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An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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Swyddfa Annibynnol Ymddygiad yr Heddlu - Reported concerns of welfare and subsequent police actions to conduct a missing persons investigation – Metropolitan Police Service, June 2020

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An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.

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Reported concerns of welfare and subsequent police actions to conduct a missing persons investigation – Metropolitan Police Service, June 2020

On the evening of Friday 5 June 2020, three women attended Fryent Country Park, Wembley, with friends. Between the evening of Saturday 6 June and Sunday 7 June 2020, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) received multiple calls from members of the public who raised concerns about their whereabouts. They had not been seen or heard from following their attendance at the park the previous night. On 6 June at 9pm, the MPS received a call reporting her friend as missing. The MPS started a missing persons investigation

In the early hours of 7 June, the police spoke with one of the missing women who was located, and they received information regarding the possible whereabouts of the two sisters who remained missing.  No further action into the missing person reports was conducted during this shift. 

Our investigation revealed evidence to suggest a missing persons investigation was initiated by the MPS, however police officers were not deployed until the morning of 7 June. On 7 June, further calls were made to the MPS and whilst conducting their own inquiries, friends attended Fryent Country Park to search for the sisters, where they were subsequently found dead.    

During the investigation, we obtained statements from multiple officers, obtained and reviewed incident logs, call recordings and radio airwave transmissions. Our investigation also reviewed and analysed information containing over 2,000 reports.  In addition, we obtained statements from several witnesses who had called the MPS reporting concerns for the sisters.

Our investigation concluded in July 2021. We waited for all associated proceedings and linked investigations to be completed before publishing our findings. 

We determined that there was no case to answer for misconduct for the inspector, however his performance was deemed unsatisfactory.

Two police staff members also received performance measures following the investigation.  

It was accepted by the force that failings were identified in the way that the initial missing persons reports for the sisters were taken and subsequently actioned. We advised the MPS to apologise to their family over their failings after we found the level of service provided to the sisters’ relatives and friends over the weekend following their disappearance was unacceptable.

A comprehensive document to summarise our conclusions was published in July 2022.

We carefully considered whether there were any organisational learning opportunities arising from the investigation. We make learning recommendations to improve policing and public confidence in the police complaints system and prevent a recurrence of similar incidents. 

In this case, we identified key areas for improvement and issued learning recommendations using our legislative powers. 

We issued a quick time learning recommendation while our investigation was ongoing. This related to processes where separate computer systems are used in the MPS call handling and dispatch departments. Following an external consultation, we were informed of a range of actions the MPS had completed to resolve this, including a new training package and updated policies, to provide a consistent approach to missing person investigations throughout the MPS. 

In addition, we issued two learning recommendations at the end of our investigation under Paragraph 28A of the Police Reform Act 2002
 

An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Deals with someone’s inability or failure to perform to a satisfactory level, but without breaching the Standards of Professional Behaviour.
Focuses on putting an issue right and preventing it from happening again by encouraging those involved to reflect on their actions and learn. It is not a disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
Refers to lower-level misconduct or performance-related issues, which are dealt with in a proportionate and constructive manner.
This means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IOPC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IOPC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IOPC.
The organisation that is responsible for assessing how to deal with a complaint. For example – whether it can be handled locally or reaches the criteria for referral to the IOPC. The appropriate authority may be the chief officer of the police force or the PCC for the force. If a complaint investigation finds that someone has a case to answer for misconduct, the appropriate authority is responsible for arranging any misconduct proceedings. If you make a complaint, the appropriate authority for your case will contact you.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Policing bodies include police and crime commissioners, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
IOPC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
A complaint or recordable conduct matter that doesn’t need to be referred to the IOPC, but where the seriousness or circumstances justifies referral.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
This is where a manager deals with the way someone has behaved. It can include: showing the police officer or member of staff how their behaviour fell short of expectations set out in the Standards of Professional Behaviour; identifying expectations for future conduct; or addressing any underlying causes of misconduct.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and an explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer involved.
A breach of standards of professional behaviour by police officers or staff so serious it could justify their dismissal.
A matter where no complaint has been received, but where there is an indication that a person serving with the police may have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Quarter 1 covers 1 April - 30 June Quarter 2 covers 1 April - 30 September Quarter 3 covers 1 April - 31 December Quarter 4 covers the full financial year (1 April - 31 March).
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IOPC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into matters and produces a report that sets out and analyses the evidence. There are three types of investigations: local, directed and independent.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
List of officers and staff who have been dismissed from policing, or would have been if they had not retired or resigned.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour that would justify at least a written warning.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
This is a format where information is written in plain English and short sentences.
The IOPC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever way it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only happen in certain circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
You can request a review/appeal if you’re not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled.
IOPC reference
2020/137384, 2020/138858 and 2021/149306
Date of recommendation
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021
Date the force response is due
Tuesday, 14 December, 2021
Recommendations

