Our inspection assessed how good Dyfed-Powys Police is in 13 areas of policing. We make graded judgments in 11 of these 13 as follows:
We also inspected how well Dyfed-Powys Police meets its obligations under the Strategic Policing Requirement, and how well it protects the public from armed threats. We don’t make graded judgments in these areas.
We set out our detailed findings about things the force is doing well and where it should improve in the rest of this report.
Three forces volunteered to pilot our new approach to PEEL. These forces were:
- Dyfed-Powys Police;
- Suffolk Constabulary; and
- Merseyside Police.
Because these forces had volunteered to pilot our new approach, we offered them a revisit, during which we reviewed any new evidence that might alter one of our judgments. We didn’t fully inspect the force again; instead, we focused on the areas where we had assessed the force needed to improve during our initial inspection.
We made our initial judgments in May 2021 and our revisit judgments in May 2022.
Important changes to PEEL
In 2014, we introduced our police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Since then, we have been continuously adapting our approach and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
We are moving to a more intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years. For instance, we have integrated our rolling crime data integrity inspections into these PEEL assessments. Our PEEL victim service assessment will now include a crime data integrity element in at least every other assessment. We have also changed our approach to graded judgments. We now assess forces against the characteristics of good performance, set out in the PEEL Assessment Framework 2021/22, and we more clearly link our judgments to causes of concern and areas for improvement. We have also expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers. As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.
However, these changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded this year with those from previous PEEL inspections. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, doesn’t necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the report.
The operating context for Welsh forces
It is important to recognise that forces in Wales operate in a different context to those in England. Although policing and justice aren’t devolved to Wales, essential services such as healthcare, accommodation, education and social services are. This means that Welsh police and justice activity take place in unique performance and legislative contexts. In Wales, devolved and non-devolved organisations work in partnership to provide the best level of service possible to local people.
Sometimes this means that forces in Wales will have to comply with both English and Welsh regulatory requirements.
HM Inspector’s observations
I am pleased with the performance of Dyfed-Powys Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, although it needs to improve in some areas to give a consistently good service.
These are the findings I consider most important from our assessments of the force over the last year.
The force is identifying repeat and vulnerable callers, and its crime recording is of an adequate standard
Upgraded IT systems in the force communication centre help to identify repeat callers. This means any vulnerability can be considered in the force’s approach to the victim. The force has improved its crime recording and we estimate that Dyfed-Powys Police is recording 91.6 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 2.7 percent) of all reported crime (excluding fraud).
The force needs to improve how it scrutinises stop and search and use of force
The force isn’t considering the breadth and depth of data. Nor is it carrying out analysis to fully understand if these powers are being used fairly and effectively. Use of force forms aren’t always being completed.
Neighbourhood policing is working well, and the force prioritises the prevention of crime and works with other agencies to solve problems
The force has an effective approach to problem solving. It works with other public sector agencies and is focused on preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and protecting vulnerable people. Neighbourhood teams are connecting and working with their communities.
The force conducts most investigations on behalf of victims well, but it needs to improve how it investigates stalking and harassment
We found investigations were effective and timely and were carried out with appropriate supervision. Most victims were kept updated throughout investigations. But, the standard of stalking and harassment investigations needs to improve.
There are effective arrangements in place to protect vulnerable people
Officers and staff understand the importance of safeguarding vulnerable people, and the force works with other agencies to share information and better understand vulnerability.
There is a good understanding of staff and officers’ wellbeing and how to develop the workforce
The force gives a good range of wellbeing support to its workforce, and is taking action to make its workforce more representative of its communities.
The force gives the public value for money and manages demand well
The force has an effective understanding of demand in all areas. It makes sure it has the capability and capacity to meet and manage current and future demands in the most efficient manner.
Over the past year, the force has put new processes in place that have resulted in improvements in various areas. This report sets out the more detailed findings of this inspection and I will continue to monitor the force’s progress.
HM Inspector of Constabulary
Reducing crime assessment
We have identified seven themes underpinning a force’s ability to reduce crime effectively which, taken together, allow an assessment of the extent to which the force is doing all it can to reduce crime. This is a narrative assessment, as police recorded crime figures can be affected by variations and changes in recording policy and practice, making it difficult to make comparisons over time.
The force has an ethos of crime prevention. We found good examples of problems being solved with analytical work. Local officers are working with other agencies to use preventative tactics, based on a comprehensive neighbourhood policing strategy.
Other factors contributing to the force’s ability to reduce crime are:
- improved relationships with all of its communities, building trust and confidence to allow intelligence-gathering and help reduce crime;
- its officers’ ability to recognise vulnerability and put safeguarding in place;
- its crime recording, which is of an adequate standard;
- its understanding of demand and capacity in its neighbourhood teams, making sure they have enough time to deal effectively with incidents and to carry out crime prevention activities;
- its secondary risk assessment unit, which brings together specialists from throughout the force to work with other organisations to support vulnerable people; and
- its integrated offender management programme, which is based on offenders who pose the greatest threat, risk and harm.
I am pleased that the force is addressing the right areas of policing to reduce crime.
But the following area may negatively affect the force’s ability to reduce crime:
- finalising crime investigations using non-court outcomes that are inappropriate for the offender due to previous offending behaviour.
Providing a service to the victims of crime
Dyfed-Powys Police is adequate at providing a service for victims of crime.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to improve how it records equality data
The force’s data for victims of crime shows that age and gender are well recorded, ethnicity is less well recorded and other protected characteristics aren’t well recorded. The force should be collecting this information to understand the extent to which each protected group is affected by crime, how this differs from those without the protected characteristics, and whether a different approach is needed for these victims.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to continue to improve the time it takes to record crimes
Of the crimes we reviewed, the force recorded 80 percent (288 of 359) within 24 hours, but it still needs to improve the time it takes to record all crimes. Recording crime without delay helps make sure that victims receive the support they need. It also establishes an effective investigation.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to continue to improve how it records crime when anti‑social behaviour is reported
The force has trained its force communication centre staff, crime recording bureau and neighbourhood policing teams on the importance of recording all crimes when anti-social behaviour is reported by victims. There has been an improvement, but not all crimes associated with anti-social behaviour are being recorded. Victims of anti-social behaviour are often the subject of abuse and torment for substantial periods of time, and crime is often committed by neighbours. Failure to record crimes and provide an effective service to tackle anti-social behaviour can mean victims live in fear in their own homes.
Areas for improvement
The force should make sure that outcome 15 is used only for suitable offences and that there is an auditable record for outcome 16
When a suspect has been identified and the victim supports police action, but evidential difficulties prevent further action, the victim should be informed of the decision to close the investigation. The force used outcome 15 incorrectly on several occasions.
Outcome 16 was used appropriately in most cases we reviewed. But when a suspect has been identified but the victim doesn’t support or withdraws their support for police action, an auditable record from the victim should be recorded, confirming their decision. This will allow the investigation to be closed. Evidence of the victim’s decision was absent in some cases we reviewed. This means there is a risk that the victim’s wishes may not be fully represented and considered before the investigation is closed.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force provides a service to victims of crime.
The force’s crime recording is of an adequate standard when it comes to making sure victims receive an appropriate level of service
The force’s crime recording has improved. We estimate that Dyfed-Powys Police is recording 91.6 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 2.7 percent) of all reported crime (excluding fraud). This is broadly unchanged from the findings in our previous 2021 inspection. We estimate that the force recorded no more than 3,600 crimes during the year covered by our inspection.
