British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

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HMIC Inspection Report British Transport Police November 2007

British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

ISBN: 978-1-84786-019-2 CROWN COPYRIGHT FIRST PUBLISHED 2007

British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

Contents
Introduction to HMIC Inspections Programmed frameworks Risk-based frameworks The grading process Developing practice Inspection overview and context Geographical description of force area Demographic profile of force area Strategic priorities Force developments since 2006 inspection Findings Performance Management Protecting Vulnerable People – Overview Contact Management Recommendations Appendix: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

Introduction to HMIC Inspections
For a century and a half, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has been charged with examining and improving the efficiency of the police service in England and Wales, with the first HM Inspectors (HMIs) being appointed under the provisions of the County and Borough Police Act 1856. In 1962, the Royal Commission on the Police formally acknowledged HMIC’s contribution to policing. HMIs are appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Home Secretary and report to HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, who is the Home Secretary’s principal professional policing adviser and is independent both of the Home Office and of the police service. HMIC’s principal statutory duties are set out in the Police Act 1996. For more information, please visit HMIC’s website at http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmic/. In 2006, HMIC conducted a broad assessment of all 43 Home Office police forces in England and Wales and, in addition, of the British Transport Police (BTP). This baseline assessment had followed a similar process in 2005 and has thus created a rich evidence base of strengths and weaknesses across the country. However, it is now necessary for HMIC to focus its inspection effort on those areas of policing that are not data-rich and where qualitative assessment is the only feasible way of judging both current performance and the prospects for improvement. This, together with the critical factor that HMIC should concentrate its scrutiny on high-risk areas of policing – in terms of risk both to the public and to the service’s reputation – pointed inexorably to a focus on what are known collectively as ‘protective services’. In addition, there is a need to apply professional judgement to some key aspects of leadership and governance, where some quantitative measures exist but a more rounded assessment is appropriate. Having reached this view internally, HMIC then consulted key stakeholders, including the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Association of Police Authorities (APA). A consensus emerged that HMIC could add greater value by undertaking fewer but more probing inspections. Stakeholders concurred with the emphasis on protective services but requested that Neighbourhood Policing remain a priority for inspection until there is evidence that it has been embedded in everyday police work. BTP’s unique operating environment necessitated further work with HMIC to determine the exact scope of inspection for each framework. HMIC uses a rigorous and transparent methodology to conduct its inspections and reach conclusions and judgements. All evidence was gathered, verified and then assessed against an agreed set of national standards, in the form of specific grading criteria (SGC). However, the main purpose of inspection is not to make judgements but to drive improvements in policing. Both professional and lay readers are urged, therefore, to focus not on the headline grades but on the opportunities for improvement identified within the text of this report.

Programmed frameworks
This report contains assessments of two of the first three key areas of policing to be inspected under HMIC’s new programme of work: 1. performance management; and 2. protecting vulnerable people. This report also incorporates the 2007 reassessment of contact management in BTP which had received a ‘poor’ grading from the 2006 baseline assessment.
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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

The third key area for national assessment was Neighbourhood Policing, not only because it is a key government priority but also, more importantly, it is a style of policing that is rooted in and responds to local concerns. The police service must, of course, offer protection from high-level threats such as terrorism and organised criminality, but it also has a key role in tackling the unacceptable behaviour of the minority of people who threaten the quality of life of law-abiding citizens. Neighbourhood Policing was implemented in BTP at a later stage than in the rest of England and Wales, the reasons for which are enshrined in funding mechanisms and the need for clarity in the definition of ‘neighbourhood’, given BTP’s operating environment and context. As such, in consultation with BTP, HMIC will delay its assessment of Neighbourhood Policing until February 2008. Performance management is an activity largely hidden from public view, although members of the travelling public are directly affected by poor performance on the part of BTP as the national force for the railways. This inspection has focused on the need for forces to maximise the opportunities for performance improvement and has also posed questions as to whether BTP has an accurate picture of how it is performing and the capability to respond to changing priorities. This area was selected for inspection because it is a key factor in delivering good performance across the board. Protecting vulnerable people covers four related areas – child abuse, domestic violence, public protection and missing persons – that address the critically important role of the police in protecting the public from potentially serious harm. In the 2006 baseline assessment this was the worst performing area nationally and raised the most serious concerns for HMIC and others. As a result, this area was prioritised for scrutiny in 2007. BTP has a key role within these frameworks to ensure that structures, systems and processes are in place for sharing intelligence, responding to an initial incident and preparing an investigation package for a Home Office force.

Risk-based frameworks
In addition to its programmed inspection work, HMIC continues to monitor performance across a range of policing activity. In respect of HMIC activity within BTP, this will take into account the issues highlighted by BTP’s own risk assessment framework in tandem with the ongoing national assessment programme.

