Our inspection assessed how good Humberside Police is in 11 areas of policing. We make graded judgments in 10 of these 11 as follows:
We also inspected how effective a service Humberside Police gives to victims of crime. We don’t make a graded judgment in this overall area.
We set out our detailed findings about things the force is doing well and where the force should improve in the rest of this report.
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.
HM Inspector’s observations
I congratulate Humberside Police on its excellent performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has demonstrated its continuous improvement in many areas since our last inspection. I have graded the force as outstanding in six areas of policing, which reflects the high level of performance and service the force provides. Although this is an excellent report, there are still some areas for improvement and the challenge will be maintaining this level of performance in future.
These are the findings I consider most important from our assessments of the force over the last year.
The force has a detailed understanding of its demand, and the capability and capacity of its workforce to tackle that demand
The force has a well-developed strategic planning, governance and performance process, which aligns with its resources. I am impressed with the force’s automated analysis of demand, which allows it to allocate its resources effectively to the demand it faces.
The force can identify vulnerability at the first point of contact
Our inspection found that the force has a detailed understanding of the caller’s vulnerability from the point of initial contact. The Right Care, Right Person approach means that vulnerable people receive the support they need from the right organisation. The force has experts within its control room to support those vulnerable people until help arrives.
The force is proactive in its approach to tackling offenders and keeping the public safe
The force seeks to take positive action when investigating crimes. In our audit, I was pleased to find that the force arrest rate for domestic abuse is high and officers arrest offenders at the earliest opportunity. Victims can be reassured that the police treat crimes seriously and seek to achieve appropriate outcomes for victims.
The force has a well-established neighbourhood policing model, which is underpinned by its effective partnership working
The force has continued to develop its neighbourhood policing model since our last inspection. Neighbourhood policing is valued by the force. The force has effective partnership working to tackle local problems. I am also pleased to see the value that the force places on early intervention. This is important in supporting children and young people to divert them away from offending.
The force needs to improve its identification of crime within the anti-social behaviour incidents that get reported to the force
The force has improved its recording of crime since our last inspection in 2018. However, the force needs to improve its recording of crimes identified within anti‑social behaviour reported by victims.
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 a clear focus on preventing crime and prioritises early intervention to divert young people away from offending. We found the force has introduced good and innovative practice to solve local problems and works with other organisations to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.
Other factors contributing to the force’s ability to reduce crime are:
- There is effective engagement with the community to help build trust, so the public will share information about what matters to them and have confidence that officers will take action to help reduce crime.
- The force uses an effective neighbourhood policing model, working in partnership to solve local problems and bring offenders to justice.
- The force has a detailed understanding of its current and predicted future demand. This allows it to put officers in the right place to prevent and detect crime.
- The force makes use of technology to support it in reducing crime, such as its Visibeat app, which it uses to assess the effectiveness of high-visibility patrols in high-crime areas.
- The force acts swiftly to take positive action when a crime has occurred, arresting offenders and making sure that there is an appropriate outcome for victims of crime, in most cases.
- The force has an effective approach to offender management. This includes those who pose the highest risk to vulnerable people and those who commit serious acquisitive crime such as theft and burglary.
- The force has structured and robust quality assurance and performance management, which has the victim at the heart of its drive to improve the quality of its service.
I am pleased that the force is addressing the right areas of policing to reduce crime.
But the following areas may negatively affect the force’s ability to reduce crime:
- The force needs to improve its recording of anti-social behaviour crimes to make sure that it provides an effective service to tackle these crimes.
- The force needs to respond to incidents within published timescales and update callers if the police response is likely to be delayed.
Providing a service to the victims of crime
Victim service assessment
This section describes our assessment of the service victims receive from Humberside Police, from the point of reporting a crime through to the end result. As part of this assessment, we reviewed 90 case files.
When the police close a case of a reported crime, it will be assigned what is referred to as an ‘outcome type’. This describes the reason for closing it.
We also reviewed a sample of cases when the following outcome types were used:
- A suspect was identified, and the victim supported police action, but evidential difficulties prevented further action (outcome 15).
- A suspect was identified, but there were evidential difficulties and the victim didn’t support or withdrew their support for police action (outcome 16).
- Police decided that further investigation against a named suspect wasn’t in the public interest (outcome 21).
While this assessment is ungraded, it influences graded judgments in the other areas we have inspected.
The force answers emergency and non-emergency calls well. It usually records the details of repeat victims, but this could be improved
When a victim contacts the police, it is important that their call is answered quickly and that the right information is recorded accurately on police systems. The caller should be spoken to in a professional manner. The information should be assessed, taking into consideration threat, harm, risk and vulnerability. And the victim should get appropriate safeguarding advice.
The force answers emergency and non-emergency calls well. When calls are answered, the victim’s vulnerability is assessed using a structured process. Checks to identify if the incident involved a repeat caller were nearly always completed. The force’s IT system highlights links to previous incidents and telephone numbers so call handlers can quickly identify the previous incidents linked to callers. We found that crime-prevention advice was usually provided to victims, and call handlers usually give advice on how to preserve evidence.
The force, in most cases, responds to calls for service in a timely way
A force should aim to respond to calls for service within its published time frames, based on the prioritisation given to the call. It should change call priority only if the original prioritisation is deemed inappropriate, or if further information suggests a change is needed. The response should take into consideration risk and victim vulnerability, including information obtained after the call.
The force has maintained an ambitious emergency response target of 15 minutes from the time a call is assigned to officers to the time they attend the scene. The force covers a large rural area, which means officers frequently need to travel great distances to meet the target time. However, our audit determined that attendance was sometimes outside recognised force timescales. Victims were sometimes not informed of the delay, and their expectations weren’t met. This may cause victims to lose confidence and disengage. We found that the force appropriately changed the priority of its response to incidents in light of new information that changed the level of risk.
The force’s crime recording is of an adequate standard to make sure victims receive an appropriate level of service
The force’s crime recording should be trustworthy. The force should be effective at recording reported crime in line with national standards and have effective systems and processes in place that are supported by its leaders and are backed up by the right culture.
The force needs to improve its crime-recording processes to make sure that all crimes reported to it are recorded correctly and without delay.
We set out more details about the force’s crime recording in the ‘crime data integrity’ section below.
The force allocates crimes to appropriate staff
Police forces should have a policy to make sure crimes are allocated to appropriately trained officers or staff for investigation or, if appropriate, not investigated further. The policy should be applied consistently. The victim of the crime should be kept informed of the allocation and whether the crime is to be further investigated.
The arrangements for allocating recorded crimes for investigation were in accordance with the force’s policy and, in all cases, crimes were allocated to the most appropriate department for further investigation.
Most investigations are effective, and victims are usually updated on the progress of their investigation
Police forces should investigate reported crimes quickly, proportionately and thoroughly. Victims should be kept updated about the investigation and the force should have effective governance arrangements to make sure investigation standards are high.
There was sometimes a lack of effective supervision of investigations. This resulted in some investigations not being thorough. Officers usually provided updates to victims of crime, but we found that officers didn’t meet the required standard in some investigations.
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales requires police forces to conduct a needs assessment at an early stage to decide whether victims require additional support. We found that the force nearly always carried out the assessment, and the request for additional support was recorded.
On occasion, the force isn’t using the appropriate outcome or obtaining an auditable record of victims’ wishes
The force should make sure it follows national guidance and rules for deciding the outcome of each report of crime. In deciding the outcome, the force should consider the nature of the crime, the offender and the victim. And the force should show the necessary leadership and culture to make sure the use of outcomes is appropriate.
When a suspect has been identified but evidential difficulties prevent further action, the victim should be informed of the decision to close the investigation. We found that victims were always informed of the decision to take no further action and to close the investigation. The force used this outcome incorrectly on a few occasions.
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, confirming their decision, should be held. This will allow the investigation to be closed. We found that evidence of the victim’s decision was absent in some cases reviewed. On some occasions, officers tried to obtain a written decision from the victim, but the victim didn’t respond to their attempts to contact them. This represents a risk that victims’ wishes may not be fully represented and considered before the crime is closed.
When a suspect has been identified, and the police decide that further investigation isn’t in the public interest, the victim should be consulted and informed of the decision. We found that most victims were informed of the decision to take no further investigative action.