We estimate that the force is recording 88.4 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 4.3 percent) of violent offences. This is broadly unchanged from the findings in our previous 2021 inspection.
We estimate that the force is recording 98.8 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 1.6 percent) of sexual offences. This is a statistically significant improvement compared with the findings from our previous 2021 inspection, where we found 92.2 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 4.0 percent) of sexual offences were recorded.
We found that the force answered calls quickly enough, the standard of call handling was good, and handlers recorded details accurately
The force answers emergency and non-emergency calls quickly enough. It monitors call handling rates at a daily management meeting that reviews performance over each 24-hour period. A dashboard displays information on the answer rates for emergency and non-emergency calls. Resources are reviewed to make sure that enough are available for the following 24-hour period. Adjustments are made based on predicted demand – for example, good weather over a weekend. Call handlers were polite, professional and showed empathy towards callers in almost all the cases we reviewed. A structured initial risk assessment (THRIVE) was used in 70 out of 75 cases we reviewed and clearly recorded on the incident log.
The force is identifying repeat callers, and vulnerable callers and others in the household who may also be vulnerable
The force has upgraded its IT system to help call handlers in the force’s communications centre to identify repeat callers. It identified them in 76 out of 80 cases we reviewed. Checks to establish if the caller was vulnerable were also carried out in 76 of the 80 cases. This information is used when the force considers the response the victim should receive.
The force makes sure that investigations are allocated to staff with suitable levels of experience and that victims are kept updated
We found the arrangements for allocating recorded crimes for investigation were in accordance with the force’s policy. In nearly all the cases we reviewed (89 of 90), cases were allocated to the most appropriate department for further investigation. Victims were kept updated about the investigation. Victims are more likely to have confidence in a police investigation when they receive regular updates.
Recording data about crime
Dyfed-Powys Police is adequate at recording crime.
Accurate crime recording is vital to providing a good service to the victims of crime. We inspected crime recording in Dyfed-Powys as part of our victim service assessments (VSAs). These track a victim’s journey from reporting a crime to the police, through to the outcome.
All forces are subject to a VSA within our PEEL inspection programme. In every other inspection forces will be assessed on their crime recording and given a separate grade.
You can see what we found in the ‘Providing a service to victims of crime’ section of this report.
Engaging with and treating the public with fairness and respect
Dyfed-Powys Police requires improvement at treating people fairly and with respect.
Areas for improvement
The area for improvement from 2018 still applies: the force should make sure it monitors a comprehensive set of data on its use of stop and search, to enhance its understanding of fair and effective use of these powers
This was an area for improvement at the force’s last inspection in 2018. The force’s ‘ethical use of powers’ meeting reviews stop and search data. The meeting considers data like age, ethnicity, and how often the item being searched for is found. But, it is still not considering the breadth and depth of data to enhance its understanding of fair and effective use of these powers, and detailed analysis isn’t carried out. The force is able to see how often stop and search is used on individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds and has noticed disproportionality in the use of these powers. But, it isn’t yet able to fully understand whether this disproportionality is justified, or why it happens. This means it can’t take action to address this, if needed.
Areas for improvement
The area for improvement from 2018 still applies. The force should make sure it monitors a comprehensive set of data on its use of force to enhance its understanding of fair and effective use of these powers
This was an area for improvement at the force’s last inspection in 2018. The force’s ‘ethical use of powers’ meeting has previously reviewed some data on use of force. But it isn’t currently doing this due to problems with its IT capacity and a lack of analytical support. This is concerning as the force can’t understand if these powers are being used fairly and effectively.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to make sure that it complies with the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s requirements for recording use of force
Officers use body-worn video in situations where they may have to use force, but they don’t always complete a use of force form. Supervisors are not routinely checking use of force forms. There needs to be improved guidance for officers and supervisors on what they are expected to do when force has been used, and when forms should be completed. There also needs to be appropriate scrutiny at various levels of the force, so it can be sure that these powers are being used fairly and effectively.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to treating people fairly and with respect.
The force’s scrutiny of stop and search and use of force needs to improve so that these powers are used fairly and effectively
The force’s ethical use of powers meeting is no longer being held as regularly as it was. And, while it is attended by representatives throughout the force, it needs to be more robust in challenging and questioning the data and information to make sure improvements are made. The way that matters are escalated in the force needs to improve. At present the specialist operations board (the forum the ethical use of police powers meeting reports to) doesn’t always consider stop and search and use of force data and information. So, there is limited oversight of the use of these powers, and the force can’t be sure these powers are being used fairly and appropriately.
The police and crime commissioner’s (PCC) quality assurance panel is made up of independent members of the public who consider different aspects of the force’s performance. It reviews a sample of instances where stop and search and use of force were applied, by watching footage captured on body-worn video, and provides feedback to the force on improvements it should make. Stop and search was last reviewed in July 2021 and use of force in May 2021.
Officers generally understand how to use stop and search fairly, but more needs to be done to make sure that the grounds for using the power are always reasonable
Officers demonstrated a reasonable level of awareness of what constitutes appropriate grounds for stop and search. During our inspection, we reviewed a sample of 254 stop and search records from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. Based on this sample, we estimate that 85.4 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 4.2 percent) of all stop and searches by the force during this period had reasonable grounds recorded. This is broadly unchanged compared with the findings from our previous 2019 review. Of the records we reviewed for stop and searches on people from ethnic minority backgrounds, 11 of 12 had reasonable grounds recorded.
Officers did use body-worn video if they were conducting a stop and search, and supervisors generally scrutinised officers’ stop and search forms.
Some officers felt less confident in carrying out stop and search. Officers should be confident and skilled in knowing when stop and search is appropriate. They should properly record the grounds for any search so that the public can be confident that stops are carried out fairly and appropriately.
The force works well with its communities to understand and act on what matters to them
The force and the PCC work with communities in many different ways, such as through neighbourhood policing teams, rural crime teams and social media live sessions where members of the public can share their questions and concerns. The force also uses social media channels to alert the public to matters such as appeals for information to help solve crimes, court outcomes and updates to investigations that are attracting community interest. The force and the PCC also involve the community in helping the force to improve through an independent advisory group and a quality assurance panel. A victim engagement forum has been established to make sure the voice of the victim is heard in any proposed change programmes. For example, members of the forum made comments on a victim information pack, which outlines what to expect during an investigation and the support available to victims. The force and PCC clearly recognise the importance of the differing needs, preferences and concerns of their communities, but would benefit from evaluating the most effective ways of working with the public to make sure it has the broadest reach possible.
The workforce has an effective understanding of how to behave fairly and how to combat unfair behaviour, and good communication skills that they apply in interactions with the public
Force training in the prevention of unfair behaviour and the improvement of effective communication skills has been affected by the pandemic. Despite this, officers demonstrated an understanding of what constitutes unfair behaviour and how to combat it; most said they would challenge colleagues if they felt behaviours weren’t acceptable.
Officers demonstrated good communication skills and provided examples of when they had used these skills to deal with a difficult or volatile incident, or when speaking to someone with learning disabilities or mental health needs. They appreciated that often it may be the only interaction someone has with the police, making it particularly important to ensure that their communication is appropriate.
Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour
Dyfed-Powys Police is good at prevention and deterrence.