The grading process
Grades awarded by HMIC are a reflection of the performance delivery by the force over the assessment period April 2006 to July 2007 One of four grades can be awarded, according to performance assessed against the SGC (see full list of SGCs at http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmic/methodologies/baseline-introduction/bamethodology-06/?version=1). Excellent This grade describes the highest level of performance in service delivery and achieving full compliance with codes of practice or national guidance. It is expected that few forces will achieve this very high standard for a given activity. To achieve Excellent, forces are expected to meet all of the criteria set out in the Fair SCG and the vast majority of those set out in Good. In addition, two other factors will attract consideration of an Excellent grade: The force should be recognised, or be able to act, as a ‘beacon’ to others, and be accepted within the service as a source of leading-edge practice. Evidence that other forces have successfully imported practices would demonstrate this.
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HMIC is committed to supporting innovation and we would expect Excellent forces to have introduced and evaluated new ways of delivering or improving performance. Good Good is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as ‘of a high quality or level’ and denotes performance above the minimum standard. To reach this level, forces have to meet in full the criteria set out in Fair and most of the criteria set out in Good. Fair Fair is the delivery of an acceptable level of service. To achieve a Fair grading, forces must achieve all of the significant criteria set out in the Fair SGC. HMIC would expect that, across most activities, the largest number of grades would be awarded at this level. Poor Poor represents an unacceptable level of service. To attract this very critical grade, a force must have fallen well short of a significant number of criteria set out in the SGC for Fair. In some cases, failure to achieve a single critical criterion may alone warrant a Poor grade. Such dominant criteria will always be flagged in the SGC.

Developing practice
In addition to assessing force performance, one of HMIC’s key roles is to identify and share good practice within the police service. Much good practice is identified as HMIC conducts its assessments; in addition, each force is given the opportunity to submit examples of its good practice. HMIC has selected an example to publish in this report. The key criteria for examples are that the work has been evaluated by the force and the good practice is easily transferable to other forces. (Each force has provided a contact name and telephone number, should further information be required.) HMIC has not conducted any independent evaluation of the examples of good practice provided.

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Inspection Overview and Context
As a non-Home Office force, BTP differs significantly from Home Office forces in terms of funding, accountability and specialisation, although the force strives to observe relevant Home Office policing standards. HMIC regards BTP as a specialist police force for which some nationally accepted performance measures are applicable but recognises that other measures are relevant only to the force, such as timeliness of investigations for fatal railway incidents. A customised approach to this assessment has therefore been agreed with BTP and the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA) to take these differences into account. With reference to Phase 1 of the 2007/08 inspection process, BTP will defer inspection of implementation of its Neighbourhood Policing measures until February 2008 and has identified which of the criteria from the protecting vulnerable people framework relate to BTP activity and against which HMIC inspection activity has been undertaken. This report also incorporates the HMIC reassessment of the contact management framework in 2007, which had received a ‘poor’ grading in 2006. Since the privatisation of the rail network, government policy has been that the user (the railway industry) pays for the services of BTP and that BTPA enters into commercial agreements with the rail industry for the provision of police services. BTP relies on funding by Network Rail, the train and freight operating companies (TOCs and FOCs), Transport for London and London Underground Ltd. This is a challenge for a modern police force that relies on commercial profit margins and the marketplace for the funding required for medium and long-term planning, and this has been a concern raised by HMIC for a number of years.

Geographical description of force area
BTP is the national police force for the railways and also provides the policing services for the London Underground, Eurostar, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the Docklands Light Railway, the Croydon Tramlink and the Midland Metro. BTP’s national structure takes into account national borders, discrete legal systems, TOC and FOC boundaries and other diverse elements of the railway network. It is not constrained by the geographical boundaries of other police forces and covers the whole policing environment of the rail network, including assistance for businesses and individuals who operate, live and work in the surrounding areas. This structure is designed to provide a single point of contact and consistency in policing standards across the railway network. There are seven territorial basic command units, known as areas, and the HQ is in Camden, north London.

Demographic profile of force area
With over 10,000 miles of track and more than 2,500 stations, the population BTP serves is mainly commercial, including 2.5 million passengers daily on the national rail system and another 3 million daily on the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway networks. Some 400,000 tonnes of freight travel through or visit premises within BTP’s jurisdiction daily. The growth in public transport and the expansion of the 24-hour city culture means that BTP polices economic and social hubs throughout mainland Britain, made up of small communities of general retail outlets, offices, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The force does not police a residential population, but is charged on a daily basis with the safety of some 5 million passengers and in excess of 100,000 railway staff. With 2,813 police officers and 1,133 police staff, 254 police community support officers and 248 special constables, BTP faces a significant challenge in policing a diverse and extensive rail network.