[Section 10 recommendation]

The IOPC recommends that the Metropolitan Police Service should review the processes whereby separate computer systems are used by First Contact Officers (call handling) and Dispatch (CHS and CAD), review CAD literacy requirements for FCOs and consider if further training should be provided to FCOs. 

Evidence obtained by the investigation has shown that FCOs do not appear to be fully literate within the CAD system, as they primarily work out of the CHS (call handling) system. This led to FCOs potentially providing members of the public with inaccurate information about police response to ongoing incidents, and on other occasions meant that FCOs could not provide concerned callers with updates regarding the current state of police action, as they were not literate in the CAD system where the information was held. In this case, callers should have been made aware that the police were no longer attending to room search at one of the missing persons’ (MISPERs’) addresses, but they were not informed of this, in part due to a lack of CAD literacy by FCOs.  

Do you accept the recommendation?: 

Yes

Accepted action: 

The Metropolitan Police Service Command and Control (MetCC) Academy has already addressed this recommendation by producing a PowerPoint presentation to assist operators with understanding how to read CADs and other useful tips when using CHS and CAD. The presentation contains the following subjects; 

•    Understanding how an officer is assigned to an incident; 
•    How to determine if a CAD is closed when viewing in CHS; 
•    Assigned Field in CAD; and 
•    Viewing the Previous Actions tab in CAD.

The presentation was sent to all MetCC staff on 31st March 2021 and on 15th April 2021 it was placed on the Info-Portal, which contains all Standard Operating Procedures, policies and guidance. All MetCC staff have access to the Info-Portal and can refer to this throughout their shift. MetCC Academy will include this PowerPoint presentation in the next round of their Professional Development Days.

It is also of note these systems are imminently due to be retired with the introduction of a brand new Command and Control environment. The replacement for both CHS and CAD is the ‘On Call’ platform, which for the first time will have Contact Records and Deployment Incidents contained within the same system. This will improve visibility to all users of the precise status of a demand record at a moment of time, ensuring that any follow up enquiries are answered with the most up-to-date and common view of that demand’s status.
 

The IOPC recommends the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) informs all police officers and staff involved in missing person investigations of the updated MPS missing person investigation protocol Local Resolution Team, v2.3 May 2020.  

As part of an ongoing IOPC investigation into the MPS response to concerns of the whereabouts of two missing females in Wembley, who were subsequently found deceased, the IOPC investigation were informed the most current MPS missing person policy titled ‘MPS missing person investigation protocol Local Resolution Team, v2.3, May 2020’ had not been updated on the intranet, which still reflected the previous protocol v2.2 June 2019. As such police officers and staff dealing with missing person investigations were unaware of it. Furthermore, the IOPC found officers were also unaware of the MPS missing person policy titled ‘MPS missing person investigation protocol Local Resolution Team v2.2 2019’ and had not been informed the policy prior to this, from 2018, had been changed.
 

Do you accept the recommendation?: 

Yes

Accepted action: 

The Metropolitan Police Service (“MPS”) has reviewed and accepts the recommendation provided by the IOPC.
The MPS acknowledges this is a single recommendation, however, in terms of the staff awareness of policy guidance, there are two distinct elements within the outlining narrative.

The first is that the MPS Intranet (internal website) at the time of the incident, did not display the most up to date version of the Local Resolution Team (“LRT”) guidance document.

The second reflects that North West Basic Command Unit officers (“NW BCU”) who were spoken to as part of the IOPC investigation, were unaware of the policy document on the Intranet and further, they had not been informed that the previous policy of 2018 had changed.

It is important to outline that since the introduction of LRTs in 2018, there has not been a policy change in how the MPS handle or respond to missing persons.