The force’s approach to remodelling neighbourhood policing and use of change management principles is innovative practice
The force reviewed its approach to neighbourhood policing and considered a variety of options to remodel its approach. It implemented a programme of changes to make sure that neighbourhood policing has a clear purpose and future in the force. This included significant consultation with the workforce. The aim was for neighbourhood teams to be able to perform their roles effectively, have access to the right supervision, resources and training, and be recognised as specialist teams and not be taken away from their main function to cover other roles. The new model was introduced in November 2019. Without exception, all staff are very supportive of the new way of working and of the approach that the force took to the changes. Neighbourhood teams are now better able to solve problems and use targeted patrols, and they are connecting with their communities.
The force and PCC are helping to build resilience within local communities
‘Participatory budgeting’ was introduced to the force at the beginning of 2020. It aims to forge closer working links with communities and give them the opportunity to influence decisions about how public funds are used. A variety of groups were awarded money to help in the force’s approach to community resilience, prevention and serious and organised crime.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to prevention and deterrence.
Neighbourhood policing has a clear structure: the force understands the demand facing its neighbourhood teams and manages its resources to match this demand
The force’s neighbourhood policing strategy has been developed in line with national guidance. This links to the force’s priorities and the police and crime plan, and gives neighbourhood policing teams a clear purpose. The strategy lays out its purpose as follows:
- identify, understand and target activity to address community priorities and problems, using an evidenced-based approach;
- actively work with communities with a purpose; and
- be proficient in problem-solving, focusing on early intervention and working with partner organisations, thereby reducing demand on police and partner organisations.
The force understands the demands placed on its neighbourhood teams and minimises the frequency with which neighbourhood officers are asked to cover other roles in the force. Since the restructure of neighbourhood policing, officers and staff feel they have a clearer understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They think their role has been professionalised and they feel valued. So, they are able to focus on those crime prevention activities that make the most difference to the communities they serve.
The force has effective IT systems that help it to understand the strengths and needs of the community, guide neighbourhood officers and store information on how they carry out their activities
The force has developed an IT system that can be accessed via officers’ mobile devices. It is a comprehensive diary-based system that allows officers to record their work, interactions, events and community commitments. The system then plots all of this on a map, allowing teams to view the data in more detail. It also shows the locations of crimes and incidents, which in turn helps to inform crime prevention and community activities. A different IT system shows information on the amount of time that officers spend out of stations and in their communities. This gives reassurance that officers are maximising their time working with local communities.
The force has an effective approach to problem solving, working with other public sector agencies focused on preventing crime, anti-social behaviour
The force uses the OSARA model for problem solving. It uses its IT systems to help with this. These two systems allow information from police and other agencies to be recorded, updates to be added and supervisors’ reviews to take place. The force has good involvement from the other agencies it works with in problem solving and crime prevention activities. For example, it works with the fire and rescue service, local authority and Natural Resources Wales to address wild camping on the road network. The force also worked with the local authority, housing and residents when a hotel was used to house homeless people. The force evaluates its approach to problem solving to make sure the process is effective. It shares examples of good practice, internally and externally, and has developed a newsletter. Effective problem solving and early intervention activities should help vulnerable people and communities and reduce demand on policing and partner agencies.
Responding to the public
Dyfed-Powys Police is good at responding to the public.
The force has a scheme for people who find it hard to communicate with the police, so they don’t have to repeat personal information
The force has the Pegasus scheme for people who have a disability or illness that makes it hard for them to communicate with the police in an emergency or difficult situation. They register their information and provide a password of their choice. If they then need to call the police, they can say they are on the Pegasus scheme and give their password, and their details can be accessed straight away. This saves them from having to repeat personal details and makes the call handler aware that they may need extra help and support.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force responds to the public.
Calls are attended within the agreed timescales
The force has four response gradings, which it defines as: ‘immediate’, with a target of 20 minutes for attendance; ‘priority’, with a target of 60 minutes for attendance (or remote resolution where appropriate); ‘scheduled’, which has no target time (or remote resolution where appropriate) and ‘resolution without attendance’, which has no target time (or in certain circumstances without further police involvement). Supervisors must authorise any downgrading of a response, such as changing an incident from priority to scheduled. We found that if a response was required, whether downgraded or not, incidents were generally attended within the required attendance time.
The force has improved the information made available to officers about vulnerable people so they can make a more accurate assessment of the level of risk
The fact that the force wasn’t assessing all incidents of domestic abuse was listed as a cause for concern after our last inspection. A vulnerability desk was introduced to the force communications centre in April 2019. This has helped the force address the problems that we found in this area. The vulnerability desk provides officers with helpful information about a caller, such as previous history and other important information, while they are on their way to an incident. The desk also monitors calls as they are coming in, to try and make sure that vulnerable victims are identified. This means that officers have better information available to them when they attend incidents and conduct risk assessments.
When officers attend incidents, they carry out risk assessments, such as DASH and THRIVE. This helps to ensure that potential threats, risks and harm to vulnerable people is identified so that appropriate safeguarding and support can be put in place.
Line managers/supervisors provide good support to force communication centre staff and response officers
Officers and staff working in the force communication centre were positive about the support they receive from their line managers and supervisors. Workloads and wellbeing are discussed in regular one-to-one meetings. Supervisors often attend incidents with their officers to provide support and guidance, which is especially helpful to inexperienced officers.
The force should improve its scrutiny of its call-handling performance
On 31 May 2022, the Home Office published data on 999 call-answering times. Call-answering time is the time taken for a call to be transferred to a force, and the time taken by that force to answer it. In England and Wales, forces should aim to answer 90 percent of these calls within 10 seconds.
Since the Home Office hadn’t published this data at the time we made our judgment, we have used data provided by forces to assess how quickly they answer 999 calls. In the future, we will use the data supplied by the Home Office.
Call-handling performance is considered at a daily management meeting, using a performance dashboard. But more structured and in-depth oversight of call-handling performance isn’t taking place on a regular basis. The force’s specialist operations board does consider some aspects of performance in the communications centre, such as the average time taken to answer 999/101 calls and the type of calls received. But the meeting has a large agenda, and this limits the opportunity for discussion. The ‘force performance board’ also considers call-handling performance information, but this isn’t on a regular basis and was last done in November 2021. The force produces detailed call-handling data, so it should use this information to conduct regular scrutiny and to support discussion so that themes and trends can
The force should ensure that communication centre staff understand how to access mental health triage and services
Before the pandemic, mental health nurses worked in the force’s communications centre. To minimise the number of people physically located in the centre, and to allow social distancing, the health board moved the nurses to virtual working arrangements. There were also some officers who had received specialist mental health training and who also assisted call-handling staff. Some of the call handlers we spoke to were confused about how to access specialist advice on mental health matters. This may affect the quality of service offered to some people who are experiencing poor mental health.
Dyfed-Powys Police is adequate at investigating crime.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to make sure it is carrying out effective and timely investigations into stalking and harassment crimes
The victim service assessment identified a particular problem with the investigations of stalking and harassment crimes. The majority that we reviewed (eight of ten) were ineffective. In these investigations we recognised a common factor of ineffective supervisory direction and oversight. The force is aware that this is an area that needs further attention to improve the investigation of stalking and harassment crimes. This is important, as these crimes can involve vulnerable victims that may need safeguarding.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force investigates crime.