Strategic priorities
BTP focuses on five objectives set in the strategic plan for 2005–08. These are to:
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work with partners and the railway community to prevent crime by tackling the causes of crime, as well as dealing with crime incidents; investigate all aspects of a crime and to satisfy the needs of victims and witnesses. BTP aims to undertake investigations that are efficient, effective and timely, in order to increase the number of detections and the number of offenders brought to justice, and to increase the overall detection rate to a level that is above the average for Home Office police forces; increase the trust and confidence of the railway community and the travelling public by working in partnership with others to make the railway a safe environment for all; respond to incidents in a way that meets the needs of the railway community and the travelling public and takes into account local priorities; and make the most effective use of its people, supported by timely and accurate financial information to aid operational decision making, sustained by the use of sound information and communications technology (ICT).

• • •

Underpinning delivery of BTP’s strategic objectives is the creation of a more diverse workforce. The force has long-term targets to increase the percentage of staff from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and to improve gender representation, both in the wider police officer population and in specialist posts, to levels that at least match the national average for Home Office police forces.

Force developments since 2006 inspection
The outcome of the Department for Transport (DfT) review of BTP in 2006 has been a key driver for action within the force and police authority since the 2006 inspection. The DfT decision to retain BTP as the national specialist police force for the railways and to refocus the force within its existing structural format ended a protracted period of uncertainty, during which the force underwent four major reviews in as many years. However, the review did identify a need for greater clarity about detailed aspects of BTP’s operation in relation to its responsibilities to the rail industry, the rail industry’s own duties and the role of local police forces. It also sought to ensure that the force’s resources are focused on areas where BTP can provide maximum added value to the fight against crime on the railways. A more structured partnership approach between the force and the rail industry was advocated, one that focuses on agreed needs and priorities. The DfT also ratified existing work to develop Neighbourhood Policing as a tailored means of meeting the more specialised needs of the BTP community. BTP consulted widely with partners and stakeholders to position its refocus within the parameters of what had been prescribed by DfT and responded to the review outcome by concentrating on the needs of its customers. The force continues to build on its commercial awareness of the railway environment, working in partnership with the industry. It has investigated ways of promoting partnership activity, including the setting up of joint objectives with the railway industry to engender a commitment to improved communication from both sides. A number of changes have also been implemented internally: • the tasking and co-ordination process is now more formalised to facilitate regular attendance by delegates from the rail industry; • the mechanisms for constructing the annual policing plan incorporate a series of meetings with the TOCs at an early stage to discuss high-level performance and determine objectives;
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the objectives are now organised in three tiers that retain corporacy but also accommodate local flexibility and stakeholder consultation and input; police officers of inspecting rank are formally placed within major TOCs so that the force can better understand rail industry business and its input to policing the railways; TOC questions feature within BTP surveys, outcomes of which are used to drive improvement; and there is TOC representation at local performance management process level and through the BTPA at the force level.

The start of a new BTP strategic plan 2008–11 with rail industry participation is a significant opportunity for the force to progress work in the refocusing arena.

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Findings
Performance Management Contextual factors
The outcome of the DfT review provided significant opportunities to develop the area of performance management with partners and stakeholders. This has yielded some innovative work in planning and target setting that takes account of BTP’s national perspective, stakeholder and partner input and the requirement for corporacy and consistency alongside the flexibility to accommodate local needs. BTP continues to develop a risk-based methodology for its audit and inspection processes which is being rolled out to areas. Inspection activity is better informed by enhanced risk management structures and a high-level performance analysis process that has replaced the strategic business assessment. An area of significant development over the last year has been in the use of BTP-commissioned survey data – which now incorporate TOC questions – through the establishment of a survey unit to drive the consultation strategy and identify operational issues. There is an overall focus on developing the quality aspect of performance measures while HQ departments are working to develop meaningful performance measures that best quantify their contribution to BTP objectives. Areas have developed their own performance management processes that meet local and TOC needs, eg TOPS in the North Eastern Area and Compstat in the London Underground. Using the corporate performance data set, there are opportunities to ensure that best practice from each area is, where appropriate, implemented force-wide to ensure that performance accountability is fully implemented at all levels.
GRADE GOOD

