Agenda item

Wiltshire Police Work HMICFRS PEEL - Progress Update

To receive an update on the progress made towards the addressing the findings of a Police Efficiency, Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).


The Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) provided an overview of the progress made towards the addressing the findings of a Police Efficiency, Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). He was pleased to report that there had been improvement in a number of key areas and felt that the ENGAGE process, the monitoring period following the inspection, had helped to stabilise the performance of Wiltshire Police. He reported that The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and he had met with HMICFRS the previous day and that they all wanted to see sustained improvement over the longer term. He also underlined that the PCC saw the requirements of the ENGAGE process as only part of the improvements required throughout the force. He identified the response time to answering ‘phone calls as a perennial challenge and emphasised that they were taking steps to address the issue. He also noted that the OPCC’s Strategic Planning and Performance Officer was conducting extensive work to oversee management and accountability, as well as efforts to improve morale, within the force.


During the discussion, points included:


·       It was noted that the OPCC did not feel that it was prudent to approach HMICFRS to sign off its recommendations on PEEL until there had been at least six months of sustained improvement. In response to a query about when the six months would start, the Chief Executive explained that this would be performance related and clarified that they would not be satisfied after only seeing a short period of improved performance.

·       It was noted that ENGAGE was a special measure status and coming out of this would mean that the force was not classified as being at immediate risk.

·       The PCC stated that he thought that Wiltshire Police would be getting close to being rated as adequate at their next PEEL inspection in March 2024. However, he cautioned against over-celebrating if Wiltshire Police were to leave the ENGAGE process. He stressed that he would rather see Wiltshire Police remain in ENGAGE to address changes rather than improvement followed by complacency culture returning.

·       When asked about what was being done to improve how crime could be reported and whether the measures put in place had been satisfactory, the PCC stated that he was not satisfied with the progress made. He noted that a Chief Super Intendent had been put in charge of Wiltshire Police’s call control centre and that his office was supporting the Chief Constable to drive improvement.

·       A query was asked about community policing and whether crimes could be reported through Town Council Clerks or Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). It was also queried whether Councillors could have a quicker route to contact the police about crimes in their area. In response, the PCC emphasised that community engagement was the first priority in his Crime Plan and outlined some of the measures that had been put in place. He reported that Wiltshire Police had recruited an additional 162 officers and a new IT system had been introduced to allow officers to manage investigations on their ‘phones rather than having to return to their office. Furthermore, CCTV vans had been refurbished and were assisting with engagement activities. He also reassured Councillors that they were welcome to contact his office directly if they had any specific concerns.

·       When asked whether crime reporting had to be either online, or via 101/999, the PCC clarified that the public could talk of officers on the ground. He did express frustration about the length of time that was required to complete an online form to report crimes but noted that it was a national form, and he would apply pressure to the Home Office to try to reform it. 

·       The attendance of Police Inspectors at Area Boards was welcomed, and it was queried whether Councillors could be provided with a list of contacts for officers in their areas. The PCC noted that lists of officers were included in the packs sent to Area Boards and reported that the Chief Constable was also keen to attend their meetings.

·       Further information was sought about reports that Wiltshire Police was reducing the number of mental health incidents that it attended. The PCC confirmed that his office funded round the clock mental health nurses, and they were focussing on a ‘right case right person’ response. He noted that there were efforts to reduce the amount of time that police officers spent sitting in hospital with patients given that they were not always the best placed agency to provide support. However, he was keen to stress that there would be a gradual negotiated transfer of responsibility. The Chief Executive of the OPCC added that they were working closely with the local Integrated Care Board on a transition plan. He highlighted a successful transition that had taken place in Humberside that had delivered clear benefits and was implemented over a two-to-three-year period.

·       It was noted that the Bluebell mental health service was not the responsibility of the OPCC, but of health commissioners.



On the proposal of Cllr Elizabeth Threlfall, seconded by Cllr Ros Henning, it was resolved to make the:




To note the report on the OPCC’s oversight of Wiltshire Police’s PEEL progress.

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