The force generally carries out effective, timely investigations with appropriate levels of supervision
In 89 out of 90 cases we reviewed, investigations were allocated to appropriate teams and in accordance with the force’s crime allocation policy. In 75 out of 90 cases, effective investigations took place. Investigations were well supervised, and victims were kept updated throughout. Victims are more likely to have confidence in a police investigation when they receive regular updates.
The force is improving its ability to retrieve digital evidence from mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices
The force has carried out a review of its ability to retrieve digital evidence. It has employed staff who assess how quickly digital evidence needs to be retrieved, using a threat, harm and risk matrix. Some additional funding has been provided, which has helped the force outsource devices for retrieval of evidence. Through its force management statement, the force has made some projections as to what resources it will need in the future and how this can be achieved.
The force demonstrates effective victim care and engagement in its investigations
The force is generally compliant with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and maintains agreed levels of victim contact. Officers know that it is important to keep victims updated. We found that the force provided effective victim care in most of its investigations. Victim needs assessments were carried out in 61 out of 73 of the cases we reviewed. These help to identify whether victims need additional support. But victim personal statements were sometimes not taken. These are important as they give victims the opportunity to describe how a crime has affected their lives.
There is a plan in place to increase investigator capacity, but the force needs to consider whether this is enough to meet future demand
The force management statement (FMS) shows an improved understanding of investigative demand and describes some of the problems the force faces. The introduction of the End to End project has directed more investigations towards telephone-based resolution. This should ensure that more investigations are proportionately resourced. The force has an investigations resilience plan to help with the recruitment, retention, training and wellbeing of investigators. It is using the fast track detective constable pathway for those in their probationary period who show an aptitude for investigating. But it needs to consider if these arrangements will be enough to meet future investigative demand.
The force needs to understand why it has a high outcome 16 rate, and it needs to take action to make sure it progresses evidence-led prosecutions
Officers told us that they would pursue evidence-led prosecutions on behalf of the victim if the victim withdrew their support for prosecution, and we found that the use of outcome 16 was appropriate in 18 out of the 20 cases we reviewed. But the force has a high outcome 16 rate in comparison with other forces. This may indicate that the force isn’t being led by the evidence when pursuing prosecutions. The force is aware of this. It has carried out a review and a team now oversees the use of outcome 16 to make sure it is used appropriately.
Officers feel they generally have the time and appropriate skills to carry out investigations and are well supported by line managers
Officers and staff told us that they have the skills, training and experience necessary to carry out investigations effectively. They feel well supported by line managers, although the pandemic has affected planned training events. The workforce demonstrated good awareness of its obligations on disclosure and the requirement to comply with recent changes. Most members of the workforce indicated that investigative workloads were manageable.
Protecting vulnerable people
Dyfed-Powys Police is good at protecting vulnerable people.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force protects vulnerable people.
The force understands the nature and scale of vulnerability and has effective arrangements to protect vulnerable people
The force has a vulnerability strategy, which sets out its priorities for the protection of vulnerable people. The principal goals of the strategy are to encourage an open‑minded approach; to put vulnerability at the heart of service; to recognise where underlying problems exist; and to provide a tailored service that considers individual needs, so that the most appropriate agency provides support and intervention. The strategy is supported by a vulnerability action plan, which is overseen by the force’s strategic vulnerability board. The force management statement (FMS) shows an increased understanding of vulnerability demand. The force has conducted a separate analysis of patterns and types of offending so that the most vulnerable victims and repeat offenders can be recognised. The force works with other agencies to share information and better understand vulnerability, for example, where there is the potential for children to be exploited through being drawn into organised crime.
Officers and staff understand the importance of safeguarding vulnerable people, and the force has effective working relationships with public and third sector agencies to provide continuing support
Officers and staff clearly understand the importance of making sure that vulnerable people are provided with safeguarding advice and are referred to public and third sector agencies for support. The force’s domestic abuse officers give support to domestic abuse victims, and neighbourhood teams recognise repeat victims and locations and provide help for vulnerable people in the community.
The force has a victim and witness service called Goleudy, which gives support to all victims of crime in need of help, whether or not the incident has been reported to the police. This service has a specific focus on those who have suffered the greatest harm, such as victims of serious crime, repeat victims and the most vulnerable and intimidated.
The vulnerability hub brings a co-ordinated approach to supporting vulnerable people to make sure opportunities for safeguarding aren’t missed
The vulnerability hub brings together all officers and staff involved in the safeguarding of vulnerable victims, such as domestic abuse teams, child and adult abuse teams and neighbourhood officers. The primary focus of the unit is on domestic abuse, the provision of safeguarding services with public and third sector agencies, the supervision of risk assessments and safeguarding referrals, and support to local policing areas.
The secondary risk assessment unit provides effective oversight of risk assessments, some crime recording and virtual multi-agency discussions to make sure safeguarding is put in place
The secondary risk assessment unit is part of the vulnerability hub. Staff on this unit review DASH risk assessments to make sure that risk levels are appropriate. Where they find that a crime involving a vulnerable person hasn’t been recorded, matters are referred back to the officer in the case. Virtual meetings with multi-agency bodies are held three times a week for each of the four local authority areas. Daily discussions, chaired by a detective sergeant on the vulnerability hub, focus mainly on domestic abuse cases. Case details are shared with other agencies before each meeting so that attendees are well prepared. These agencies include housing, health, children’s services and an independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA). All contributors provide meaningful information to make sure that safeguarding plans are put in place as soon as possible.
The secondary risk assessment unit considers cases that ordinarily would have had to wait until the next MARAC. A MARAC exists for each local authority area. Conferences are currently being conducted virtually. Agencies represented at MARACs include health, probation, children’s services, housing, IDVA and domestic abuse officers. Since the introduction of the secondary risk assessment, fewer cases need to be referred to the MARAC, which means that more time can be spent on higher risk and complex cases. Each contributor gives updates and shares information, and the meeting agrees on actions to maintain safeguarding measures.
The force uses available powers to protect and safeguard vulnerable people and victims when appropriate
Officers and staff understand the powers that are available to protect vulnerable people and victims. MARAC meetings consider ‘Clare’s law’ to make sure that potential victims and their children are aware of a new partner’s previous abusive or violent behaviour. Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) are designed to give victims immediate protection following an incident of domestic violence. These are routinely considered by officers and are discussed at daily management meetings and secondary risk assessment meetings. Such discussions make sure safeguarding has been considered and action taken to protect the victim. But the victim service assessment showed that DVPOs weren’t always being considered. In the year ending 31 March 2021, Dyfed-Powys Police made an average of 12.5 DVPO applications per 1,000 domestic abuse related crimes. This is slightly higher than the application rate throughout all forces, which was 10.1 applications per 1,000 crimes.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders applied for per 1,000 domestic abuse related crimes in the year ending 31 March 2021
Managing offenders and suspects
Dyfed-Powys Police is adequate at managing offenders and suspects.
The force is proactive in how it uses and monitors sexual harm prevention orders
The force uses sexual harm prevention orders (SHPOs) to protect the public from the most dangerous offenders. The force has a central team that is alerted to any sexual offences that are going to court, and the team then works with the legal services department to create an SHPO application. This makes sure no opportunities to protect the victim are missed. The force has the necessary digital equipment in place, and staff have been trained to monitor these types of orders.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to improve its oversight of how outstanding suspects are monitored
Outstanding suspects (not yet apprehended) are monitored by officers working in each of the four local policing areas in the force. Lists of people who need to be located and apprehended are shared with officers through daily management meetings and on the force’s briefing system. While the arrangements are in place and seem to be effective, the force lacks the oversight to make sure that it is working as well as it should be.