The policy guidance document subject to this recommendation, was generated in 2018 to introduce the LRT to the process for the initial handling, risk assessment and streamlined ownership of missing person cases, according to risk. The policy in terms of timeframes, roles and expected handling and ownership remains unchanged to this day. The changes to documents between versions was most commonly the supplementary guidance and assistive documents for officers given its status as a protocol guidance document. For example, changes to formatting and layout for easier reading; additional reference material such as tactical options; highlighting of case specific expectations (for example mental health patients who are absent without leave; missing children and responding to cases concerning individuals living with dementia).

In addition, there were changes to the ‘Risk Assessment Aide Memoire’ to reflect the MPS decision to cease use of the absent category and the adoption of the risk grading definitions, as reflected in the College of Policing Approved Professional Practice.
The MPS would like to reiterate that there was no ‘unpublished policy’ and whichever version of the LRT protocol guidance document was being utilised at NW BCU, its content would have reflected accurate MPS policy expectation at that time.

As a separate matter of concern in relation to officers not being aware of the document, the MPS has completed the following actions:
•    The latest version of the document (version 2.4) was published on the MPS Intranet in April 2021. Direct contact with all LRTs and Operations’ Rooms across the twelve MPS BCUs was completed on Friday 22nd October 2021, to draw attention to the latest version of the protocol guidance and to serve as a reminder for all officers to adhere to service policy in this area. The protocol guidance document is accessible to all officers and staff in the MPS under the ‘Missing Persons Policy’ page on the MPS Intranet site and there is clear instruction that officers read it before proceeding to the wider policy toolkits.
•    The MPS has added the following to the front page of the protocol guidance to prevent printed and potentially historic versions being used across the MPS:

“Please ensure police action is aligned to the latest version of this guidance which is found via the Missing Persons Policy page on the MPS Intranet”.

For completeness in terms of this recommendation, the MPS would like to reference a number of established and planned developments in terms of resources, guidance, training and service policy in relation to the initial triage, grip and handling response to all missing person incidents managed by the MPS. 

Resources & Guidance 

In July 2020, as part of an improvement action plan generated by HMICFRS inspections, the MPS devised and introduced a number of assistive documents aimed specifically at officers and supervisors responsible for the initial 48 hour response i.e. the LRT response.

Role-specific guides were drawn up for both police constables and sergeants deployed to the LRT and inspectors undertaking the ‘400’ role (Operations Room Inspector). These are designed to be quick reference guides to inform actions whether an officer performed the role regularly or if deployed on an ad-hoc basis. Additionally, the ‘Grip and Progression Template’ was introduced as a means of improving standards of bespoke and proportionate action plans in missing investigations. All of this guidance was launched via an MPS Intranet Blog and via email to senior BCU specific points of contact in early July 2020.
Furthermore, there was a Webinar devised and delivered to LRT officers across the MPS. This was delivered to NW BCU colleagues across five sessions in October 2020.

Training

In November and December 2020, every BCU Inspector performing the ‘400’ (Operations Room Inspector) role attended a half day, face to face training input centred around improved practice, policy expectation and the new guidance material described above.
Service Policy

In recent months, the MPS has progressed significant development of the initial handling response to missing person incidents. Essentially, the MPS has considered a number of reviews into delivery challenges of the LRT model across the BCUs and has addressed recognised difficulties.

From November 2021, following a pilot at four BCU’s, LRTs will become Resource and Demand Teams (RaDT). The RaDT will undertake the LRT Missing Persons function, however, it will become a 24 hours, 7 days a week capability and resourced with flexibility across the Emergency Response Teams. The MPS are preparing a renewed process guidance for all staff who are likely to be deployed to the RaDT, and it will ensure knowledge and access to critical information will be available at all times. This will be completed by the end of November 2021.
 

The IOPC recommends the Metropolitan Police Service North Wembley borough command unit (BCU) reviews its current missing person investigation and supervision process to;
•    provide clear guidance on the roles and responsibility for those based within the Operations room, Local Resolution Team and Emergency Response Policing Team
•    consider aligning their policy with the wider MPS protocol