Strengths
• There is clarity about the vision and strategy for BTP and about roles and responsibilities for performance at all levels. There are mechanisms to demonstrate a tangible performance ‘grip’ at ACPO level with chief officer ownership and involvement, as appropriate, in BTP’s performance review processes. As part of the ongoing implementation of refocusing measures, partners and stakeholders are increasingly involved with the strategic and annual planning processes. The chief officer leadership visits (COLV) process is underpinned by detailed pre-inspection work that both informs the visit and becomes the basis of an accountable action plan highlighting areas for improvement. BTP monitors comparative data at force, departmental and individual levels to benchmark its own performance and, where appropriate, that of Home Office forces in order to drive improvement. Performance information is now more available to staff than it has ever been. Criminal justice performance information, in particular, has improved significantly within the past year: from data in a variety of formats provided by individual areas, to a system that is more corporate and accessible to all staff. Counter-terrorism performance on bomb threats is now also automated with the implementation of new information technology. BTP has developed a risk-based approach to audit and inspection themes based on the HMIC FLINT methodology. Inspection themes are now determined through the objective application of a suite of indicators such as HMIC assessments, external
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audits, national thematic publications and COLV performance analysis and outcomes. • BTP has implemented a new system for setting targets for 2008/09, comprised of three distinct tiers: common targets for corporate objectives, eg fatalities; common objectives with local targets to take account of a range of performance in different BTP areas, eg staff assaults; and local objectives with local targets, eg different sets of problems at railway stations. There is an effective corporate governance structure with clear authority levels for decision making on matters of strategy and policy through such vehicles as the chief officer group, the corporate assurance group, the programme management board and the strategic projects review panel. These and other structures incorporate the BTPA through its committee structure. There is full and constructive engagement between the force and the BTPA, with appropriate support to facilitate the discharge of its statutory responsibilities. The BTPA is fully involved with planning, target-setting and performance monitoring and reports a significant improvement in its expertise in individual portfolio areas. It has full access to a greatly improved suite of BTP data and is being assisted by the force in the development of its own global performance management regime. BTPA members are invited to patrol and conduct area visits and receive presentations to operationalise BTP concepts. Policing plans and priorities are informed by feedback from service users through early engagement and consultation with TOCs, passenger focus groups, police sector commanders and Neighbourhood Policing priority-setting processes on an annual basis and more regularly through partner and stakeholder participation in tasking meetings. The outcomes of survey data analysis are also used to influence plans and priorities. BTP has an established programme board structure to manage key projects and a project management office capability that reviews projects before, during and after implementation to ensure that lessons learnt are integrated into force policy and practice. There is evidence to support the impact of public survey data on BTP policy. The force has made significant advances in its use of survey data through the establishment of a survey unit to drive the consultation strategy and identify operational issues. The expertise within the survey unit drives sophisticated analyses of data to predict trends, and of free text comments to understand the factors that drive outcomes. The force is also working collaboratively with the universities of Surrey and Glamorgan and other police forces, such as the City of London police, on survey research work. BTP surveys are now included on TOC websites and incorporate TOC questions. The Audit Commission’s review of the statutory requirement for the victims of crime and anti-social behaviour surveys rated BTP’s arrangements as ‘excellent’. There has been significant progress in fully incorporating the corporate governance and risk management structures into BTP business. Risk is now managed locally through a risk register that informs priorities and plans and is routinely fed into the central risk register.
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Work in progress
• A performance ethos is ingrained in all ranks and grades of BTP staff, but the formal structures associated with accountability are less evident at the front-line service delivery level. The force’s higher-level performance management and accountability processes are well established and could be used in the development of a performance management template for areas and departments that hold staff to account at all levels. There is evidence of the development and implementation of pervasive performance management and accountability frameworks in some parts of BTP, eg Compstat and TOPS, which also highlight and spread good practice. The force has yet to fully exploit opportunities to harness the learning from these processes and promulgate it force-wide. BTP has developed a risk-based approach to assessment and inspection at the force level through the use of the FLINT database – developed by HMIC – but acknowledges that this approach is not as advanced in individual areas. BTP has plans to address this issue during the forthcoming year through area-based contacts who will be responsible for uploading area FLINT input into the central assessment and inspection unit database on a monthly basis. The force is working to develop quality performance measures that complement the existing suite of quantitative measures, especially in respect of survey outcomes, which are now analysed for free text comments, and in areas such as witness care and quality of service drivers. The force is in the early stage of developing meaningful performance indicators and measures for HQ departments to match those that exist on areas – in order to quantify their contribution towards force performance.

• There is integration of human resource (HR) and finance strategies with the corporate strategy but since the baseline assessment little progress has been made in representing these functions at policing plan and lower levels. BTP has made some progress with integrating finance, ICT and HR with performance at the board level, eg the HR training board, which has performance input from the deputy chief constable and an operationally credible and experienced police officer lead. • BTP has ceased production of the strategic business assessment as it was no longer considered necessary to determine high-level priorities. It has been replaced by a performance analysis process that determines priorities for inspection and audit but necessarily involves high-level strategic analysis and use of the horizonscanning function. ACPO leads are responsible for determining strategic priorities through dialogue with each of their portfolio areas and, through the weekly chief officer group structure, the Chief Constable heads themed days to discuss key issues highlighted by the National Intelligence Model (NIM) process. The force needs to reassure itself that these various strands of work are sufficiently coordinated and cohesive to create a strategic planning framework that also allows for the resolution of any potential tensions arising from priorities. • The programme of work determined by the outcome of the efficiency strategy review and driven by the director of finance has continued into 2007. The use of B-Plan software for activity analysis will facilitate the costing of activity to an individual level.
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• The performance development review (PDR) is still viewed by many staff as meaningless and bureaucratic and the quality of objectives and reporting is best described as ‘patchy’. Over the past year, the force has undertaken much work on the effectiveness of the PDR process in order to address these issues and a new policy and a more quality-oriented template have been launched. The cultural shift necessary to make the PDR an effective management and development tool will, however, take considerably more time. • The force has been working on the development of a framework for departmental commendations, in order to invoke corporacy in the way it recognises good work, and has implemented policy on awards. Good news stories are also a standing agenda item for the force management team. Some staff are not yet familiar with this process.