Areas for improvement
The force should improve the quality of the risk management plans used to manage dangerous offenders
The force uses the active risk management system (ARMS) for managing the risk posed by dangerous offenders. But it needs to improve the content and quality of the risk management plans that are in place to manage offenders. It needs to make sure that any risk is documented and actions are recorded. Also, Police National Database checks are not routinely being made. While staff are trained in how to use ARMS, some supervisors who oversee how they comply with the Authorised Professional Practice (APP) are not.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force manages offenders and suspects.
There are effective working relationships between the Management of Sexual and Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) team and neighbourhood teams to monitor offenders in the community
MOSOVO and neighbourhood policing teams work together to ensure awareness of registered sex offenders in the community. Neighbourhood officers use this information to inform their patrol plans and can submit intelligence to the MOSOVO team on the sex offenders in their area. This helps information to be shared effectively so that the MOSOVO team is made aware of any change in behaviour, in case action needs to be taken.
The force has enough capacity and capability in its paedophile online investigation team (POLIT)
POLIT is responsible for identifying the sharing of indecent images of children so that action can be taken in a timely way. There is a case management system to make sure that risks are identified in cases that are waiting to be reviewed, and we found there was no significant backlog. The force has recently increased the number of staff in the team.
Digital forensic investigators attend all warrants with POLIT to ensure that only those devices holding inappropriate images are seized
When POLIT attends an address to carry out a warrant on suspicion of inappropriate images on a digital device, members are accompanied by a digital forensic investigator. The investigator is able to review multiple devices to see which ones may have inappropriate images on them, rather than having to seize all devices at the address. This saves considerable time and resources, and means that only the device with the images is seized.
The force takes a multi-agency approach through the IOM programme in its management of offenders to reduce re-offending and change behaviour
The force is part of IOM Cymru, which provides a framework at national, regional and local levels for organisations to work together to reduce crime and reoffending by improving risk management and rehabilitation. The force has good working relationships with probation colleagues to manage repeat offenders. Regular meetings review those offenders currently in the IOM programme, consider new referrals into it, and assess the effectiveness of the risk management plan. For example, registered sex offenders can be accepted into one of the IOM programmes, which allows additional layers of intervention to take place, such as referrals to external agency support and enhanced monitoring by the MOSOVO team. This is good practice and helps towards reducing re-offending and trying to change behaviour.
The THRIVE risk assessment process is used in the management of pre-charge bail, RUI and voluntary attendance. This familiar process is well understood by officers, and it is evident that victims and safeguarding are central to the decision-making process. If pre-charge bail is changed to RUI, this has to be authorised through the duty inspector and the rationale for that change recorded. Voluntary attendance is overseen by the custody sergeant who will make sure that vulnerability has been considered and that a clear rationale is recorded. The force has created an IT process to manage all bail and RUI cases, with a dashboard that displays information from the custody system, such as case progression, important dates and offences. This information feeds into the force’s performance framework at local policing area level and at force performance meetings, for greater scrutiny.
Disrupting serious organised crime
Dyfed-Powys Police is adequate at managing serious and organised crime (SOC).
Areas for improvement
The area for improvement from 2016 still applies: the force should improve its understanding, using the Government’s 4P (pursue, protect, prevent and prepare) framework, of the impact of its activity against serious and organised crime. The force should make sure that it learns from experience to maximise its disruptive effect on this activity
The force didn’t have a corporate process for debriefing and learning from serious and organised crime (SOC), including the recording of effective work. A new process has been introduced to improve the gathering of learning through problem-oriented policing plans and the 4P plan templates. The templates include a section where local responsible officers can capture the effect of the force’s activity against SOC. How well this is working will be assessed at our next SOC inspection.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force builds and develops its workforce.
The force makes effective use of intelligence to identify, understand and prioritise SOC
The force uses MoRiLE to assess SOC. This assessment informs the force’s comprehensive strategic assessment and draws on information from other public sector agencies. The force’s control strategy is clearly informed by the strategic assessment. The force has an SOC profile for each of the four local authority areas. Each of these has been created using information from partner organisations, and highlights vulnerability risks for people who could be drawn into crime and become victims. A strategic partnership board exists to review updates and proposed changes, and there is healthy discussion and challenge from the agencies that attend. Local partnership boards are also in place for the four local authority areas. The force is refreshing its SOC approach with partner agencies, because the current plan is too police focused and doesn’t align with the current SOC profiles.
The force has effective capacity and capability to tackle SOC and keep the public safe
The force has clear structures through which to oversee SOC and hold officers and staff to account. The SOC tasking and force intelligence development group (FIDG) meetings are central to the co-ordinating work to tackle SOC. These meetings have a structured agenda, and actions and decisions are recorded and monitored. Local policing areas are fully involved in SOC tasking. We saw good evidence of bids for support from the local policing areas for SOC being considered. Daily management meetings have appropriate attendance and conduct detailed scrutiny of crime and emerging problems to identify potential SOC matters.
There is a clear process by which SOC tasking appoints lead responsible officers (LROs) for each organised crime group. These officers lead the development of 4P plans, drawing on expertise to devise the best response to tackle organised crime groups. But there is some inconsistency in how 4P plans are being developed throughout the force.
The force is trying to prevent people from becoming involved in SOC
The force has a new strategy and branding for internal and external communications, which is an important part of the development of its focus on SOC prevention. It has also appointed an SOC co-ordinator. Participatory budgeting (which is discussed in question 3, ‘Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour’) is also helping the force’s approach to SOC prevention. There is good awareness throughout the force of the importance of preventing people from being drawn into SOC.
The force needs to make sure that the approach to preventing people in the criminal justice system from continuing to offend is clearly understood
The force works with HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the regional prison intelligence unit (RPIU) to manage SOC offenders who are in prison. A representative from the RPIU is a member of the FIDG, so they are aware of the organised crime groups that are being discussed, together with any relevant members who may be in prison. There is a Joint Intelligence Programme (JIP) with HMPPS. This is a multi-agency forum that tackles SOC in prisons and communities. It brings together police, prisons and probation to share intelligence and agree on actions for disrupting organised crime.
It was evident during our inspection that some officers are unclear about how SOC offenders should be managed while in prison. The force is aware of this problem and is taking action to clarify its processes. This is important to make sure that all opportunities are taken to prevent and disrupt organised crime.
Meeting the strategic policing requirement
We don’t grade forces on this question.
In this section, we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force meets the Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR).
There is a good understanding of the threats listed in the SPR – they are prioritised, and the force works with neighbouring forces and other organisations to address them
The SPR covers serious threats that cut across police force boundaries, namely terrorism, a national cyber security incident, serious and organised crime, threats to public order, civil emergencies and child sexual abuse. The six threats are an integral part of the force’s business planning procedures. They are referenced in the force’s strategic assessment and in its force management statement (FMS), and they inform the police and crime plan. The force has a prominent role in the local resilience forum (LRF) and works with other public sector organisations to counter SPR threats. An example would be the train derailment in 2020. A full evacuation and multi-agency response were needed to restore safety and get the railway operating again. A debrief takes place following such incidents to make sure that lessons are learned by all agencies involved to improve future responses.
