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Bedfordshire Police

Bedfordshire Police provides policing services to the county of Bedfordshire. The police force area covers 477 square miles in the south east of England. Although there are some areas of deprivation, Bedfordshire is generally affluent. Around 0.6 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the towns of Luton and Bedford. The resident population is ethnically very diverse, with 23 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by university students and the large numbers who travel through the county each year. The transport infrastructure includes a major airport.

Read more about this area

  • Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMI): Zoë Billingham is HMI for Bedfordshire
  • HMIC region: The force is in HMIC’s Eastern region

Contact Zoë Billingham

PEEL Assessment

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Bedfordshire Police keeps people safe and reduces crime. PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) gives you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas. It does this in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year-on-year.

The extent to which Bedfordshire Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The extent to which Bedfordshire Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The extent to which Bedfordshire Police is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

This year, for the first time, we have assessed leadership across the force. The assessment has led to a narrative rather than graded judgment, which is summarised below.

Read more about my assessment of Bedfordshire Police’s performance this year, including where I would like to see improvements next year.

Find out more about your force's annual assessment

HMIC’s role in inspecting this force

HMIC independently assesses police forces and policing across activity from neighbourhood teams to serious crime and the fight against terrorism – in the public interest.

In preparing our reports, we ask the questions which citizens would ask, and publish the answers in accessible form, using our expertise to interpret the evidence. We provide authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their force against others, and our evidence is used to drive improvements in the service to the public.

Inspections in Bedfordshire

There are currently no announced inspections scheduled.






Key facts

Force Area

477 square miles


0.64m people 11% local 10 yr change


76% frontline 78% national level
3.2 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
8% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.06 per person 0.05 national level
Local 5 year trend (no change) National 5 year trend (no change)


43p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Police and crime plan priorities

My ambition is to build a safer Bedfordshire by increasing the protection of the public and partnership working, thereby creating confident communities.  My plan aims to prevent crime by tackling the underlying causes, reducing the number of victims and breaking the cycle of reoffending.

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We all want Bedfordshire to be free from crime and the fear of crime. I have recalibrated the police focus on not only cutting serious and acquisitive crime, but hate crimes and domestic abuse. Police visibility has been maintained by recruiting police officers, PCSOs and Special Constables with officers receiving the latest mobile data technology and tablets. I fund a caseworker working towards early prevention, intervention and reduction of crimes against the vulnerable. I support the Integrated Offender Management programme, concentrating on the small number of offenders that commit the highest level of crime and campaign for GPS offender tagging.

Bedfordshire PCC


Kathryn Holloway


Bedfordshire Police


Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, appointed in June 2015

Crime in your area