Areas for improvement
• Although it is clear that a performance culture has evolved within BTP, there is no overarching, cohesive, accountable, documented performance framework. RECOMMENDATION 1 That the British Transport Police constructs a performance management framework that sets out the key performance accountabilities, systems and products across the force, while reflecting the principles within the joint ACPO, HMIC, APA, Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales and Home Office publication, Managing Police Performance. • There is recognition within BTP of the scope and potential for organisational learning and for promulgating good practice from the plethora of new structures and processes that have been implemented or which have evolved over the last two years. The determination of performance measures, the establishment of a management information (MI) capability for support functions and the evaluation of different styles of performance-monitoring processes on areas are just some examples of how existing learning has the potential to drive improvement in the way BTP does business. RECOMMENDATION 2 That the British Transport Police devises a corporate mechanism to ensure that organisational learning within its structures and processes is appropriately harnessed, promulgated and utilised to drive improvement. • An MI capability is being established across the force, particularly in respect of HQ functions such as counter-terrorism, but there is little co-ordination between it and the central MI repository. Such cohesion is necessary to ensure that MI, although not necessarily corporate in content, is sufficiently corporate in style and approach to facilitate benchmarking, to promulgate good practice and to drive decision making and performance. • The force has undertaken a series of efficiency reviews by department – these are ongoing – and has reviewed the distribution of its resources using data from the BTPA charging model and other indices. This work has set the baseline for areas/departments and will be largely autonomous in respect of resource allocation,
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with the exception of a 2% top-slice from each baseline budget to fund new projects and drive efficiencies. Nevertheless, there is no structured formula or methodology for determining/reviewing the allocation of resources that can be applied on a regular basis.

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Developing Practice
INSPECTION AREA: Performance management TITLE: BTP London Underground Area: Compstat PROBLEM: The area identified a lack of strong police focus on reducing crime levels, linked to a lack of active use of performance information to hold sector commanders and officers in charge to account for their effectiveness. Moreover, a forum was needed for structured engagement with industry and community stakeholders concerned with management information. SOLUTION: Compstat (computerised statistics) is a weekly performance review in two halves. Part one – monitoring of performance and issues across sectors. Key members of staff from all functions are briefed on new or emerging issues and trends and performance is reviewed on a sector basis. Crimes and trends for the previous 28 days are reviewed with the focus on the previous 7 days’ activity. Debate on performance and problem solving encourages innovation and the spread of good practice. Part two – detailed performance scrutiny of one of the eight London Underground areas. All major stakeholders are invited, including group station managers, train operating managers, line controllers and the Metropolitan Police Service transport operational command unit, and receive a presentation of activity and operations in the preceding eight weeks. The group stations’ objectives are reviewed and any problems discussed. Part two also includes a Neighbourhood Policing health check, to ensure that area teams’ efforts are co-ordinated and effectively linked to existing partnerships. Community groups are represented by an independent advisory member who is present at every Compstat review to provide community advice and facilitate a timely response to any community issues. OUTCOME(S): A greatly improved data set has been developed to support the process. • • • • Sector commanders, inspectors and group station managers have an improved and more detailed awareness of the crime and quality of life problems existing in their respective areas. Railway managers and the community are engaged in directing police activity and contributing intelligence. Compstat meetings provide a forum for improved sector and police station accountability and responsiveness to crime trends. Innovative and flexible tactics are being generated to address crime.

FORCE CONTACT: Superintendent Paul Shrubsole, Performance Directorate, BTP London Underground Area – 020 7027 8397; paul.shrubsole@btp.pnn.police.uk

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Protecting Vulnerable People – Overview
Contextual factors