Crime data integrity
Humberside Police is adequate at recording crime.
We estimate that Humberside Police is recording 92.5 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 2.3 percent) of all reported crime (excluding fraud). This is an improvement on the findings of our 2018 inspection, where we found 85.7 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 1.8 percent) of crimes were recorded. Compared with the findings of our 2018 inspection, we estimate that this improvement meant that the force recorded an additional 6,400 crimes for the year covered by our inspection, 2021/22. We estimate that the force didn’t record 7,100 crimes during the year covered by our inspection.
We estimate that the force is recording 89.1 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 3.8 percent) of violent offences. This is an improvement on our findings from our 2018 inspection, where we found 79.4 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 3.3 percent) of violent offences were recorded.
We estimate that the force is recording 94.1 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 3.8 percent) of sexual offences. This is broadly unchanged compared with the findings from our 2018 inspection, where we found 93.5 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 3.1 percent) of sexual offences were recorded.
Areas for improvement
The force is poor at recording crime when anti-social behaviour is reported
The force is failing to record nearly all crimes when anti-social behaviour is reported by victims. As part of our victim service assessment, we reviewed 50 anti-social behaviour personal incidents and found that the force should have recorded 21 crimes but had recorded only 3. 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. Anti-social behaviour can have a significant effect on victims, especially if the behaviour is prolonged. Failure to record crimes may result in victims not receiving the support they need and offenders escaping judicial proceedings.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to improve recording crimes that involve vulnerable victims
The force doesn’t record all crimes in cases involving child protection or vulnerable adults. As part of our victim service assessment, we reviewed 68 cases and found that the force should have recorded 27 crimes but had recorded 16. It is important that accurate records are kept and crimes against vulnerable victims are recorded. This helps make sure that crimes are fully investigated, offenders are identified and brought to justice, and crime figures and data are complete.
Areas for improvement
The force needs to improve the recording of equality data
The force’s data for victims of crime shows that while age and gender are well recorded, ethnicity is less well recorded and other protected characteristics are hardly ever recorded. The force should be collecting this information to understand how protected groups are affected by crime, how this differs from other groups and whether a different response is needed for these victims.
In this section, we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force provides a service to the victims of crime.
The force is good at recording most sexual offences but occasionally incorrectly classifies rape offences
The force records most sexual offences correctly. However, it occasionally fails to classify crimes of rape correctly and wrongly records them as reported incidents of rape rather than crimes of rape.
Rape is one of the most serious crimes a victim can experience. Therefore, it is especially important that crimes are recorded accurately to make sure victims receive the service and support they expect and deserve, and crime figures and data are accurate.
Recording data about crime
Humberside 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 Humberside 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
Humberside Police is outstanding at treating people fairly and with respect.
The force has an effective community engagement tool called Humber Talking
The force uses the Humber Talking tool to carry out online and in-person surveys to determine the needs of its communities. The force told us that officers have attended 180,000 addresses within its police area to ask residents to complete surveys about issues in their communities. The force takes action to address residents’ priorities and concerns. It updates communities on the police action it has taken to address their concerns, and the results of that action.
Humber Talking generates a word cloud visual map that highlights the most common concerns raised by communities, which then influences local policing activity. The tool also collects feedback from communities about the confidence they have in the force.
The force is proactive in identifying and supporting local communities
The force works with The Neighbourhood Network, a local charity that focuses on creating and supporting safe communities. The force’s neighbourhood and community cohesion officers speak to all communities. They work with residents to improve the force’s understanding of the cultures within their community and find out how the force may better serve the communities’ cultural needs. Community cohesion officers, supported by other force staff, invite representatives from ethnic minority groups and LGBTQ+ communities, for example, into the police station to speak to officers about their culture and suggest ways to improve community cohesion.
Working with the local communities and independent advisory groups, the force has identified people with direct experience of how police officers have treated them. The force has developed a library of lived experience training videos. In these videos, members of the community recount their experiences with the police and the impact of those experiences. The videos are used as part of officers’ continual professional development training, to improve their understanding of the impact their words and behaviour have on the people they serve.
The force provides additional use of police powers training to its officers
The force seeks to support its officers and increase confidence in how they use police powers fairly and appropriately. In addition to the mandatory training, the force provides an additional five days of training for student officers. It also offers continual professional development training to improve officers’ skills and confidence when working with the public. The training includes guidance on the use of police powers, as well as communication, conflict resolution and de‑escalation skills. Officers take part in role play scenarios to practise these skills. These role plays involve actors with protected characteristics and from ethnic minority backgrounds.
The force has developed the role of conflict coaches to support student officers and those who lack confidence in using police powers. The force has also introduced a three-day conflict coaching course. Experienced officers take on this training to allow them to support and coach the increasing number of student officers who need to build their confidence and develop their skills in using police powers. Officers and supervisors we spoke to value this additional support.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to treating people fairly and with respect.
The force engages well with its diverse communities
During our inspection, we found that the force engages well with its diverse communities in a range of ways. These include face-to-face events and social media platforms. The force has a good understanding of how to access communities and different groups within those communities in the most effective way. For example, the force understands which type of people use social media and which platform is best to reach its target audience, depending on age and other factors.
The force uses social media and other applications such as My Community Alert, its free messaging system, and Next Door software (which has 69,000 users), to make sure its messages reach the intended audience. Some neighbourhood policing sergeants told us that they have seen negative comments about the police posted on social media. However, at times, local residents have challenged the comments and provided positive examples of the service they have received.
The force has a range of independent advisory groups, made up of local people who support the force by providing advice and passing on the views of their communities. The force uses these groups to consult and seek views on proposed policing activity and, where this activity is implemented, to feed back the results to the community. Among these groups is a young person’s group, where topics such as stop and search are discussed. There is also a violence against women and girls group, which helps officers better understand the needs of women and girls and discuss what makes them feel unsafe.
The force uses the information it gathers from community engagement and its local partner organisations to maintain its ward profiles of its communities and set monthly priorities for each ward, or neighbourhood area. Community members see the priorities and beat plans set for their neighbourhood each month on the force’s website. These plans are followed by dedicated neighbourhood policing teams.
During our inspection, we heard about good practice the force is using to support its communities. For example, it has surveyed women and girls and used their feedback to help keep their communities safer. This involved implementing, among other things, Operation Contract, a preventative initiative to improve the safety of women within the night-time economy, that is, women socialising in clubs and bars. Another example is Operation Nova, which addresses the needs of military staff and veterans in the community by directing them to services that help with health, housing and finances.
The force has provided the right support for officers to understand how to use police powers
We found that officers understand how to use police powers fairly and respectfully. They have also received additional training on stop and search and conflict resolution. The force has internal and external scrutiny groups that review the use of police powers to make sure they are carried out fairly and respectfully. The force’s lead for both stop and search and recording the use of force attends these group meetings. They also provide information and analysis of performance data to help the meeting’s attendees understand the force’s use of police powers. They also examine records and provide feedback to officers. The external scrutiny group has representatives from the local community who have been trained on the use of police powers. They watch body-worn video footage of stop and search encounters and feed back to officers. Police sergeants are required to review each stop and search and use of force form, along with reviewing body-worn footage, to make sure the instances are lawful and have been carried out with fairness and respect.
During our inspection, we examined stop and search encounters. Our audit of stop and search records looks at the grounds the searching officer has recorded for carrying out the stop and search. Officers’ records must be specific and detailed enough for someone else to judge whether a reasonable person with the same information would also suspect that the person searched was carrying an illegal item. The grounds must be written clearly enough for the person searched to understand them if they ask for a copy of the record. Accurate recording of encounters makes scrutiny possible, both internally (by supervisors and at force level) and externally (by the public).
During our inspection, we reviewed a sample of 225 stop and search records from 1 January to 31 December 2021. On the basis of this sample, we estimate that 84.9 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 4.5 percent) of all stop and searches by the force during this period had reasonable grounds recorded. This is broadly unchanged from the findings from our previous review of 2019 records, where we found 80.9 percent (with a confidence interval of +/- 5.0 percent) of stop and searches had reasonable grounds recorded. Of the records we reviewed for stop and searches on people from ethnic minority backgrounds, 14 of 17 had reasonable grounds recorded.