The force routinely carries out assessments to make sure it has enough capacity and capability to address the SPR threats
The force threats group considers the threat and risk in relation to the control strategy and the capacity and capability in relation to the SPR threats – for example, the potential for children being drawn into serious organised crime and the risks posed by cyber crime and terrorism. The FMS had already recognised the need for additional staffing, and additional IT capacity was put in place to mitigate some of the risks from cyber crime.
The force has plans in place to meet foreseeable SPR threats and carries out regular exercises and training with other organisations
In line with the Civil Emergencies Act 2004, the force works with the LRF to plan for SPR threats, such as civil emergencies. The LRF’s plans state the roles, responsibilities and actions needed of each agency in response to the specific civil emergency, together with any multi-agency co-ordination. The force takes part in regular exercises with agencies to assess its ability to meet SPR threats. For example, the four Welsh LRFs rehearsed their response to a major incident (flooding). This scenario included significant cyber challenges and provided learning points for all organisations. The force also tested the joint media response to a simulated protest on Pembrokeshire waters from a climate protest group.
The pandemic has interrupted some training for officers and staff on how to approach SPR threats. For example, unarmed staff responding to terrorist attacks. The exercises should include communication centre staff and unarmed officers as they are likely to be the first to respond to incidents of this nature. Classroom-based tuition has been suspended because of the pandemic and will restart in line with Public Health Wales guidelines.
Protecting the public against armed threats
We don’t grade forces on this question.
Constructive collaborative working with South Wales Police and Gwent Police brings benefits in the availability of armed officers and value for money
The force has joint arrangements with Gwent Police and South Wales Police to provide armed policing. For ten years, armed policing services in each force have been combined into the Joint Firearms Unit (JFU). In the Dyfed-Powys Police area, most armed incidents are attended by armed response vehicle (ARV) officers. The benefit of the joint approach is that the standard of training and tactical deployment in all three forces is the same. In most cases, firearms commanders can have absolute confidence that armed officers in the three forces can work together seamlessly. Beyond the obvious operational benefits, a new training facility, now under construction, will save up to £4m of capital expenditure.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force protects communities from armed threats.
The force is taking positive steps to recruit armed officers
Dyfed-Powys Police, as part of its work with Gwent Police and South Wales Police, is taking positive steps to maintain the numbers of armed officers. Nationally, many officers are reluctant to be trained in the use of firearms. Recognising this, the force is identifying police recruits and serving officers with an aptitude for armed policing early in their careers. Opportunities such as mentoring and insight days are available to encourage them into armed policing roles. Focused support is on hand for candidates during training courses. ‘Pinch points’, where officers are most likely to fail courses, are managed intensively by instructors. These measures are proving successful in boosting recruitment.
A close association with the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit means that specialist support is available if needed
If incidents escalate and specialist capabilities are needed by Dyfed-Powys Police to resolve threats, well-tried and tested procedures are in place. Through the collaborative working arrangements with the JFU, the force has access to counter terrorist specialist firearms officers that form part of the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit.
The force supports national approval procedures for the acquisition of weapons and specialist munitions
Because of the failings identified in the Anthony Grainger Inquiry, we reviewed the force’s checks on the processes in place should new weapon systems or specialist munitions need to be acquired. The JFU is in the process of testing new weapons with a view to updating the assault rifles currently issued to Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police and South Wales Police officers. In accordance with national guidance, the force is working closely with the National Police Chief Council’s armed policing lead and the Home Office as part of the approval process.
Firearms commanders are familiar with the use of specialist munitions
The report into the death of Anthony Grainger was also critical of the competence of the officers in command of an armed operation. Specific reference was made to the authorisation and tactical deployment of specialist munitions. It is important that firearms commanders are familiar with the benefits, risks and physical effects that such devices have on individuals. The authorisation and use of specialist munitions form part of the training and development programmes offered to strategic and tactical firearms commanders. Firearms commanders are knowledgeable in the use of specialist munitions and in the contribution they can make to the successful conclusion of armed operations.
Dyfed-Powys Police has effective plans in place to address foreseeable threats
We expect forces to have plans in place to address foreseeable threats. Dyfed-Powys Police, as part of the collaborative work arrangements with the JFU, has operational plans in place for venues that may be the target of terrorist attacks. Through a programme of exercises, there are opportunities to test these plans regularly. Although the programme has been interrupted by COVID-19, in normal times, exercises involve the army and other emergency services. We also found that training exercises are reviewed carefully so that learning points are recognised and improvements are made for the future.
The force routinely debriefs on armed operations to establish areas for improvement
We found that in addition to debriefing on training exercises with all officers involved, Dyfed-Powys Police also reviews the outcome of all firearms incidents that officers attend. This is managed by the JFU. This helps make sure that best ways of working and areas for improvement are recognised. We also found that this knowledge is used to improve training and operational procedures.
The force’s understanding of threats is improving, but there is still work to be done
The JFU’s armed policing strategic threat and risk assessment (APSTRA) sets out the threats. The APSTRA is published annually and is accompanied by a risk register and an action plan. It aligns with the standards set out by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. But some areas can be improved. Some of the data supporting the APSTRA needs to be updated, and it only forecasts demand over a three-year period rather than in line with the FMS, which has a four-year projection. We are assured that these matters are being addressed.
The deployment of officers issued with tasers should be better co-ordinated in Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police and South Wales Police
Inconsistencies have arisen in the use of less lethal weapons in Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police and South Wales Police. In common with other forces in England and Wales, an increasing number of unarmed officers are issued with less lethal weapons to protect themselves and the public. The most common weapons issued are conducted energy devices, commonly referred to as tasers. National guidance stipulates that the deployment of less lethal weapons should be linked to the threats and risks outlined in the APSTRA. But the three forces have separate arrangements. The selection, training and deployment of taser officers should be better co-ordinated. This would improve compliance with national standards and bring more certainty that officers issued with tasers are available when needed.
Building, supporting and protecting the workforce
Dyfed-Powys Police is good at building and developing its workforce.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force builds and develops its workforce.
The force has improved its promotion processes and officers and staff are generally positive about the opportunities available to them
The force has developed a workforce plan that is linked to those areas where recruitment is needed most. It is based on an analysis of demand. For example, the fast-track detective programme is designed to address shortages in investigative teams. The force has also made considerable improvements to its promotion processes since our last inspection. Most of the workforce now sees promotion processes as fair and honest and recognises the work the force is doing to improve opportunities.
The force is taking action to make its workforce more representative of its communities
The force has a representative workforce group, which considers workforce representation of all protected characteristics. The force acknowledges that there is still work to do in this area of performance. But it is confident it has the information necessary to understand how representative its workforce is of its communities.
The force has carried out research with black, Asian and minority ethnic students from a local university to understand their perceptions of policing and the barriers to joining. The force has appointed a positive action officer to support recruitment from underrepresented groups. It also held workshops before opening a police constable recruitment campaign. The force has recently seen an increase in the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates applying for police constable roles.