GRADE

NOT GRADED

This framework has four components: child protection, domestic violence, missing persons and public protection. The baseline assessment of BTP in 2006 highlighted the force’s responsibilities in relation to vulnerable people – it should have the capacity to police the ‘golden hour’ of any incident that might lead to an investigation by a Home Office force. Specifically, this entails having the processes needed to support an initial investigation, such as intelligence, skills, capability and the relevant partnerships and communication. Given the links between each of the vulnerability disciplines, intelligence is therefore a key factor playing a significant part in any preventative and reactive work that BTP might undertake to ensure that stakeholders in the railway environment feel safe. There is no doubt that BTP staff are well-versed and experienced in dealing with critical incidents and that golden hour issues are therefore relatively well ingrained into the operational response. However, the additional risks presented by issues relating to vulnerability call for heightened awareness and some basic structure. Inspection activity has shown that these are not present in all parts of BTP. One of the key challenges for BTP is to articulate its responsibilities in relation to vulnerable people and to develop and formalise systems and processes to ensure that such responsibilities are met. These systems and processes are not currently clear. The force has selected those components of this framework that apply to its existing activities and will therefore not be graded in this area. The basis for inspection activity has been evidencegathered during the fieldwork phase and supplied by the force. Assessment of these arrangements in BTP has been based on performance as outlined in the 2006 baseline assessment. Generic protecting vulnerable people strengths • Issues relating to vulnerability are a priority for BTP in that they feature in the strategic assessment and control strategy. They relate mainly to reducing risks related to the commission of sexual offences, identifying vulnerable groups of victims and ViSOR (the Violent Offender and Sex Offender Register) subjects who travel by rail, and improving intelligence flows from MAPPA (multi-agency public protection arrangements) and MARAC (multi-agency risk assessment conferencing). The force has published policy and guidance for staff dealing with domestic violence, missing persons and child protection based on the golden hour responses to these issues. It takes account of ACPO guidance, such as the investigation of child abuse, safeguarding children and the numbers of staff trained in achieving best evidence. There is accountability relating to some areas of vulnerability. Domestic violence, in particular, is the subject of daily scrutiny at management team level on areas and management information is used to inform improvement. Given the consistently low levels of domestic violence dealt with by BTP on an annual basis (241 offences across the 7 areas between April 2006 and March 2007), there is capacity and resilience in this process. The force has a number of advanced interview-trained officers and officers trained in sexual offences investigation and child offences investigation who can respond to initial allegations of child abuse or offences involving children and other vulnerable
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victims. There are dedicated facilities to assist in this type of care and formal published call-out systems to access the force expertise. • BTP representatives sit as part of the MAPPA group and provide relevant information to the force intelligence bureau. There is evidence of information sharing with other forces – both formally and informally – that recognises and addresses opportunities for criminality by sex offenders within the railway environment. There is some proactivity on vulnerability issues in BTP, such as links to the Metropolitan Police Service’s Operation Maxim (people trafficking) for which a Romanian-speaking officer has been deployed in the London Underground Area intelligence bureau. The influx of eastern European children into London who are being used to commit large-scale crime has necessitated this approach in order to remove them from this area of vulnerability, including the identification of a need for a pan-London response from social services.

Generic protecting vulnerable people work in progress • The force has identified the need for and is progressing the implementation of MAPPA-trained officers and a public protection structure on each area. They will provide a point of contact for public protection issues and develop internal and external links both for public protection and for other vulnerability disciplines. A field intelligence officer is deployed centrally to deal with paedophile-related investigations. BTP is working to organise an AWARE (the Metropolitan Police Service intranet system) data warehouse in the management information and communications centre (MICC) and a CRIMINT PLUS (the Metropolitan Police intelligence system) input in order to share information with the Metropolitan Police. There are also points of contact for the IMPACT database and BTP has access to the Eurostar booking system.

Generic protecting vulnerable people areas for improvement • There is little structure relating to issues of vulnerability in BTP. Most incidents are reported as part of ongoing investigations by Home Office forces and BTP responsibilities are thus limited to the monitoring of most and the investigation of a very few offences in comparison. Nevertheless, the inspection found a significant variation in awareness, knowledge and expertise across the force, eg use of the domestic violence flag on command and control systems – apart from the use of this flag there is nothing to distinguish domestic violence from other assaults. RECOMMENDATION 3 That the British Transport Police articulates its approach to dealing with the protection of vulnerable people and develops and implements an appropriate structure that sets out the key accountabilities, systems and products to ensure a standard and informed response to such issues. • There is limited evidence of an awareness of links between the vulnerability disciplines. The inspection revealed a tendency to think of such issues in silos. For example, the conduct of S18 searches should necessarily involve a heightened awareness of issues relating to child protection or domestic violence but the lack of overall awareness among staff means that this generally does not happen.

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RECOMMENDATION 4 That the British Transport Police raises staff awareness of the links between the various elements of vulnerability in order to ensure that staff and systems are better informed about these issues and that any investigation package handed to a Home Office force is of the highest possible quality. • There are no formal or structured mechanisms to ensure national thematic work, guidance or good practice on issues relating to vulnerability are promulgated to areas as part of a corporate and consistent approach to addressing these issues. BTP policy and guidance on vulnerability consist primarily of advice relating to golden hour issues because this is the area for which the force has the greatest responsibility. There is thus an emphasis on the functions, systems, intelligence and skills necessary to support an initial investigation. However, the policy also refers to those very few cases in which BTP is expected to take the lead but offers no further guidance on how this should be done, eg attendance at child protection conferences, how to address the care of a victim/witness in a domestic violence or child protection case or how to participate in a Part 8 review. The inspection found evidence that guidance on issues relating to vulnerability was not applied consistently across the force. Most of the force’s expertise relating to these issues appeared to be enshrined in the MICC and area control room duty officer posts. If this is the approach the force is to take, it needs to ensure that there is corporacy, consistency, sufficient resilience, training development and succession-planning for this critical role. There is no evidence of audit or inspection being incorporated into the mechanisms to deal with vulnerability in BTP. Although such incidents are few and generally of a low level, the risks attached to them are significant. At the very least, the force should be ensuring that the policy and guidance are up to date and applied consistently, and that compliance is formally dip-sampled. Although the force has published policy and guidance on child protection, missing persons and domestic violence, there is little advice – even for supervisors – on the high-risk area of public protection apart from the use of the ViSOR system. Guidance is available to all staff via the force intranet, but it proved extremely difficult for staff to locate. There is no evidence of specialist training for appropriate staff in public protection issues such as RM2000. There are also no job descriptions for staff involved in public protection. There is no structured approach to the supervision of vulnerability issues. Where there is supervision, it happens in pockets and is of varying quality.