While there is room for the force to improve its recording of reasonable grounds for stop and search, we acknowledge the additional training and support the force is providing to officers to improve the way they use these powers. We also viewed nine stop and search encounters on body-worn video footage and found that officers treated the people with dignity and respect throughout.
The force understands and is improving the way it uses police powers
All the information gathered about the use of police powers is updated daily and is available for scrutiny by supervisors and managers through a force IT system. This system can analyse the information across any field or characteristic needed. This includes the age, gender and ethnicity of the subject searched, the location of the search, and whether the item sought was found or not. This provides the force with a detailed understanding of when officers have used police powers and under what circumstances.
The force has considerably increased its use of stop and search powers, from 3,256 instances in the year ending 31 March 2020 to 7,424 in the year ending 31 March 2021, an increase of 128 percent. The force historically had low numbers of stop and search relative to its size. It surveyed its officers to better understand why they weren’t using stop and search. They refreshed training for officers, which improved their confidence in using the power. Officers became more proactive in using the power, leading to an increase in the use of the power. The force told us that its analysis of the use of this police power has found that despite the overall increase in stop and search, the proportion of stop and searches between white and ethnic minority groups has remained the same. In the year ending 31 March 2021, the proportion of searches that resulted in the article being searched for being found were within one percentage point for white and ethnic minority groups (17.9 percent and 17.1 percent respectively).
The force told us it has one of the highest recorded crime positive outcome rates of all forces for both drug offences and possession of offensive weapons. These are two articles for which police officers can use stop and search powers. This indicates that the force is stopping and searching the right people and removing drugs and weapons from the streets to keep people safe. Of the 7,424 stop and search encounters carried out by the force in the year ending 31 March 2021, only 7 complaints were made to the police.
Preventing crime and anti-social behaviour
Humberside Police is outstanding at prevention and deterrence.
The force acts on evidence-based policing methodology
The force uses external funding to develop technology to support its policing in high-crime or hotspot areas. By analysing police and partner organisation information, the force identifies high-demand and vulnerable locations to prioritise where officers patrol. To support this, the force commissioned a company to develop a mobile IT application called Visibeat. This is used to highlight high-crime areas and deploy officers to carry out highly visible patrols in those areas, which has been shown to reduce crime. Visibeat automatically notifies officers when they enter hotspot areas. It also tracks their movements while patrolling the area, which allows the force to analyse how police activity affects crime. The scheme is under evaluation by the government and the University of Hull to assess its impact on reducing crime.
The force directs its activity based on threat and risk analysis
The force uses information from the Home Office StreetSafe tool to identify locations where women and girls may feel unsafe. It uses this information, along with the results of a survey of women and girls, to direct police activity. The activity aims to provide public reassurance, to reduce crime and keep communities safe. For example, the force’s Operation Contract is a preventative initiative to improve the safety of women socialising in clubs and bars within the night-time economy. Officers work with volunteers and security staff to identify those who may be vulnerable and help them get home safely, and intervene when potential predators are identified.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to prevention and deterrence.
The force has excellent leadership and governance in place for effective prevention and deterrence
The force has a clear priority to provide outstanding neighbourhood policing to prevent crime and deter criminals. Prevention and deterrence of crime are seen as the responsibility of everyone within the force, and not just neighbourhood police.
There is a clear plan for the force’s neighbourhood teams, and we found that they had a clear understanding of and commitment to providing the best possible service to their communities. The force has detailed ward profiles, based on its analysis of police and partner organisation information and geographic and socioeconomic data. This analysis identifies the number of officers needed in each ward, along with the skills and attributes officers need to support their communities. The force has assigned officers and police community support officers to each of its ward areas. It monitors its progress against its plans and objectives through governance at force and district levels, as well as through multi-agency meetings. The force’s deputy chief constable is the regional lead for neighbourhood policing, and a superintendent works as a national lead for neighbourhood policing performance.
The force uses problem-solving policing and evidence-based practice in its prevention approach
The force has a detailed understanding of its crime, anti-social behaviour, and vulnerability demand. It seeks to tackle this through its problem-solving work with partner organisations and the community. Officers seek to intervene early and prevent people becoming involved in crime. However, when crimes are committed, the force is proactive in arresting those who commit crimes and providing an appropriate outcome for victims.
During our inspection, we identified several examples of early intervention and good practice to prevent crime, anti-social behaviour and vulnerability, including:
- STAR early intervention training; the force has trained 38 officers in an early intervention programme on how to work with and inspire young people. The programme focuses on those who have had adverse childhood experiences, are identified as vulnerable and are at risk of being forced into criminal activity. It seeks to protect young people from exploitation and reduce the temptation to become involved in crime;
- PIT Stop (partnership integrated triage) discussions; these daily meetings are held between the force, social services and other agencies to share information and provide targeted help to people who the police have referred for support. The force told us that it had had 1,157 discussions with other agencies over 12 months. And only 11.8 percent of adults who it supported were referred on a second occasion. For children, a second referral happened in 10 percent of cases, and only 1.4 percent were referred for a third time. This shows that risk is being reduced by providing positive early intervention; and
- Locate teams; the force introduced dedicated missing from home teams to reduce the frequency of children going missing from children’s homes. This team has reduced the frequency by half and increased the speed at which missing children are found. This reduces the risk of those children being involved in crime and anti‑social behaviour.
The force is taking steps to professionalise neighbourhood policing through professional accreditation
Neighbourhood officers are undertaking a Skills for Justice level three professional qualification in neighbourhood management. This will build upon their early intervention and problem-solving skills.
The force has invested in its workforce by providing problem-solving training to all of its neighbourhood policing teams, integrated offender managers and detectives. This provides officers with the skills to use evidence-based policing techniques to tackle crime and reduce offending.
The force recognises the work of its neighbourhood teams and has an annual problem-orientated policing awards process internally. It also nominates staff for external commendations from organisations including the Tilley Awards, the Howard League and the national Rural Wildlife awards.
Neighbourhood teams have effective tools to support them with problem‑solving activity
Neighbourhood officers and police community support officers talk to local communities and gather information from partner organisations. The force uses this information, along with analysis of its data on incidents and crimes from its database, to determine how it can prevent crime and deter offending. This allows officers and managers to prioritise areas where crime and anti-social behaviour is highest. This helps to reduce the risk of offending and tackle the issues that communities identify as important to them.
Statutory community safety partners told us of the strong working partnerships they have with the force. The force holds tasking meetings to review problems and consider how partners can support each other to solve those problems. We found that the force uses national policing OSARA (objective, scanning, analysis, response and assessment) problem-solving plans and allocates issues to the most appropriate organisation where necessary. For less complex issues, it uses the national policing Pop Lite plan.
Neighbourhood officers and police community support officers act as offender managers for domestic abuse perpetrators, as well as supporting the management of other offenders such as registered sex offenders.
We found there were effective working relationships between the force and community partners to resolve community problems, improve community cohesion and build safer communities. For example, officers worked with the community and volunteers to set up The Peel Project, an initiative in Hull that provides support to the local community, particularly people from ethnic minority backgrounds. It provides activities based around mental health, fitness, wellbeing, social care and crime prevention.
Responding to the public
Humberside Police is good at responding to the public.
Areas for improvement
The force should respond to calls for service within its published time frames based on the prioritisation given to the call. Where delays occur, the reason for the delays should be recorded and victims should be informed
The force maintains an ambitious emergency response target of 15 minutes from the time an officer is assigned to an incident to the time they attend the scene. The force covers a large rural area, which means officers frequently need to travel some distance to attend the scene of an incident. But the force carefully positions its response teams with the aim of making this target time possible for the whole of the Humberside area.
The force has set 3 response grades and target times: emergency (15 minutes), priority (60 minutes) and priority scheduled (4 hours). In 14 of 78 cases we reviewed, the initial grade allocated to a call wasn’t appropriate. In 16 of the 57 cases we reviewed, officers didn’t attend incidents within the target time set by the force.
The force has transformed public sector services to support vulnerable people
Working with its partner health organisations, the force has undertaken an ambitious programme called Right Care, Right Person. The force analysed its mental health and concern for welfare incidents and found that they were increasing. This was having a significant impact on the force’s ability to respond to other calls for service, such as domestic abuse. The force told us that a substantial number of calls it received were from health or care settings, including 25,000 concerns for welfare calls per year. This accounted for 11 percent of overall demand and an increase of 27 percent over two years.