Learning and development opportunities are available to officers and staff, and they have access to an effective performance development review process
Officers and staff are aware of the development opportunities available to them. They are generally positive about what they can access, including attachments to other departments. The pandemic has caused interruption to regular training, and some sessions are now being carried out remotely. Many members of the workforce feel that their manager understands their development needs and supports their development. Regular one-to-one meetings take place, and the force’s performance management system, the development and assessment profile (DAP), is completed for most members of the workforce. While not everyone appreciates how the system applies to them, the majority are using it, and it is increasingly being used to support promotion processes.
‘Tutor pods’ have been set up in some parts of the force to support student officers. Tutors based in local stations provide real-time support and scenario-based training, which makes access easier. New officers were positive about this support that helps them to put classroom-based learning into practice. Based on current successes, the force could consider expanding the programme to increase its availability.
The force is making good progress with the policing education qualifications framework (PEQF)
The force is making good progress with implementing the PEQF through its work with the University of South Wales and in its support of its students. The force is training recruits for both the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and the Degree Holder Entry Programme. The force considers that it is well equipped to support new recruits on these programmes, with the first group having graduated earlier this year.
The force has effective arrangements in place to make sure officers and staff are vetted to the appropriate level, but it does rely on a manual process
The force currently has a manual process to ensure that officers and staff are vetted. This relies on people updating spreadsheets and monitoring force circulation lists and emails. The force would benefit from an automated electronic solution to manage the link between human resources and vetting systems. We found that most of the work in the force’s vetting unit is effective, and that much of the workforce has the correct level of vetting for the roles occupied. Processes are well managed, albeit time-consuming for staff. The force has purchased a web-based vetting management system, which will provide it with an efficient approach. Its implementation has been delayed, though, due to the pandemic.
The force is good at monitoring potential disproportionality in vetting systems and has an effective process in place to review decisions. The force is fully aware of the current and future demand that will be generated by new recruits because of the police uplift programme.
The force has the capability to monitor all its IT systems for potential corruption
The force is able to monitor all of its IT systems to identify any inappropriate use. During our inspection we reviewed several items of potential corruption intelligence, and found extensive use of the IT monitoring software to recognise potential corruption. We saw examples of the force using the software to find and safeguard vulnerable victims. The force is aware that it needs to make sure it can use this software on any new programmes or IT systems it introduces in future.
The force understands and acts on the threat and risk posed by police corruption
The force has a comprehensive strategic threat assessment in place, underpinned by a control strategy, but doesn’t currently have a delivery plan. Such a plan would help it implement its strategy more effectively. The force’s counter-corruption unit has sufficient resources to meet its current demand, but this needs to be kept under regular review.
Officers and staff are generally aware of what to look out for in someone who may be abusing their position for a sexual purpose. All sergeants have been spoken to about potential warning signs to look out for. Some helpful 60-second animated ‘sketch up’ videos, covering themes such as inappropriate associations and the requirement to report, have featured on the force intranet site. These have also been shared with partner organisations. While some officers and staff would use the force’s confidential reporting line, called ‘bad apple’, others are still concerned that reports aren’t anonymous.
The force provides a good range of wellbeing support to its workforce, and line managers routinely consider the wellbeing of their officers and staff
The force’s wellbeing strategy, the Calon Leadership and Wellbeing Strategy (2017–21), lays out its vision as follows: “Delivering excellence through the care, values and engagement of our people and putting leadership and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do”. The force has a good variety of wellbeing provision available to its officers and staff. It consults with unions and local policing areas to understand what provision may be required. Officers and staff are generally positive about the wellbeing provision they can access, and have good support and understanding from line managers about their wellbeing needs. But the force needs to make sure that those living in more remote parts of the force area have equal access to wellbeing provision. The force would also benefit from evaluating existing wellbeing provision so that it understands which facilities are the most effective. This is a timely observation given that the force has already started to develop a new strategy to replace Calon.
Occupational health support is generally viewed as positive, but more needs to be done to reintroduce proactive support for officers and staff working in high-risk roles
The College of Policing carried out a peer review of the force’s occupational health provision in 2020. This review made several recommendations intended to improve the service, and the force has since put a plan in place. The force now needs to make sure that this plan includes ways that occupational health can be accessed by those who work in remote parts of the force area. It also needs to make sure that it is conducting proactive welfare checks on those officers and staff who work in high-risk roles and may be dealing with traumatic incidents. Such checks will determine if staff are affected by their work and need enhanced wellbeing support.
The force needs to continue to make improvements to the ways in which its ethics committee works
The force reviewed its ethics committee in 2020, following feedback from HMICFRS and following its own internal review. The force changed the referral route into the committee, and this did improve the number of ethical dilemma referrals. But the committee is still receiving referrals that aren’t ethical dilemmas and, instead, are matters that should be considered by line managers and human resources. Awareness needs to be raised about the role and function of the ethics committee and the type of material that should be referred to it. Feedback on ethical dilemmas that have been discussed should be provided to the workforce to enhance learning and improve general levels of understanding.
Strategic planning, organisational management and value for money
Dyfed-Powys Police is adequate at operating efficiently.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to make sure that its performance framework monitors performance at all levels of the organisation to identify learning and to make timely improvements when needed
The force has a governance structure in place to ensure that performance management is carried out. This includes the force performance board, local policing area performance meetings, which are monthly, and daily management meetings. These forums are supported by good data analysis that provides insight into all aspects of crime and its effects on communities. While the force performance board has both a clear structure and responsibilities for members, the other meetings are inconsistent in their approach; actions and follow-up do not seem to always take place quickly enough.
Areas for improvement
The area for Improvement from 2018 still applies: the force should develop career pathways linked to its succession planning
Succession planning is helpful to be able to plan for and execute smooth transitions of key roles and positions. While career opportunities are available for officers and staff in the force, it does have more work to do to better understand workforce skills and capabilities. This would provide a more detailed picture for the force and enable it to consider skills gaps, deployment decisions and succession planning.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force responds to the public.
The force collaborates to improve services and maximises the benefits of working collaboratively in line with its statutory obligations
The governance of collaborations is managed through the All Wales Collaboration arrangement. This comprises a small team funded by the four Welsh forces to manage collaborations. Its priorities include the efficiency of IT systems for recruitment, training and human resources. Established collaborations include the Welsh Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit, called Tarian (the regional organised crime unit), the Joint Firearms Unit (Dyfed-Powys Police/Gwent Police/South Wales Police), the All Wales Forensic Programme, the All Wales Schools Liaison Programme and the All Wales Recruitment Programme.
The force is increasingly able to quantify the benefits derived from collaborations. From the Home Office-inspired ‘Blue Lights Collaboration’, a national programme aimed at making £20m of savings from emergency services, the Welsh forces will save £1m annually. Welsh forces now save £700,000 annually through joint ‘e‑recruitment’. Further evidence of the force’s commitment to professional collaboration is the development of all-Wales Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs). The force’s most recent collaboration for its new records management system will also improve efficiency.
The force manages current demand well
The force has an effective understanding of demand in all areas. The force management statement (FMS) uses a combination of statistical and qualitative approaches to establish the level of risk for each part of the force. It also details what the force is doing to improve services to the public. The FMS takes the reader through a logical sequence: an analysis of demand; identifying current and future pressures that will affect the workforce; deciding upon areas for investment; and then setting out the risk for areas it cannot resource because it doesn’t have the budget.
The investment the force has made in understanding demand is positive, and we saw examples of it identifying emerging local and national issues which allowed it to move resources around the force area to meet demand. An example of this is Operation Lion, which manages the increased demand caused by tourism in Tenby during the summer months.
