has enhanced this by bringing in an intelligence expert and local organised crime advisers. The force has many diversionary activities. It disrupts and investigates serious and organised crime to a high standard.
The force works well with its partners to understand and tackle serious violence. It uses good tactics and recognises that stop and search isn’t the only option. Serious violence remains a significant problem, but the force is working hard to address it.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
The Metropolitan Police Service is good at meeting current demand and using resources. It works closely with other organisations to understand demand. Its restructure will help it manage increasing demand with reducing resources. It needs to oversee the skills and capabilities of its workforce centrally. It is focusing on new digital ways of working to assist in managing its demand. There are some excellent examples of innovation and working with others.
The force has an effective approach to planning for the future. It has done a lot of work to understand current and future demand. It has linked its planning with other functions such as human resources (HR) and finance. Its plans are ambitious but achievable. The force works well with its partners. It understands what the public wants and uses this feedback to change the services it provides. It sets and manages its budgets well. But it faces a funding gap for the financial year 2022/23.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
The Metropolitan Police Service is good at treating the public and its workforce legitimately.
The force has a culture of treating people with fairness and respect. It is good at removing barriers to engagement. Understanding of unconscious bias varies. This is despite the training provided. The force’s ‘walk in an officer’s shoes’ educational exercise is commendable. It should make sure that it trains all officers in safety techniques. And it should properly supervise and analyse stop and search records.
The force needs to improve the way it maintains an ethical culture and ensures lawful behaviour among its workforce. It has still to vet a significant number of staff. It has moved from a blame culture to a more open, learning environment. But staff don’t always know where to refer ethical issues. The way the force responds to high-level corruption is impressive. But it needs to do more to manage internal risk and intervene early with those at risk of corruption.
The force is good at treating its workforce fairly. Staff have increasing levels of trust and confidence in their leaders. The force has a positive and strong approach to diversity. It has improved its procedures for managing complaints of internal discrimination. The force has experienced a huge demand for its services in recent years. It is making improvements to its wellbeing provision. The force should support its supervisors with wellbeing concerns.
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.
The Metropolitan Police Service: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2018 – published 17 July 2018
Metropolitan Police Service – Joint inspection of police custody – published 15 January 2019
Operation Lynemouth: Final report – published 12 March 2019
Metropolitan Police Service – National child protection post-inspection review – published 28 March 2019