As part of an ongoing IOPC investigation into the missing persons investigations of two females by the MPS North Wembley BCU it transpired this borough had a different local policy to that of the MPS general missing person policy. The current MPS missing person protocol, Local Resolution Team, V2.3, suggests the operations manager agrees the initial review and risk assessment, however within the North Wembley borough command unit this is carried out by the duty officer. There was a suggestion some within the North Wembley borough also believed the Local Resolution Team were responsible for all missing person investigations, which is in contrast to the missing person protocol, Local Resolution Team v2.3, which suggest only low risk cases will be the sole responsibility of the Local Resolution Team, whereas medium and high risk will be the responsibility of the Emergency Response Team. In addition, the North Wembley borough is split into East and West and this investigation found an inconsistency in how missing person investigations are run between across East and West. The North Wembley East Unit are based out of Colindale police station, where the Operations room resides. However, the North Wembley West are based at Wembley police station. There was a belief the North Wembley West used their ‘own’ staff from the local resolution team rather than those based within the Operations room at Colindale and therefore the Operations room sergeant did not complete supervisory reviews of missing person investigation reports carried out in the West. This led to a period of twelve hours during a medium risk missing person investigation where no actions or supervisory review were completed, due to confusion about whose responsibility it was to investigate and who, when and how supervisory reviews were completed. At this time the IOPC do not have any information to explain what led to this variation from policy.
 

Do you accept the recommendation?: 

Yes

Accepted action: 

The Metropolitan Police Service has reviewed and accepts the recommendation provided by the IOPC.

The North West Basic Command Unit (NW BCU) is made up of the London boroughs of Barnet, Brent and Harrow. The move from borough based policing to a BCU took place in November 2018.

The geographical area is split into two operational policing areas; North West West (NWW) based at Wembley Police Station and North West East (NWE) based at Colindale Police Station.

Each sector has a main patrol site for Emergency Response Police Teams, a dedicated radio channel, custody suite, Duty Officer and Emergency Response Team resources.

The BCU is serviced by a single Operations Room and LRT, both based at Colindale Police Station, with responsibility for the whole BCU. The Operations Room is led by an officer of Inspector rank under the call sign of NW400. This is the BCU blueprint design which has not changed since ‘go-live’ in November 2018. The LRT and NW400 are responsible for the initial response to missing persons as per MPS Missing Persons Policy (the most recent guidance being Version 2.4).

No authority has ever been given by the NW BCU Commander to deviate from the published policy. The policy referenced in the IOPC recommendation was examined by the MPS thematic lead for missing. It is not an MPS or NW BCU publication, it is a quick reference document created by an unknown author with no publication date or Government Security Classification, therefore, the provenance of it cannot be ascertained. In November 2018, when the three borough based Missing Persons Units (MPUs) merged into one to form the NW BCU MPU, the most up to date LRT guidance was circulated to all NW Inspectors and Sergeants by the Detective Sergeant in charge of the MPU at the time. The instructions on the document referenced by the IOPC pre-date the BCU transition and are therefore obsolete.

The NW BCU is committed to improving the police response to missing persons, engaging early in 2020 with the MPS wide improvement plan. The commentary and timeline below outlines the background to the current resourcing model and demonstrates the BCU commitment to continuous improvement through regular reviews and officer training.

The NW BCU Operations Room model followed the MPS ‘blueprint’ and was implemented in November 2018. The Operations Room function was subject to in-flight changes and review during the first year.

In August 2019, a proposal was made to restructure the Operations Room where key areas of focus were; rank specific posts, role profiles, training, shift patterns, risk management, a review of key processes, resourcing requirement and a defined performance framework.

In January 2020, a formal review of these processes was undertaken by the Head Quarters (HQ) Chief Inspector, looking at the functions and effectiveness of the Operations Room. This was reported in April 2020 and acknowledges the responsibility for missing persons within the Operations Room and is one of the key performance indicators.

In response to the HMICFRS National Child Protection Inspection debrief in February 2020, the MPS Lead Responsible Officer for missing persons developed a force wide improvement plan.

The MPS devised and introduced a number of assistive documents aimed specifically at officers and supervisors involved in the initial 48 hour response to missing persons, known as the LRT.

Role-specific guides were drawn up for Constables and Sergeants deployed to the LRT and Inspectors undertaking Operations Room Manager ‘400’ role. These are quick reference guides to inform actions, whether an officer performed the role regularly or was deployed to the LRT on an ad-hoc basis.

The most recent LRT Missing Persons Policy (Version 2.4) is available to NW BCU officers performing this role, in the LRT shared file (information folders), in addition to a copy on the MPS Intranet site.