The force makes sure it has the capability and capacity it needs to meet and manage current demands in the most efficient manner
The force has the capability in each of its local policing areas to break down its crime and incident demand. This provides an annual picture of cost, hours and the percentage of time spent on each crime incident type. For example, in Carmarthenshire in 2018/19, the most frequently occurring crime type was assault with injury, which cost £1m and took 21,000 hours, occupying 13 percent of the local policing areas’ available policing time.
The force has a process that considers all aspects of workforce vacancies, risk areas and pressure points, and outlines the action to be taken. There is a clear link with the FMS, but we found that some areas of the force were experiencing workload pressures, for example, the paedophile online investigation team (POLIT). The force recently advertised roles in its criminal investigation department (CID), but no applications were received. The force is working to find out why officers and staff are reluctant to move into investigations, while actively looking at solutions.
The force understands future demand and is planning to make sure it has the right resources in place to meet future needs
The force has a good understanding of future demand and is using information from its data analysis to drive its future investment. For example, the incident crime and assessment team established in 2017 was replaced by the End to End project, which has been well researched. This programme of work will require monitoring and supervision to make sure that the work and investment provide the expected improvements.
The force has considered where best to place the additional officers introduced through the uplift programme. It is well on track to meet its recruitment target. Of the uplift cohort, 22 were recruited in January 2020 and a further 20 were recruited in June 2020. Current plans will reach the uplift target by March 2022.
The force has achieved a good balance between savings and investments. Of particular note is how FMS demand pressures are linked to uplift growth in all areas of policing. The FMS demonstrates force awareness of its obligations to provide value for money. The force demonstrates an awareness of how best to use the uplift programme to address future demand. It has made a significant investment in neighbourhood policing, driven by its understanding of demand and local priorities.
The force makes best use of available finances, and its plans are both ambitious and sustainable
The force’s financial plans are ambitious and strike a good balance between investing in priority areas and making efficiencies. Both the revenue and capital budgets are structured towards significant change to bring about service improvements and make savings.
The force has outlined in the FMS where it will make additional investment to keep pace with the demand it has recognised. The force intends to increase its workforce (beyond the police uplift allocation of 84 officers) to resource the priorities outlined in the FMS. This will require £6m of growth in the workforce. The main areas of growth include response, investigations and staffing in the force communications centre.
The force is investing in estate and assets, which will improve service and efficiency. This includes £18m of investment to centralise custody facilities in Carmarthenshire, an £8m investment in a training facility for the Joint Firearms Unit (shared with Gwent Police and South Wales Police), a new (or refurbished) police station in Brecon, the installation of a new records management system (NICHE), upgrades to body-worn video equipment, and the replacement of fleet vehicles, which will include the introduction of 18 electric vehicles.
The force can demonstrate that it is continuing to achieve efficiency savings and improve productivity
The force has a good track record of making savings and improving efficiency. Since budgetary constraints were introduced in 2010/11, the force has made over £30m of savings. This represents approximately one quarter of its current revenue budget of £119m.
The force has strengthened its governance of service improvements, productivity and efficiency, and these seem to work effectively. For example, the finance and efficiency group monitors a ‘benefits realisation register’ to track progress of all service improvements. Benefits are categorised under certain headings, such as process improvement, financial savings and quality of service. The register tracked improvements to secure £80,000 of grant funding for the force’s vulnerability hub. This will be used to acquire tagging devices that are designed to maintain physical separation between vulnerable victims and their abusers.
The force is currently implementing plans to improve services by using technology. Of the force’s £86m ten-year capital programme, £25m is set aside for technology improvements. The current focus is on the installation of a new records management system, replacement radios, upgrades to body-worn video equipment, and the introduction of Office 365 on force computers as part of the national programme. Future research and development are part of the All Wales programme and include artificial intelligence, translation/transcription, voice recognition, video analytics and control room collaboration.
About the data
Data in this report is from a range of sources, including:
- Home Office;
- Office for National Statistics (ONS);
- our inspection fieldwork; and
- data we collected directly from all 43 police forces in England and Wales.
When we collected data directly from police forces, we took reasonable steps to agree the design of the data collection with forces and with other interested parties such as the Home Office. We gave forces several opportunities to quality assure and validate the data they gave us, to make sure it was accurate. We shared the submitted data with forces, so they could review their own and other forces’ data. This allowed them to analyse where data was notably different from other forces or internally inconsistent.
We set out the source of this report’s data below.
Data in the report
British Transport Police was outside the scope of inspection. Any aggregated totals for England and Wales exclude British Transport Police data, so will differ from those published by the Home Office.
When other forces were unable to supply data, we mention this under the relevant sections below.
Most similar groups
We compare each force’s crime rate with the average rate for forces in its most similar group (MSG). MSGs are groups of similar police forces, based on analysis of demographic, social and economic factors which relate to crime. We could not identify any forces similar to City of London Police. Every other force has its own group of up to seven other forces which it is most similar to.
An MSG’s crime rate is the sum of the recorded crimes in all the group’s forces divided by its total population. All of the most similar forces (including the force being compared) are included in calculating the MSG average.
More information about MSGs can be found on our website.
The dotted lines on the Bar Charts show one Standard Deviation (sd) above and below the unweighted mean across all forces. Where the distribution of the scores appears normally distributed, the sd is calculated in the normal way. If the forces are not normally distributed, the scores are transformed by taking logs and a Shapiro Wilks test performed to see if this creates a more normal distribution. If it does, the logged values are used to estimate the sd. If not, the sd is calculated using the normal values. Forces with scores more than 1 sd units from the mean (i.e. with Z-scores greater than 1, or less than -1) are considered as showing performance well above, or well below, average. These forces will be outside the dotted lines on the Bar Chart. Typically, 32% of forces will be above or below these lines for any given measure.
For all uses of population as a denominator in our calculations, unless otherwise noted, we use ONS mid-2019 population estimates.
Survey of police workforce
We surveyed the police workforce across England and Wales, to understand their views on workloads, redeployment and how suitable their assigned tasks were. This survey was a non-statistical, voluntary sample so the results may not be representative of the workforce population. The number of responses per force varied. So we treated results with caution and didn’t use them to assess individual force performance. Instead, we identified themes that we could explore further during fieldwork.
Victim Service Assessment
Our victim service assessments (VSAs) will track a victim’s journey from reporting a crime to the police, through to outcome stage. All forces will be subjected to a VSA within our PEEL inspection programme. Some forces will be selected to additionally be tested on crime recording, in a way that ensures every force is assessed on its crime recording practices at least every three years.
Details of the technical methodology for the Victim Service Assessment.
We took data on crime outcomes from the April 2022 release of the Home Office police-recorded crime and outcomes data tables.
Total police-recorded crime includes all crime (except fraud) recorded by all forces in England and Wales (except BTP). Home Office publications on the overall volumes and rates of recorded crime and outcomes include British Transport Police, which is outside the scope of this HMICFRS inspection. Therefore, England and Wales rates in this report will differ from those published by the Home Office.
Police-recorded crime data should be treated with care. Recent increases may be due to forces’ renewed focus on accurate crime recording since our 2014 national crime data inspection.
For a full commentary and explanation of crime and outcome types please see the Home Office statistics.
Domestic violence protection orders
We collected this data directly from all 43 police forces in England and Wales. This data is as provided by forces in May 2021.