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Cambridgeshire 2017

Read more about Cambridgeshire 2017

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Cambridgeshire Constabulary. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.

The extent to which the constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not yet graded.

The extent to which the constabulary is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which the constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not yet graded.

The efficiency inspection findings are published below.

Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Zoë Billingham

HMI's observations

My overall assessment of Cambridgeshire’s performance will be published in spring 2018, following the publication of the legitimacy and effectiveness inspections in December 2017 and March 2018, respectively.


How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

To be graded
View the five questions for effectiveness


How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 09/11/2017

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is an improvement from last year. The force is judged to be good in its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is assessed to be good; and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is making good progress in improving its understanding of demand for its services, but recognises that it needs to do more, particularly to predict future demand. The force understands the factors that affect demand and uses a risk-based approach to manage and prioritise its response. However, it is not answering all non-emergency calls within a reasonable amount of time, which means some calls are abandoned and potential demands for service may be being missed.

The force uses and allocates its resources well and is developing a new policing model to improve its flexibility and how it matches resources to demand. It has good investment plans and is working well with other organisations to manage demand for services. The force has a good understanding of the operational skills and capabilities of its current workforce and it is identifying future requirements and the resources that will be needed. Leaders are being trained for the future. However, there is an inconsistent approach to performance development reviews. The force is part of a strategic alliance with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary, which should increase the opportunities to improve diversity and to identify and nurture talent.

The force has good plans for implementing the changes necessary to deal with an uncertain financial future. It has a prudent approach to savings and good investment plans. The chief constable and the police and crime commissioner work closely with Bedfordshire Police, Hertfordshire Constabulary and with local organisations to help improve efficiency.

View the three questions for efficiency


How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

To be graded
View the three questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Key facts

Force Area

1309 square miles


0.83m people 13% local 10 yr change


76% frontline 78% national level
2.8 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
17% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.05 per person 0.06 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

Points of context provided by the force

  • The force prioritises its activity where harm is greatest. There is an emphasis on protecting the vulnerable by targeting the criminals who prey on them.
  • The force is part of a pioneering strategic alliance with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary to help meet the challenges of increasing demand and achieving value for money.

Police and crime plan priorities

My Police and Crime Plan focuses on four key themes: Victims, Offenders, Communities and Transformation.

The Plan puts people at the heart of what we do. We will focus on the most vulnerable members of society, putting victims at the centre of our work, bringing offenders to justice and deterring them from re-offending.

Read More

The Plan looks beyond just the police. It seeks to drive changes to the way public services work together in the county, aligning activity, improving efficiency and reducing cost. At the same time we are looking to increase public participation in creating stronger, safer communities.

In the face of complex economic and social pressures, we must think and act differently and continue to transform the way we work through collaboration and new technology. In order to achieve this, we will support our staff to develop and care for our people so they can reach their full potential and feel proud of what they do.

We remain committed to providing a police service we can trust and be proud of.