In response to the HMICFRS inspection report and local ‘dipsampling’ of missing investigation reports, in June 2020, the NW BCU launched a 10 point missing person improvement plan, overseen by the Senior Leadership Team member with thematic responsibility for missing persons. The plan was focused on the HMICFRS recommendations and areas where improvement was required, in particular; the initial response to missing and reducing incidents of repeat missing persons. The plan ensured local police leaders were accountable for their areas of responsibility and tracked progress.

In August 2020, on behalf of the frontline policing Commander, the Business Support Inspector undertook an independent review of NW BCU Missing Person investigation process as assessed against the LRT Ops Room model. It was found that although the entries in the details of investigation were detailed and relevant, six reports were dip sampled and all “Required Improvement” in terms of following policy advice, in the main due to the 2-hour window from CAD (Call Handling System) to creation, PNC (Police National Computer) circulation and supervision not being met.

Following the assessment and review by the Business Support Inspector, all Inspectors performing the ‘400’ Operations Manager role were required to attend a mandatory 2.5 hour training session. This was delivered by the Continuous Policing Improvement Command to improve leadership and standards in the management of missing people reports. A NW BCU missing persons dip-sample was completed at the end of 2020, the results of which were discussed at the NW BCU Data Quality & Ethics Board (DQEAB).

During January 2021, the NW BCU MPU Sergeant delivered Missing Persons awareness training to all ranks from Police Constable to Inspector on LRT and ERPTs via Microsoft Teams (due to the Coronavirus pandemic). The sessions covered the learning from DQEAB, parts of policy where improvement was required and an awareness of a new initiative to help reduce cases of repeat missing persons from care homes.

The response to missing is regularly monitored by the MPU. The results of a further NW BCU missing persons’ audit, completed in June 2021, were discussed at the NW BCU DQEAB.
During the annual review, the NW Missing Persons improvement plan was redesigned in July 2021 to reflect the latest 2021/2022

MPS Missing Persons Key Performance Indicators.

In regard to this specific recommendation, there has not been a policy change in how the MPS handle or respond to missing persons since the introduction of the LRT in 2018.

The policy in terms of timeframes, roles and responsibilities, handling and ownership of missing persons remains unchanged.
There is no formal or informal ‘unpublished policy’ on the NW BCU, whichever version of the LRT protocol guidance document was being utilised at the time, it would reflect accurately the MPS policy expectation.

The College of Policing provide role profiles for all ranks, in particular Inspector v1.2. One of the Inspector rank key accountabilities is, “Plan, manage and monitor the front line and / or specialist operational policing team activity for their team, managing completing demands and priorities to make informed deployment decisions and ensure best use of available resources”. One of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) areas for Inspector ranks is to, “Maintain knowledge and understanding of Police Regulations and College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context and leading and managing teams”. Aside from any formal training, it is expected that officers and supervisors have a minimum level of knowledge about the investigation of missing persons, in line with the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice (APP).

Data Quality Ethics and Assurance Boards (DQEAB)

The NW BCU engaged in the DQEAB review process prior to the MPS adopting the process mid-2020. They wrote the MPS terms of reference and pioneered the process offering support to other BCUs.
Heads of Profession, Lead Responsible Officers and Tactical Policy
Advisors design audit questions used in this process to test compliance in their portfolio, seek good practice and organisational learning. Missing person investigations are part of this review process quarterly.
Each BCU has a similar board established to monitor the outcomes and compare results against peers and other BCUs.

The MPS Continuous Police Improvement Command (CPIC) assist in the process and analysis of the audit data. Each month the DQEAB will focus compliance against published standards. Key learning points for primary or secondary investigation will be reported into Senior Leadership Teams, Headquarters and the BCU Training Board. Learning is cascaded to Inspectors and Supervisors through regular messaging and Professional Development Days training to ensure staff and officers address the identified developmental points.

Dedicated Inspection Team (DIT)

The Public Protection Delivery Group leads the work in the MPS to improve policing practice in safeguarding children and young people. The team works with an independent advisory panel comprising representatives from academia, health, charities and other experts in their field. Looking at ways to involve young people and listen to the voice of the child to inform ongoing professional practice, training and communication. The team also audit and provide scrutiny of cases where police have contact with children to identify risk and promote and support organisational learning in these areas.

At the end of each audit phase, a DIT pack is created for the relevant theme that has been the subject of the audits. The DIT packs provides detailed analysis of the findings from the audits and examples of good work, learning opportunities and organisational recommendations that have been identified.
 

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