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Wiltshire PEEL 2018


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

Last updated 02/05/2019

Wiltshire Police is good at preventing and investigating crime, and at protecting vulnerable people. It needs to improve how it tackles serious and organised crime (SOC).

The force understands vulnerability well. It could improve its supervision of control room staff by taking more dip-samples of audio files.

The force responds well to incidents involving vulnerable people, especially domestic abuse victims. Officers understand their responsibilities in safeguarding children. The force uses its legal powers, such as Clare’s Law, to protect victims of domestic abuse. It surveys all domestic abuse victims.

The force has enough case handlers to manage violent and sexual offenders and registered sex offenders. It tracks down offenders who view indecent images of children online.

Wiltshire Police needs to improve how it tackles SOC. It understands the level of threat well and now maps all organised crime groups promptly. But it needs to improve its prevention of SOC.

Because the force does not complete disruption assessments, it cannot check its success in disrupting crime and learn what works best.

It is too soon to know whether recent changes have improved how well the force works with other agencies in exchanging intelligence on SOC.

Questions for Effectiveness


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


Wiltshire Police is good at protecting vulnerable people.

Officers and staff understand how to identify and protect people who are vulnerable. Call handlers are good at identifying repeat victims, victims of domestic abuse and people experiencing mental health problems.

The force makes sure officers in its public protection team receive training and continued professional development.

Immediate supervision and support of control room staff is effective. But the force could improve how it assesses performance by sampling audio files, so that it can improve its service.

Wiltshire Police is good at responding to incidents involving vulnerable people. Officers attending incidents have the right information from call handlers and understand what to do to protect vulnerable people.

We saw good examples of how Wiltshire Police targets criminals who exploit vulnerable people.

The force works closely with local authorities and other partner organisations. This helps it work out where harm may occur in communities and how to support and protect vulnerable people.

Wiltshire Police uses its legal powers to protect victims of domestic abuse. Officers make referrals of domestic abuse victims to partner agencies without delay.

The force asks for feedback from vulnerable victims and others. It uses this information to improve its services.

Detailed findings for question 3


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

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve its processes for lifetime management of organised criminals to minimise the risks they pose to local communities. This should include routine consideration of ancillary orders, powers available to partner agencies and other tools that can deter organised criminals from continued offending.
  • The force should assign capable lead responsible officers to all active organised crime groups (OCGs) as part of a long-term, multi-agency approach to dismantling them. These officers should understand their responsibilities clearly and adopt a ‘4P’ structure for managing OCGs.
  • The force should improve neighbourhood teams’ awareness of organised crime groups to ensure that they can reliably identify these groups, collect intelligence and disrupt their activity.
  • The force should evaluate the impact of its activity on serious and organised crime and its application of the ‘4P’ plans to ensure that it learns from experience and knows which disruption activities are the most effective.

Wiltshire Police needs to improve how it tackles serious and organised crime (SOC).

The force understands the threats from SOC. It now maps all organised crime groups promptly and checks them regularly.

It has developed an organised crime problem profile, which it shares with other partner organisations.

Officers work with partner organisations in MASHs. The force’s community-based work aims to tackle knife crime, child exploitation, youth violence, anti-social behaviour, street drug-dealing and running, and gang-related behaviour.

The force is good at keeping the public informed about its work on SOC.

Wiltshire Police still needs to improve its approach to lifetime offender management. It needs to make sure it uses civil orders consistently to manage and control the most serious offenders.

Although the force actively disrupts organised crime groups, it does not assess the impact of its investigations. It needs to use the 4P approach (pursue, prevent, protect and prepare) to make sure it learns what disruption activities work best. It also needs to make sure local community policing teams are consistently involved in work to disrupt organised crime groups.

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