The force worked with mental health and NHS services to establish who had the legal duty towards vulnerable people seeking help. It then decided which service was best positioned to provide care according to the needs of the individual. A service-level agreement was signed by all parties, with the caveat that any risk to life would always receive a police response. The programme was introduced in four phases during 2020 and 2021.
The force has evaluated its Right Care, Right Person programme. It has found that, along with the public receiving more timely care from the most appropriate care provider, the programme has led to efficiency savings of 1,100 police hours per month. This has been invested back into protecting vulnerable people. The force was the national winner of the UK Police Service of the Year 2022 award at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards.
The force uses technology to understand its demand and forecast the resource it needs
The force makes good use of technology to understand its demand and forecast future demand to make sure it has sufficient resources to meet public needs. The force uses software that analyses previous demand data to predict the volume of calls for service, both 999 and 101 calls, it can expect every 15 minutes for the coming days. This allows it to allocate its resources in line with the predicted demand. The force control room has a daily pacesetter meeting where staff review the previous day’s performance against its targets and allocate resources for future demand. Other technology such as the force’s Q Buster and Digi Desk programmes provide the public with other options to communicate with the force that may be more convenient. The public can request a call back or contact the force online, for example.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force responds to the public.
The force has a detailed understanding of the service demand faced by its officers
The force has a comprehensive understanding of its emergency response demand. Its data is automated through a powerful database and displayed on a digital dashboard. This provides a detailed, up-to-date understanding of current demand and supports the force’s response to changing demand. For example, in 2021, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the force provided mutual aid police officers to assist during the event in Glasgow. Humberside Police reallocated resources during this period. As a result, it was able to save the funds it received for mutual aid to spend on staff wellbeing programmes.
The force has designed a target operating model (the number of officers allocated to operational policing teams), which is regularly reviewed and refreshed. This defines the levels of abstractions permitted within each team, for example, where staff are away from work to attend training or student academic modules. This makes sure that there are enough officers to meet predicted demand.
The force understands risk effectively at the time of an initial call
Call handlers answer emergency 999 and 101 calls within the force control room quickly and mostly within the time frames set nationally and by the force. The force told us that in the year ending 31 March 2022, the force control room answered 91.3 percent of 999 emergency calls from the public within 10 seconds. This is above the national standard of answering 90 percent within 10 seconds. For 101 incident contact team calls, the force answered 78.8 percent within 30 seconds, but its target is to answer 90 percent within this time frame.
When answering calls, force control room staff complete a risk assessment, called THRIVE. They ask the caller questions to assess the level of risk and threat, which helps them to decide what response grade to assign the call. The force effectively completed the THRIVE risk assessment in 69 of 72 cases we reviewed, with all 69 cases being an accurate reflection of the circumstances of the call. Checks to identify if the incident involved a repeat caller or victim of crime were completed in 70 of the 72 cases. The force IT system highlights links to previous incidents and telephone numbers so call handlers can quickly establish if the person has called before. All (four) incidents we reviewed that involved changes to response grades (downgrades) were appropriate and well supervised.
In addition to the innovative practice identified, we also found examples of good practice. We found these examples were working well in the force and were having a positive impact on assessing the risk levels of and response to incidents. These included:
- The force reviews its original risk assessment if there is any change in circumstances relating to an incident. For example, if it receives another call about the incident or finds additional information about the alleged offender. The force has a domestic abuse co-ordination team that reviews and researches domestic abuse-related incidents. They provide timely background information to officers deployed to incidents and follow up with callers on any changes to the level of risk. The team also offers specialist independent domestic violence adviser services to victims of domestic abuse.
- The force also has mental health workers from the charity Mind within the force control room to support callers with mental health concerns. These workers review the level of risk using their expert knowledge and contact callers to offer support while the right agency is responding to the incident. The support from such experts means the force can reassess and regrade incidents when the level of risk changes.
- When attending domestic abuse incidents, officers take positive action and arrest perpetrators whenever possible. It is standard practice to use prisoner transport to convey the prisoner to custody. An attending officer remains with the victim to provide ongoing support and gather evidence such as a statement. This reduces the risk of a victim disengaging and not supporting further action. In the year ending 31 March 2021, 37.7 percent of domestic abuse-related crimes within the force had an outcome of suspect identified, evidential difficulties, victim doesn’t support further action (outcome 16). This was lower than the average rate of 53.8 percent for the same outcome across all forces in England and Wales during this period.
The force thoroughly assesses a victim’s vulnerability and risk at initial response.
Proportion of all incidents flagged by forces as involving mental health, year ending 30 September 2021
In the year ending 30 September 2021, 10 percent of incidents were flagged by Humberside Police as involving mental health. This was higher than expected compared to other forces in England and Wales, and higher than the England and Wales average of 4 percent.
Safeguarding professionals from partner organisations told us that the level of risk and the quality of referrals submitted by officers are appropriate.
The force looks after the wellbeing of its force control room workforce
The force control room workforce has recently moved into a purpose-built new space with state-of-the-art facilities and IT. The force consulted and acted on suggestions from the force control staff. Facilities include breakout and quiet rooms and sports facilities to encourage staff to maintain their health and wellbeing. When staff deal with traumatic incidents, they can activate a welfare button, which removes them from accepting calls. It also notifies a supervisor, who can check on the staff member and provide any immediate support needed, often taking them to decompress in one of the facilities provided. The force control room also has trauma risk management trained staff to establish issues and support workers. They work with force control room staff, and make referrals for officers who have attended traumatic incidents, so they too can receive any support needed. The force control room workforce has regular training and supervision, supporting them to be effective at work. The force’s working practices and ability to forecast the resources needed to meet demand support reasonable working hours and help supervisors to make timely annual leave request decisions. This supports a healthy work-life balance.
Humberside Police is good at investigating crime.
Areas for improvement
The force should actively and regularly supervise investigations to make sure all investigative opportunities are taken
There is sometimes a lack of effective supervision of investigations. This results in some investigations not being thorough. The force could do more to make sure that there is active and regular supervision, and that it supports investigators to carry out thorough investigations. As part of our victim service assessment, 56 of 77 investigations we reviewed had evidence of effective supervision updates recorded. This is an area for improvement that the force has identified from its quality assurance thematic testing performance process.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force investigates crime.
The force understands its crime demand and the resources needed to meet that demand
During our inspection, we found numerous examples of good practice. These examples of good practice are working well in the force and having a positive impact on its investigations and the service it provides to victims of crime.
The force has a detailed understanding of its current and predicted future crime demand. Its IT system produces a dashboard of information and data. This can be analysed to identify trends within types of crime and identify when there has been an increase. The force has a well-developed governance, performance and quality assurance framework. This framework supports its resource planning and the development of its target operating model, which set the resource levels for each policing team.
The force has increased its recruitment of detectives. It is recruiting detectives through the direct entry, fast track and Police Now schemes. As at 31 March 2021, the force had filled 97 percent of its professionalising investigation programme (PIP2) detective posts with accredited detectives.
The detective pathway provides mentor and assessor support, along with attachments to other investigation teams. This provides its detectives with a rounded understanding of their roles.
The force has a detailed understanding of its investigators’ skills, capabilities and accreditation. There is a continual professional development training day within investigators’ shift pattern to update and refresh their skills, and cover any changes in professional practice. The force maintains a workforce skills matrix, which provides in-depth understanding of skills within its teams and helps it to identify and plan for any training needs or gaps.
During our inspection, officers told us that they had monthly meetings with their supervisor to check on their workload and wellbeing. They found their investigation workloads were generally manageable, working hours were appropriate and supervisors promoted a healthy work-life balance.
The force understands how to carry out quality investigations
The force has introduced a detailed quality assurance thematic testing governance and performance process for its investigations. This involves senior detectives examining 250 investigations per month. They assess overall investigation quality and the quality of victim focus, suspect management and supervisor reviews. Each element is graded from one to five, with three being a good standard of investigation and five being a perfect investigation. This allows the force to track its progress against the activities it puts in place to improve the quality of investigations.
As part of our victim service assessment, we found that:
- Investigations were generally of a good quality. The force carried out effective investigations in 76 of the 89 relevant investigations we reviewed.