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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

Contact Management
GRADE FAIR

Contextual factors
Contact management has historically been an area of concern for BTP. The baseline assessment in 2005 graded the function as ‘poor/improved’ on the basis of the performance of the preceding year, although the inspection team acknowledged that the force had implemented a major project to address the key issues. Contact management is a priority for BTP with good leadership and intervention by the assistant chief constable (ACC) (operations) and the implementation of structures to ensure articulation of the future strategic direction. A comprehensive management framework is helping to drive performance and every area commander is signed up to a joint understanding that the contact centre is pivotal to successful performance. This approach ensures the timely resolution of cross-functional issues. The contact management function is overseen by a contact management board, which ensures that the function is mainstreamed into force activity. The strategic drive at ACC level is underpinned by the appointment of a senior officer to champion the function across the force on a tactical basis. Strengths • There is strong ACPO support for the contact management function, driven by the Chief Constable. The focused, operationally sighted and driven approach of the ACC (operations) as the strategic lead is having a positive impact on staff motivation and performance. In addition, the commitment of area commanders to contact management has prevented conflict between the operational and contact management functions and there is a strong ethos of shared accountability. A regular monthly meeting chaired by the ACC (crime) introduces corporacy into joint processes through the attendance of representatives from the crime recording centre, the force control room, the crime management unit, the administration of justice department and the force intelligence bureau. There are robust arrangements for the contact management function, steered by the relevant board. This structure sits above the baseline actions working group – which utilises the assessment matrix and good practice guide from the HMIC thematic, ‘First Contact’ – to address areas for improvement and performance issues and works with all departments involved in contact management. The call-handling strategy incorporates the contact centre’s strategic vision and takes account of both optimising the use of resources within MICCs and improvements in managing the contact centre and its functions, ownership and compliance. The strategy is available to staff via the intranet and the force has recognised the need to ensure that it is communicated to those expected to deliver it by including the call-handling strategy in the training of all new staff. A dedicated team looks at customer service and online internal surveys in order to address customer satisfaction/quality of service issues and inform user groups. A quarterly external survey dedicated to the contact management function has also been devised and despatched.
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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

The force has effective processes in place to collate and deal with complaints and letters of praise from its customers, with an appropriate feedback loop for both the author and the subject. Results are used to address performance issues. The HR manager plays a significant role in contact centre functions and maintains the link between HR and the contact management portfolio through regular attendance at operational senior management team and performance management meetings. Staff have access to training and mentoring as appropriate. The HR unit has addressed previous succession planning issues in the contact management centre. A succession planning pilot was undertaken at area level and is being implemented within the contact management centre to replace the existing spreadsheet-based system. The new process is considered more robust and offers a specific career path for contact management. The MICC offers improved opportunities for career development and these will also be offered in the new MICC (North). A Diploma in Police Service Communications and Control (accredited by OCR) is being implemented in the MICC with supervisors as assessors. There is a good staff feedback process in the MICC, which encourages positive interaction between staff, supervisors, managers and partners. This has recently been utilised in discussions between the Metropolitan Police Service and BTP in relation to the identification of suicide bombers and has led to the introduction of a standard operating procedure for such incidents. The force conducts an annual staff survey which promotes the sharing of staff ideas and opinions on how to shape strategy and improve working conditions, thus enhancing overall service delivery. BTP has implemented an action plan to deliver the recommendations of the HMIC thematic ‘First Contact’, including regular monitoring and processes to deliver to the good practice guide and the self-assessment matrix. BTP has introduced a quality monitoring system for the contact management unit and operators are now monitored on a regular basis. Feedback on the results is used to improve staff performance and development issues and is also included in the PDR process. The accuracy and timeliness of performance information have improved significantly and are used to identify and address poor areas of performance and to monitor key areas, such as calls and quality of service, for which meaningful data was not previously available. Improved performance indicators have been set and more resources deployed to meet them. Supervisors are also able to address quality control issues and provide feedback using the INSIGHT system.

