This report provides a summary of the findings regarding Surrey Police, from the latest inspection reports by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) which is the independent inspection body for policing. The Police and Crime Panel’s role is to ensure that the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey (PCC) is taking into account inspection reports and the recommendations therein when holding the Chief Constable of Surrey Police to account.
David Munro - Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner
Alison Bolton - Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)
Key points raised in the discussion:
1. The PCC explained that the table in the report outlining the annual PEEL (Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy) inspections reported in September 2019 - compared back to 2017 - by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) were outdated and force inspections for 2020 had been suspended due to Covid-19.
2. A Panel member asked the PCC how one of the Areas for Improvement identified in the 2019 PEEL inspection that ‘the force should ensure its aversion to risk is not constraining ideas and creating unnecessary bureaucracy and internal demand’ had been addressed. In response, the PCC stressed that Surrey Police was not pleased with the overall Requires Improvement rating for Efficiency as it did not believe that it aligned to the considerable improvements made since 2017. The PCC noted that HMICFRS had been consulted upon how to address the rating and that he would provide the Panel with more information on the matter as detailed in the original report.
3. Discussing the above point in more detail, the Vice-Chairman stressed that it was a concern to note that Efficiency had decreased from a Good rating in 2017 to Requires improvement in 2019 and asked what action had been taken to improve Efficiency in terms of meeting current demand and using resources as well as planning for the future.
- In response the PCC reiterated that the force disagreed with that rating as a large amount of work had been undertaken in both the long term: such as the Building the Future project, improving the carbon efficiency of its fleet and the rollout of Body Worn Video technology; and in the immediate term: such as the newly formed Prevention and Problem Solving Team as well as the Surrey High Intensity Partnership Programme (SHIPP).
- The PCC noted that there was not one action plan to address Efficiency as such, but he would provide his and the Chief Constable’s responses to the 2019 PEEL inspection report as well as the progress made to date on addressing the Areas for Improvement.
4. A Panel member was concerned with the Areas for Improvement identified which suggested that Surrey Police could do more to support its staff, particularly concerning ‘the review of its occupational health unit (OHU)’; that ‘the force should improve how it records and monitors its ‘Focus’ discussions to […] effectively capture issues such as wellbeing’; ‘the force should ensure that it has a talent programme that is open to everyone and consistently applied’.
- In response, the PCC agreed that ensuring there were good systems in place for the wellbeing and health of staff and officers was vital. He noted that Durham University which specialised in those fields were asked to hold a survey of staff and officers to assess what their concerns were - one problem was the lack of sleep as a result of shift work. The PCC commented that ensuring a happy and motivated workforce was a priority and he would provide the Panel with an update on the improvements made concerning wellbeing and the occupational health review.
- The Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer (OPCC) explained that Surrey Police had recently launched a joint occupational health hub with Sussex Police to ensure that it was easier for officers and staff to get information from one place.
5. The Chairman noted that at the Panel’s recent informal meeting, the Chief Constable highlighted a few statistics relating to Surrey Police’s national ranking concerning the positive outcome rate of areas such as serious sexual offences. The Chairman queried whether the Panel could receive the rankings of all forces nationally on positive outcome rates to assess Surrey Police’s position. In response, the PCC noted that he would look into whether those national statistics could be released.
The Police and Crime Panel noted the report and HMICFRS findings, and expressed its concerns on the Areas for Improvement as identified by HMICFRS.
Actions/further information to be provided:
1. R44/20 - The PCC will provide more information on how the Areas for Improvement identified by HMICFRS had been addressed as detailed in the original 2019 PEEL inspection report; as well as providing his and the Chief Constable’s responses to that inspection report.
Particularly focussing on the following points:
- ‘the force should ensure its aversion to risk is not constraining ideas and creating unnecessary bureaucracy and internal demand’.
- The Requires Improvement rating of ‘Efficiency’.
- ‘the review of its occupational health unit (OHU)’; that ‘the force should improve how it records and monitors its ‘Focus’ discussions to […] effectively capture issues such as wellbeing’; ‘the force should ensure that it has a talent programme that is open to everyone and consistently applied’.
2. R45/20 - The PCC will look into whether the statistics relating to Surrey Police’s national ranking concerning the positive outcome rate of areas such as serious sexual offences compared to the rankings of all forces nationally could be provided to the Panel.