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How is your police force doing?

Our People - Luke Cowles
6 November, 2015

HMIC recently released its latest PEEL (Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimate) annual results. They look at the efficiency of the police forces in England and Wales.  

The key questions were:

  1. How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?
  2. How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
  3. How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?

A judgment is then made with four types of grading; outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate. So how have police forces done?

Only one police force achieved the lowest grade (inadequate) – Humberside Police. They serve a population of 0.92m people over 1357 square miles. HMIC found Humberside Police have a limited understanding of current and future demand. This is, in part, due to a new operating model which has been difficult to implement, and does not match resources needed given their demand. Overall it has led to a detrimental effect on the force’s ability to provide a good service to the public.

Closer to home is the Metropolitan Police – the largest force in the country, which got a grading of ‘good’. The Met serve 8.41m over just 607 square miles. Findings include that the Met are “well prepared to face its future financial challenges.” Further findings include the Met understand demand, have balanced their budget, have a good record of achieving savings and have foundations in place to meet future demands.

A quick name drop of the five forces that achieved ‘outstanding’; Cheshire, Durham, Lancashire, Norfolk and West Midlands. Eight forces achieved a grading of ‘requires improvement’; Bedfordshire, Cleveland, Dorset, Dyfed-Powys, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire and Surrey. The rest – like the Met – achieved a grading of ‘good’.

For many, these results won’t represent an accurate reflection of their experiences with their local police force. At the very least, the differing of grades shows the service you receive is a bit of a postcode lottery.

I’d be interested to hear from you and what your experiences of your local force are. Tweet me with your thoughts.

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Head of Claims Against Public Authorities Department
Luke Cowles is an Associate Solicitor who works predominantly in the actions against police team but also assists in the mental health team. He advises both clients who are eligible to receive legal aid as well as private clients.

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