• Control room staff have access to corporate information systems such as policy and procedure, in order to inform contact management-related decisions.

Work in progress • Plans are well advanced for the new MICC (North) which will enhance the force’s capability for disaster recovery and business continuity. The site is expected to be live by 2008.
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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

A more streamlined approach to the operation of the new MICC (North) has identified the core functions necessary to carry out the contact management function and provide a quality service. This work also highlighted activities that are currently undertaken within contact management that are not relevant to the function and should be carried out elsewhere. Uncertainty over the siting of the new MICC (North), the potential threat of staff redundancy and the lack of information was recognised as having a detrimental impact on staff morale. This is being alleviated through the inclusion of staff associations in the change management process. Concerns about the terms and conditions of employment for contact centre staff have been recognised and are being addressed. The technical issue with the BTP’s telephony platform that resulted in calls being misrouted or abandoned, thus creating problems between the crime recording centre and local crime management units, is being addressed. Early indications are that the issue has been resolved but it continues to be the subject of close scrutiny. The large volume of internal traffic through the contact centre has prevented nonemergency calls from being answered within targets. Work to identify the source of this traffic is being undertaken by the project business analyst through workshops with users and the application of a range of diversionary options including the education of staff to use alternatives such as electronic telephone directories. Performance in answering emergency calls falls slightly below the National CallHandling Standard (NCHS), although there was an improvement of 10% on the previous year. Non-emergency calls have reached the NCHS, with the reassessment of this measure against a higher standard that legislated for the presence of a switchboard function.

Areas for improvement • • The force does not have a specific contact management HR strategy although the overall force HR strategy does incorporate the needs of the contact centre. There are outstanding accessibility issues, particularly via BTP’s DDI number and the management of voicemail, although a new number range has been agreed with the force’s network supplier. It is expected that some of these issues will be addressed with the implementation of the MICC (North) in 2008. Current duty rotas restrict the opportunity to provide ongoing and refresher training, although the new MICC may resolve some of these issues. Despite a robust sickness absence management policy, the contact centre continually fails to meet the 6% target. Although there has been an improvement in recent months, this is an area that will be closely monitored by the contact management HR manager. BTP acknowledges that staff training in customer service techniques would enhance the quality of the service provided by the call-handling function. Accordingly, exercises in theory and NCHS will be incorporated into call handlers’ and communication officers’ training.
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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

Operationally deployed staff are not trained to use the Airwave digital radio system to its full potential and are not therefore aware of its numerous operational and supervisory benefits. Although the contact management function receives results and actions from local tasking and co-ordination meetings, it is still not fully and formally included in the NIM tasking and co-ordination process. Current reporting lines for area control room staff are to local senior managers. With the elevated professional status of the contact management function within BTP, it might be appropriate to incorporate a professional element, eg contact centre manager within the line management structure pending the implementation of the MICC (North). There is a lack of clarity in the distinction between emergency and non-emergency traffic. The introduction of a switchboard facility to filter out many of the non-value calls being taken within the contact centre might relieve some of the resulting pressure. There are plans to address these issues with BTP’s emergency callhandling provider. Although the arrest/summons performance is within target, there are backlogs in other areas of the police national computer data input process.

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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

Recommendations
Performance Management
Recommendation 1 That the British Transport Police constructs a performance management framework that sets out the key performance accountabilities, systems and products across the force, while reflecting the principles within the joint ACPO, HMIC, APA, Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales and Home Office publication, Managing Police Performance. Recommendation 2 That the British Transport Police devises a corporate mechanism to ensure that organisational learning within its structures and processes is appropriately harnessed, promulgated and utilised to drive improvement.

Protecting Vulnerable People
Recommendation 3 That the British Transport Police articulates its approach to dealing with the protection of vulnerable people and develops and implements an appropriate structure that sets out the key accountabilities, systems and products to ensure a standard and informed response to such issues. Recommendation 4 That the British Transport Police raises staff awareness of the links between the various elements of vulnerability in order to ensure that staff and systems are better informed about these issues and that any investigation package handed to a Home Office force is of the highest possible quality.

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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

Appendix: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

A ACC ACPO APA assistant chief constable Association of Chief Police Officers Association of Police Authorities

B BTP BTPA British Transport Police British Transport Police Authority

C COLV chief officer leadership visits

D DfT DV Department for Transport Domestic Violence

F FOC freight operating company

H HMI HMIC HR Her Majesty’s Inspector Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary human resource

I ICT IMPACT information and communications technology intelligence management, prioritisation, analysis, co-ordination and tasking
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British Transport Police – HMIC Inspection Report November 2007

M MAPPA MARAC MI MICC multi-agency public protection arrangements multi-agency risk assessment conferencing management information management information and communication centre

N NCHS NIM National Call-Handling Standard National Intelligence Model

P PDR PI performance development review performance indicator

S SGC specific grading criteria

T TOC train operating company

V ViSOR Violent Offender and Sex Offender Register

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