- Investigations were allocated effectively, based on risk, the skills required for the investigation and force policy in all 90 of the relevant cases reviewed.
- Investigative opportunities were taken from the onset and throughout the investigation in 72 of the 87 relevant investigations we reviewed.
- Arrests were made at the earliest opportunity on all 25 relevant occasions reviewed.
Investigators have access to the tools they need for digital investigations. There is a service-level agreement for the digital examination of electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones. There are sufficient trained officers within operational policing to examine mobile phones. The digital forensic unit has a triage capability to search for an early indication of evidence on devices, prior to full examination. This supports the prioritisation of workload.
The force provides a quality service to victims of crime
The force prides itself on being victim focused. As mentioned, it reviews the quality of its investigations. It strives to continuously improve the quality of service and the outcomes for victims of crime and their families. The force told us that in the year ending April 2022, it had the highest of all crime action taken outcomes of all forces in England and Wales.
Action taken outcomes, assigned by Humberside Police compared to all forces in England and Wales, year ending 31 December 2018 to year ending September 2021
Source: Crime outcomes in England and Wales 2020 to 2021, July 2021
Note: Action taken outcomes include the following outcomes: (1) Charged/summonsed; (2) Caution – youth; (3) Caution – adult; (4) Taken into consideration; (6) Penalty Notices for Disorder; (7) Cannabis/khat warning; (8) Community resolution; and (20) Responsibility for further investigation transferred to another body
In the year ending 30 September 2021, 19.9 percent of Humberside Police’s outcomes for all crimes (excluding fraud) were action taken outcomes. This was above the England and Wales average rate of 11.8 percent. The force has been consistently above the England and Wales rate since at least the year ending 31 December 2018.
At the start of an investigation, a victim’s needs should be assessed to determine if they require any additional support. We were pleased to find that a victim’s needs assessment was completed in 68 of 72 cases we reviewed. The investigating officer should update the victim of a crime at agreed times. Victims were updated in 45 of 54 cases we reviewed. Occasionally, some victims didn’t receive an update within the agreed time limits. Identified offenders were arrested at the earliest opportunity in all 25 investigations we reviewed. This reassures victims that their crime is being taken seriously and the police are taking positive action.
The force has reduced the time it takes to investigate rape and sexual offences. This means the victim is informed of the decision on the outcome of the investigation more quickly, an area that has been identified for improvement nationally. Between the year ending 31 March 2020 and the year ending 31 March 2021, the force reduced the average time for an offender to be charged for sexual offences from 329 days to 252 days, and for rape offences from 441 days to 101 days. This is a substantial reduction in the time the force takes to investigate serious offences. Such reductions reassure victims of crime as they see quicker positive outcomes in their pursuit of justice.
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 held confirming their decision. This will allow the investigation to be closed. Evidence of the victim’s decision was absent in 11 of the 15 cases we reviewed. This is an area the force may wish to review.
Protecting vulnerable people
Humberside Police is outstanding at protecting vulnerable people.
The force has developed a vulnerability hub, which allows it to manage its vulnerability demand more consistently and efficiently
The force uses a hub and spoke model to provide a consistent assessment and service for people who have been identified as vulnerable and need specific and specialist help. The force and the four local authorities that cover the force area have introduced a standard approach to providing a service to vulnerable people. The hub is a centrally located team that reviews vulnerability referrals and provides local authorities with police information that may assist in keeping people safe. Within each local authority area is a spoke, a team of police officers who work with local authority professionals, and partner organisations who support families and victims (such as domestic violence professionals, housing providers, and drug and alcohol support services). The officers share information to determine the most appropriate service to support and care for vulnerable people. Those meetings, called partnership integrated triage meetings (PIT Stop), take place daily to provide that support and keep vulnerable people safe. The force told us that in the year ending 31 March 2022, it held 1,157 PIT Stop discussions. It said that 72 percent of vulnerable people received a strengthened offer of support compared to the support they previously received, with only 12 percent of people returning due to another referral.
The force has developed an automated vulnerability tracker
To support its understanding and tasking of police and partner organisations to help protect vulnerable people, the force has developed an automated vulnerability tracker. This converts its crime and referral information automatically into a powerful searchable database. The system is updated daily and provides a detailed insight into vulnerability information within the force’s policing area. This includes analysis of:
- victim information, including characteristics such as age, gender and ethnic minority background;
- types of offences, such as whether they are recent or historical reports;
- location of incidents, for example, if they took place inside or outside the home or any other property; and
- any relationship between a victim and the offender.
The information can be displayed at street and ward level. This means the force tasks its police officers to tackle identified areas of vulnerability. Vulnerability is identified at a granular level, so the force and its partner organisations can intervene early to reduce the risks of people becoming vulnerable. Early intervention may prevent vulnerable people becoming involved in criminal or sexual exploitation. Officers can be tasked to tackle identified areas of vulnerability. This could be through enforcement, early intervention, problem-solving or education, depending on the assessment and levels of risk identified.
The force understands and uses its powers to protect and safeguard vulnerable people
The force actively uses the powers available to it, such as the domestic violence disclosure scheme and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), to protect and safeguard vulnerable people.
The force has improved its process in relation to the domestic violence disclosure scheme, with the vulnerability hub completing the required research. The force told us that a decision on disclosure took an average of 10 days, which is quicker than the national guidance of 35 days. This means that partners receive information they may need to make informed decisions on their safety within new relationships in a timely way.
Domestic Violence Protection Order applications per 1,000 recorded domestic abuse-related crimes, across all forces in England and Wales, year ending 30 September 2021
In the year ending 30 September 2021, Humberside Police applied for 23.4 DVPOs per 1,000 recorded domestic abuse-related crimes. This was the sixth highest value across forces in England and Wales.
Joint statement of intent to tackle violence against women and girls
The force, along with the police and crime commissioner and 18 partner organisations, has issued a joint statement of intent to tackle violence against women and girls. A tactical action plan has been developed by the group, which has established an independent advisory group to support this work. The office of the police and crime commissioner commissioned a public survey of women, titled Understanding violence against women and girls in the Humber region. The aim of the survey was to better understand women’s experiences, and to assess their trust and confidence in reporting violence to the police. The force completed a similar domestic abuse and misogyny survey of its workforce. There was a high response rate and academic evaluation of the results. The force provided additional awareness and lived experience training sessions to officers. This work has resulted in a significant number of victims coming forward to report crimes to the force.
Safeguarding and support for sex workers
The force has dedicated staff working with partner organisations to support and safeguard sex workers in Humberside. A perpetrator educational programme has been developed, which identified perpetrators can pay to take part in rather than being prosecuted. The programme educates perpetrators on the trafficking and organised criminal exploitation of vulnerable women forced into sex work.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force protects vulnerable people.
The force has a detailed understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability
It collects feedback from partner organisations and the public to enrich its understanding of vulnerability. It uses this information, via its automated searchable database, to identify and understand offending against vulnerable people. The force has an effective governance structure and action plans to task its workforce to protect vulnerable people. The force’s plans are reviewed frequently and refreshed annually.
During our inspection, we reviewed performance data for the identification of vulnerability at both force and national level, along with the results of investigations into crimes that may have vulnerable victims.
The force identified incidents involving mental health concerns at a higher level than the England and Wales average.
In the year ending 30 September 2021, the force had a domestic abuse arrest rate of 31.7 percent, higher than the average rate across all forces in England and Wales of 27.7 percent. During the same period, the force applied for 23.4 DVPOs per 1,000 recorded domestic abuse-related crimes. This is the sixth highest value across forces in England and Wales, and the force has one of the lowest rates of domestic abuse victims refusing to support further action.
In the year ending 30 September 2021, 21 percent of violent offences had a positive action taken outcome assigned, the second highest rate of all forces in England and Wales. During the same time period, 14.2 percent of sexual offences had a positive action taken outcome assigned, the third highest rate across all forces in England and Wales.
The force has a comprehensive understanding of the resources it needs to protect vulnerable people and work with other agencies
The force has a detailed understanding of its workforce capability and its capacity to support its staff in keeping people safe. Frontline officers and detectives have received training on the need to provide safeguarding to vulnerable people. The force has developed a career pathway for staff working within teams dedicated to protecting vulnerable people. This includes mentoring and supporting officers to work towards the professional qualification of detective. It also includes clear supervisor support, as well as regular meetings to supervise investigations and understand the workloads, training needs and wellbeing of its workforce.
