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NPCC respond to HMICFRS PEEL spotlight report

02 May 2019

The latest PEEL spotlight report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue (HMICFRS) shows forces in general are offering a good level of service, but are doing so under significant pressure.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Chair Martin Hewitt said:

“I’m pleased to see the independent inspectorate of policing has found a good level service with the majority of forces graded as either good or outstanding.  The substantial work from all forces to meet the needs of the public and be as efficient as possible is recognised.  Particular emphasis is given to examples of innovation, improvements in how we protect the most vulnerable and investment in technology to better manage demand.   

“Police chiefs, along with many others working in policing, have been very clear that the service is under severe pressure and requires additional long term funding.  I agree with the inspectorate’s assessment that, without change, this strain will see our service to the public deteriorate - further undermining critical services like neighbourhood policing, crime investigation and counter-corruption. These demand pressures are having a worrying and increasing impact on the wellbeing and morale of our officers and staff.

“We are working closely with the Home Office and police and crime commissioners to make the case for further funding at the next spending review as well as developing plans to ensure every penny we receive is spent wisely and makes a positive difference to the public.

“We will consider the recommendations made by The Inspectorate carefully, both nationally and within forces, to see what action can be taken to address areas of specific concern.”

Additional information:

Calls to the police service both on the emergency 999 system and the non-emergency 101 system have seen significant year on year increases in recent years. This increased volume of calls has also combined with increased call handling times. This arises due the complexity of the demands faced by current day policing. All this comes at a time when policing resources are under continued pressure from budget reductions, creating situations where, at times, demand exceeds supply. The police service has worked to address call answering times and has made some improvements. All chiefs are working to ensure that this work continues.

Detectives do a vital job investigating crimes, apprehending offenders and protecting people from harm. Forces have been aware for some time of the challenges that today’s report describes, and it is always a concern when colleagues feel overworked and undervalued. The complex nature of investigations and our work to protect vulnerable people has made the role of detectives even more challenging. We are facing a challenge to recruit and retain in these roles, which is adding to the pressure on serving detectives.

We are working with the Police Federation and the College of Policing to improve the situation, including reviewing the way detectives are selected and trained, providing improved workplace support to existing detectives which recognises how their work is changing, as well as looking at changes to incentivise more people into these important roles.