In addition to the innovative practice identified, we also found numerous examples of good practice. These examples are working well in the force and having a positive impact on the service and protection it provides to vulnerable people. They include:
- A domestic abuse co-ordination team that provides a dedicated 24-hour function. This team researches and supports officer attendance, reviews the level of risk within incidents, and recontacts callers and victims to provide advice on safeguarding. This team also provides an independent domestic violence adviser to support victims of domestic abuse from the time of their initial call to police.
- Having created efficiencies with its Right Care, Right Person work with partner organisations, the force has invested the time saved and used some of its uplift of police officers to form a missing persons team in each policing district. The teams are dedicated to work with those who are frequently reported missing and may be at risk of being exploited. This work has led to significant reductions in missing person reports from children’s homes over a 12-month period and shorter times to locate missing children.
- The force has developed a family charter to support and safeguard people who are close to missing people who die by suicide, recognising the heightened risk of suicide among family and friends.
- The force has effective multi-agency risk assessment conference provisions with partner organisations to provide support and safeguarding to those who are assessed as high-risk domestic abuse In addition, the force uses multi‑agency tasking and co-ordination provisions, with neighbourhood officers acting as domestic abuse perpetrator managers within their neighbourhood areas. The force has developed Operation Concave to encourage the local community, neighbours and family members to support the safeguarding and protection of vulnerable victims.
The force’s notable practice has been recognised in our two recent thematic inspection reports. Our 2021 Police response to violence against women and girls thematic report recognised three areas of good practice:
- the force’s schools education programme, titled ‘These hands aren’t for hurting’;
- its Operation Contract preventative initiative to improve the safety of women socialising within the night-time economy; and
- its use of a domestic abuse appointment scheme, where an officer visits a domestic abuse caller at a time convenient to them.
Our 2021 COVID-19 thematic report, Review of policing domestic abuse during the pandemic, recognised the force’s approach and response to domestic abuse during national lockdowns. We identified a reduction in the force’s referrals to multi-agency risk assessment conference meetings. As a result of recognising the potential risk in the reduction of referrals, the force and multi-agency risk assessment conference partners, such as independent domestic violence advisers, maintained regular contact with high-risk victims. If contact couldn’t be made, an officer would attend in person to check on the safety and welfare of the victim.
The force has bespoke wellbeing support for its staff who protect vulnerable people
The force understands the pressures placed on staff working in a high-risk, high-harm environment. The force has a supervisor questionnaire assessment for new members of staff, so line managers have a good knowledge and understanding of their team members. There is a mandatory annual psychological assessment for all staff in a high-risk, high-harm working environment. The force also has a scheme called Pause Point, which allows either a manager or staff member to request a break to support their mental wellbeing. This seeks not only to support staff welfare during a difficult time, but also to prevent long-term sickness absence through early intervention.
Managing offenders and suspects
Humberside Police is outstanding at managing offenders and suspects.
The force is piloting the use of a Domestic Violence Protection Order alarm
The force is taking part in a national pilot to safeguard victims of domestic abuse. The alarm can be activated if a domestic abuse perpetrator breaches a DVPO. Activating the alarm records evidence and notifies the police of the breach so officers can attend the victim’s address. The pilot is being evaluated by the University of Hull.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force manages offenders and suspects.
The force proactively pursues offenders and effectively manages outstanding suspects and high-risk offenders to protect the public
There are effective processes in place to prioritise the arrest of the highest-risk offenders to protect the public. The force has processes in place to promptly circulate offenders’ information on the Police National Computer.
The force monitors high-risk suspects daily and assigns officers to locate and arrest them. In the case of high-risk domestic abuse offenders, for example, arrest attempts are monitored each shift and recorded for review. The force has a dedicated proactive policing team, Operation Galaxy, that can be tasked with apprehending offenders. The force has the highest rate of arresting offenders per 1,000 population of any police force.
Our victim service assessment found that arrests were made at the earliest opportunity in all 25 of the investigations we reviewed. The force takes positive action in domestic abuse incidents, with a higher arrest rate than the rate across all forces in England and Wales.
In addition to the innovative practice identified, we also found numerous examples of good practice. We found these to be working well in the force and having a positive impact on how the force manages offenders and suspects. These examples include:
- The force uses multi-agency tasking and co-ordination provisions, with neighbourhood officers acting as domestic abuse perpetrator managers within their neighbourhood areas. Multi-agency tasking and co-ordination managers hold multi-agency meetings with partner organisations to support rehabilitation and reduce offending.
- The top five highest-risk domestic abuse perpetrators, subject to a Domestic Violence Protection Notice, have additional police support through daily welfare checks on victims to detect any breaches of the order.
- There is robust governance and performance in managing offenders who have been released on police bail. Pre-charge bail is used when appropriate, and monitored through governance and performance processes.
The force effectively manages the risk posed to the public by the most dangerous offenders
As at 31 March 2021, there were 1.5 registered sex offenders per 1,000 population in the Humberside force area. This was the third highest rate of all forces in England and Wales. Our inspection found that the force has a good understanding of the demand posed by those offenders and has an appropriate number of sex offender managers to manage that risk.
The teams managing sexual and violent offenders have sufficient resources to make sure the manager-to-offender ratio is appropriate and within national guidance. The force adheres to College of Policing-approved professional practice and is proactive in how it manages and assesses the risk posed by offenders. Managers are regularly supported by specialist cybercrime officers and technology during visits to detect if offenders have any hidden devices. Specialist triage software is used during visits to registered sex offenders to quickly assess if offenders are in breach of their conditions. The force also uses polygraph testing software when interviewing offenders to assess the level of risk they pose to the public. At the time of inspection, we found some overdue work within teams managing sexual and violent offenders, including both overdue home visits and risk assessments. However, the force is addressing these backlogs.
The force considers and uses ancillary orders such as sexual harm prevention orders, and monitors offender compliance with the orders. In the year ending 31 March 2021, 80 such orders were issued, and 33 offenders were prosecuted for breaching the order.
Neighbourhood officers have received training on their role in managing registered sex offenders and have been on attachments to the teams managing sexual and violent offenders. Under Operation Conifer, neighbourhood patrols are tasked with gathering intelligence and monitoring activity to support the management of registered sex offenders and protect the public.
The force has systems in place to identify and act against those who may share indecent images of children
The force has a dedicated team to assess the level of risk posed by offenders and take action against offenders who may share indecent images of children online. The team is well resourced, and officers told us workloads were manageable. The team has robust processes in place to protect the public, and safeguarding is a priority. We found that the force completed research and checks, for example with social services, at an early stage. This helps to manage safeguarding and inform risk so that enforcement action can occur in a timely manner. The force has appropriate information-sharing processes in place.
Recognising the impact on and risks to those arrested and suspected of sharing such images, the force has robust suspect and family welfare provisions in place to manage any risks to them.
Officers are proactive in using arrest and bail, which allows the force to impose police bail conditions as safeguarding measures to protect the public. As with registered sex offenders, the force considers and uses ancillary orders such as sexual harm prevention orders on all appropriate occasions.
The force uses specialist software to assess sources of sharing indecent images of children. However, the force may wish to consider accessing this software more frequently to assess the volume and levels of risk within Humberside.
The force has an effective integrated offender manager programme
The force operates an integrated offender management programme that is based on the offenders who pose the greatest risk of further offending under the new fixed, flex and free national strategy. This is in line with the national operating model for integrated offender management.
The force’s integrated offender management approach reflects trauma-informed practice. It recognises offenders as vulnerable people who need access to support to reduce the likelihood of future offending, as well as meeting requirements to engage in perpetrator programmes.
The force has a governance and performance structure, which includes academic support. The integrated performance management programme is also part of the community safety boards and the partnership reducing offending board, chaired by a chief officer.
There are effective internal and partnership governance arrangements in place to oversee offender identification in line with national standards and consider further development of the integrated offender management programme. This is supported by annual evaluation by the University of Hull.
The force has provided problem-solving training to all its integrated offender management officers to support them in managing the cohort of offenders. Neighbourhood officers are tasked with gathering intelligence and carrying out enforcement activity for those offenders living within their ward areas.
Disrupting serious organised crime
We now inspect serious and organised crime (SOC) on a regional basis, rather than inspecting each force individually in this area. This is so we can be more effective and efficient in how we inspect the whole SOC system, as set out in HM Government’s SOC strategy.
SOC is tackled by each force working with regional organised crime units (ROCUs). These units lead the regional response to SOC by providing access to specialist resources and assets to disrupt organised crime groups that pose the highest harm.
Through our new inspections we seek to understand how well forces and ROCUs work in partnership. As a result, we now inspect ROCUs and their forces together and report on regional performance. Forces and ROCUs are now graded and reported on in regional SOC reports.
Our SOC inspection of Humberside Police hasn’t yet been completed. We will update our website with our findings (including the force’s grade) and a link to the regional report once the inspection is complete.
Building, supporting and protecting the workforce
Humberside Police is outstanding at building and developing its workforce.
The force has identified barriers to its workforce reporting violence against women and girls
As part of its work with partner organisations and its commitment to tackling violence against women and girls, the force has surveyed its workforce on domestic abuse and misogyny. Response rates were high, with 846 responses for the domestic abuse survey and 669 responses for the misogyny survey, which represents 25 and 17 percent of the eligible workforce respectively. The results were analysed by the University of Hull to better understand the barriers to reporting. The force arranged awareness sessions and continuous professional development lived experience training to raise awareness and confidence in reporting. It changed its reporting and investigation processes for its workforce reporting domestic abuse. There has been a significant increase in domestic abuse crime reports being investigated by the force.
The force understands the impact of academic studies on its student officers
The force recognises the academic demand on its new student officers and has introduced a dyslexia assessment. Any additional support identified from the assessment is then provided to support the student officer. This seeks to minimise the attrition of student officers and provide the best opportunity for student officers with dyslexia to complete the academic part of their training.
The force recognises barriers to developing its workforce and leaders
Through its diversity, equality and inclusion activities and support networks, the force has recognised barriers to individual progression. The force has recognised the impact that neurodiversity has on its workforce and has introduced reasonable adjustments for selection and promotion processes. Reasonable adjustments, such as additional time or prior disclosure of interview questions, have been included in force processes. This supports the force in providing a fair selection and promotion process, and helps to develop people with potential and skills for a new role.
The force has a development programme for females, with the aim of providing first-line managers and sergeants with the confidence, knowledge and skills to progress from their current rank and achieve promotion. The programme has a six-stage process with masterclasses, mentoring and support to develop confidence.
Additional support is offered for the progression of its workforce from ethnic minority backgrounds. The force has mentoring opportunities, using the PushFar mentoring scheme, to monitor effectiveness and progression. At the time of our inspection, 1,111 hours of mentoring had been provided to its workforce from ethnic minority backgrounds.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force builds and develops its workforce.
The force promotes an ethical culture at all levels
Chief officers lead by example and have structures in place to make sure that the workforce understands the standards that are expected of them in treating the public fairly.
Police officers and staff we met during the inspection told us that chief officers are open, transparent and accessible. The workforce felt that chief officers listened to their views, and concerns were considered and responded to swiftly. For example, a review of the force shift pattern took account of the workforce’s views and resulted in a single shift pattern being introduced in the force control room, response policing and criminal investigation department teams. This created the single-team working environment that had been requested by its workforce.
The force has The Forum, which allows all staff networks to meet and discuss related issues and support their communities internally and externally. They have regular meetings with the chief constable. The Forum’s members told us they had positive relationships with chief officers and were consulted and listened to during change programmes. For example, their ideas to support staff network needs were implemented during the development of a new police station.
The force has a diversity, equality and inclusion board, with a subcommittee and action plan for the development and implementation of diversity, equality and inclusion within the working environment. A culture and standards board is chaired by the deputy chief constable. The chief constable personally meets with all first-line supervisors, in groups. Known as the Pledge Day, he uses these meetings to explain the standards of behaviour expected and the support supervisors will receive from chief officers in maintaining the standards and ethics of the force.
In the last Police Federation survey, the force was one of the lowest-scoring forces for respondents who didn’t feel fairly treated by their force.
The force has a comprehensive understanding of its workforce’s wellbeing
Workforce welfare and wellbeing are a high priority on the force policing plan (known as Plan on a Page). The force has a wellbeing strategy and well together governance board, chaired by the chief constable, to support its implementation. The force has a detailed wellbeing plan and a range of wellbeing tactics to support the workforce. The chief constable has regular meetings with support networks and staff associations to check on workforce wellbeing and morale.
The force has worked with academics from the University of Hull. They have conducted research to better understand occupational stress risk assessments, psychological needs assessments, and selection tools for police officers to be fit for the future.
A dashboard of wellbeing data is available to support managers’ understanding of the health and wellbeing of their workforce. This includes sickness absence data, reasons for absence and trends, and identified risks to its workforce.
The long-term absence for police officers as at 31 March 2021 was one of the lowest among all forces.
Proportion of police officers (full-time equivalent) on long-term sickness as at 31 March 2021 across forces
As at 31 March 2021, Humberside Police had a much lower rate of police officer long‑term sickness compared to other police forces, with a rate of 1.0 percent, lower than the England and Wales average of 1.6 percent.
Another of the Police Federation survey findings was that the force had the lowest proportion of respondents reporting low morale of all forces, for the second year running.
The force has won three national Oscar Kilo awards over the last three years for its wellbeing and mental health workforce provisions.
The force provides a good range of preventative and supportive wellbeing measures
We found that the force has considered the fundamental factors that influence wellbeing and has taken action to resolve them. The force has appropriate and manageable working hours and workloads that provide the right balance between meeting the demands on the force and looking after individuals.
The force has an effective occupational health unit, which triages referrals within reasonable timescales and provides a range of support for individuals. During our inspection, we spoke to several staff who spoke positively about the service and support they had received from the occupational health unit.
The force’s health and wellbeing provision has a five-stage stay-well process to signpost officers to the most appropriate health provision. For example, officers can be referred to the employee assistance programme, to the force’s wellbeing professionals, or to dedicated health provisions through the NHS. The force has developed a network of peer support. There are 72 wellbeing champions across the force along with a wellbeing lead within each area of policing.
The force has a range of wellbeing activities advertised on a calendar. The workforce can access these activities to promote their health and wellbeing. Such activities include:
- the force’s wellbeing van, where staff can get health checks and advice;
- access to wellbeing dogs; and
- training events and masterclasses to support supervisors with determining and supporting their team’s wellbeing needs.
In addition to the innovative practice identified, we also found numerous examples of good practice that we found to be working well in the force and having a positive effect on how the force manages workforce wellbeing. These include:
- For staff working in a high-risk, high-harm environment, such as protecting vulnerable people, there is a supervisor questionnaire assessment and annual psychological assessment to support ongoing wellbeing of staff.
- The force has a scheme called Pause Point. This allows a staff member to request a break from the working environment to support their mental wellbeing, or a manager can suggest the staff member takes a break from their role for wellbeing reasons. This seeks not only to support staff welfare during a difficult time, but also to prevent long-term sickness absence through early intervention.
- Within the force control room, a welfare button is available for call handlers who have dealt with a traumatic call. Activation of the button immediately removes the call handler from being an available resource and notifies a supervisor who can provide support for the staff member. The force control room has breakout areas and quiet rooms for decompression from traumatic calls.
- Along with the local Police Federation branch, the force has introduced a Blues and Twos van. This provides basic facilities such as hot water, a microwave and a bathroom to officers on static crime scene cordons.
The force understands its recruitment needs and has well-developed plans to meet them
The force has an extensive understanding of its recruitment needs across its workforce, through its corporate human resources planning and governance processes. This force has mapped its workforce to understand the characteristics within police officers (by rank) and police staff, such as gender, ethnicity and other protected characteristics (where disclosed). The force has forecast the resources it needs in the future, along with the service profile of officers (for example, predicted retirement dates), which helps it to plan for its future recruitment needs.
The force has adopted the policing education and qualifications framework, having completed the programme of change and contracted a university academic provider. The first cohort of student officers started in April 2021.
The force has three routes of entry for student officers. It manages the intakes to maximise the use of its resources within operational policing and minimise the abstractions required for student officers to complete academic modules. Student officers have a programme of operational and academic modules and are supported by mentors and assessors throughout their training. One of the three entry routes don’t include the policing degree. To avoid disadvantaging those student officers, the force has provided them with the opportunity to progress and obtain a degree qualification if they don’t have a pre-joining degree.
As at 31 March 2022, the force had increased officer headcount by an additional 44 officers above its planned increase of 193 officers for years one and two of its police uplift programme. The force is going to recruit an additional 45 student officers to support national uplift targets.
The force continues to take action to recruit a workforce that represents its community. As at 31 March 2021, the workforce representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds had increased to 2.8 percent of joiners. But the overall representation in the workforce remained at 2 percent, below the 3.5 percent local population representation.
The force is developing its workforce for the future
The force has a comprehensive understanding of its workforce skills and capabilities, which is mapped across its teams and visible through a dashboard of data. This is accessible at any time and means that managers and leaders have a detailed understanding of team skills and capabilities.
The force has designed a target operating model, which defines the levels of abstractions and tolerances within each team, such as for training, attachments and academic modules for student officers. This supports the force in managing the demand placed on it, while allowing development opportunities such as training and gaining experience through attachments to other teams.
This detailed automated understanding means the force can make effective and informed workforce decisions. The resource management group uses this information to support its decisions on when and where to move its resources. This includes decisions on the placement and investment of uplift resources and staff applications for new roles or promotion. This information helps the force to maintain its resource levels and skills, and decide where to invest uplift staff to best manage its demand.
Within police officers’ shift pattern is a continual professional development day. The force promotes the use of lived experience training videos, including the experience of people from ethnic minority backgrounds. This provides an insight into the public’s perceptions of the service they have received from police officers and staff.
The force identifies talented officers through its one-to-one reviews and nine-box grid assessment of its workforce. It has an annual talent cycle, where development opportunities are advertised and promoted internally to support staff engagement. It provides a range of activities for officers and staff to develop leadership skills for promotion. The force has a three-stage behavioural leadership model, aligned with the College of Policing leadership training. This includes bespoke activities for female staff and those from ethnic minority backgrounds. The force recognises that its current personal development review IT system needs updating and has commissioned work for this to be replaced later this year.
Vetting and counter corruption
We now inspect how forces deal with vetting and counter corruption differently. This is so we can be more effective and efficient in how we inspect this high-risk area of police business.
Corruption in forces is tackled by specialist units, designed to proactively target corruption threats. Police corruption is corrosive and poses a significant risk to public trust and confidence. There is a national expectation of standards and how they should use specialist resources and assets to target and arrest those that pose the highest threat.
Through our new inspections, we seek to understand how well forces apply these standards. As a result, we now inspect forces and report on national risks and performance in this area. We now grade and report on forces’ performance separately.
Humberside Police’s vetting and counter corruption inspection hasn’t yet been completed. We will update our website with our findings and the separate report once the inspection is complete.
Strategic planning, organisational management and value for money
Humberside Police is outstanding at operating efficiently.
The force has transformed public sector services to support vulnerable people
The force has introduced a programme of change called Right Care, Right Person, working with health partner organisations. This makes sure the right agency takes responsibility for vulnerable people from the outset. The evaluation of the programme found demonstrable efficiency gains, along with evidence of the public receiving more timely care from the most appropriate care provider. The force had efficiency savings of 1,100 police hours per month. The force was the national winner of the UK Police Service of the Year 2022 award at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards.
The force has a well-developed strategic planning, governance, and performance and quality assurance framework
This supports the force’s strategic planning (known as Plan on a Page) and the police and crime commissioner’s Police and Prime Plan. Force governance and performance are reviewed at local accountability meetings, team accountability meetings, victim focus boards and deputy chief constable governance meetings. Numerous other forces have visited Humberside Police and adopted its strategic structure.
The force’s use of automation and analysis of its data
The force has a comprehensive understanding of its overall demand. It has automated its data, via a powerful database, and displays it on a digital dashboard. This provides the force with a detailed current understanding of demand, and supports its understanding of and response to changing demand. Supervisors and managers have been trained to use the database to allow them to examine the data. This allows chief officers, through governance and performance meetings, to hold leaders to account, as they have been provided with the tools needed to understand, monitor and improve individual and team performance.
In this section we set out our main findings that relate to how well the force operates efficiently.
The force has an effective strategic planning and performance framework, and tackles what is important locally and nationally
The force has a rigorous approach to priority setting, corporate planning and performance management. There are clear links between the force’s plans and the plans of the police and crime commissioner.
Governance through regular meetings is good. It is evident that these meetings drive operational daily performance and look beyond current demand with a clear focus on the communities of Humberside. The force works well with its partners and has developed good links that inform its planning and priorities.
We found Humberside to be a learning organisation, learning both from staff internally and from its external partners, and we recognised its drive to innovate.
The force manages current demand well
The force has a comprehensive understanding of its current demand, supported by data from both internal and external partner information. It has invested in systems and developed processes that support a wide understanding of demand. There are clear lines of accountability, with a supportive leadership approach that encourages decision-making and good resource deployment.
The force understands future demand and is planning to make sure it has the right resources in place to meet future needs
There is a good understanding of future demand within the force, supported by strong corporate planning processes. The force demonstrates that it considers demand when dealing with workforce and financial planning. This allows the force to consider what it needs to meet future challenges, what it will invest in, and how this translates into providing value for money and improved services.
Extensive and increasing use of analytical tools provides detailed management information across the force, which helps to establish demand trends and drive improvements. For example, the newly added workforce skills management and vulnerability tracker will allow the force to allocate the right resource to meet demand. And the force control room’s predictive algorithm assesses demand levels. The force told us this was 91 percent accurate over a 14-day period, which supports the force in understanding what resource levels are required to meet the demand it faces.
The force makes the best use of the finances it has available, and its plans are both ambitious and sustainable
The force has good financial plans. With its clear medium-term resource strategy, it is well-balanced and sustainable, and demonstrates a rigorous approach to financial management. Senior leaders, at all levels, are able to explain how finance and investment translate to improved service, good investment and value for money. Any decision made on investment is subject to a check and test to make sure it is affordable and supports the force’s priorities and plans.
The force actively seeks opportunities to improve services through collaboration, and makes the most of the benefits of working collaboratively in line with its statutory obligations
The force collaborates well and looks for wider collaboration to drive efficiencies and savings. It collaborates with regional forces and academia to make efficiency savings in areas including vehicle fleet, estates and procurement spending. It also works with mental health charity Mind and the ambulance service to improve service provision. All collaborations are regularly reviewed to make sure they continue to provide the expected benefits.
The force can demonstrate it is continuing to achieve efficiency savings and improve productivity
The force has a digital innovation team reviewing how technology can improve efficiency. The force is working to maximise the benefits and efficiencies provided by the new command and control system. The force has recently changed its records management system to one that aligns with other forces in the region. This will support development and puts the force in a good position to adopt the learning that has already been identified by other forces through national working groups.
The force has made significant investments in estates and information and communications technology. It has a new control room at its Melton 2 data centre, with two new information and communications technology platforms. Its digital innovation team reviews how technology can improve efficiency. The technology the force is using within the control room includes Power BI, Q-buster and i360. It has changed its records-management software to Niche. It also uses Cyan triage technology, and VAST, which is similar to polygraphy testing, but it allows for mass screening of suspects and doesn’t require specialist training. The force also uses Black Box software to gather learning from different sources within the workforce. And it deploys the Visibeat app which, when combined with vehicle telematics, increases the force’s visibility of activity in its wards and helps to target patrols to hotspots. These measures drive efficient use of police resources and will help to improve public confidence.
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.
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-2020 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 January 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 November 2021 and covers the year ending 30 September 2021.
Domestic abuse crimes
We collected this data directly from all 43 police forces in England and Wales. This data is as provided by forces in November 2021 and covers the year ending 30 September 2021.
We took this data from the Home Office published police workforce England and Wales statistics. The data gives the full-time equivalent workforce figures for police officers as at 31 March 2021. The figures include section 38-designated investigation, detention or escort officers, but not section 39-designated detention or escort staff. They include officers on career breaks and other types of long-term absence but exclude those seconded to other forces.