Public Interest

Police inspections

HMICFRS’s annual inspection programme for police forces in England and Wales is subject to the approval of the Home Secretary under the Police Act 1996.

The Home Secretary may also require HMICFRS to carry out further inspections of police forces, beyond the terms of the annual inspection programme. Local policing bodies may commission HMICFRS to do inspections in their force areas, although HMICFRS is not required to accept any such commission.

In devising its policing inspection programme for the Home Secretary’s approval, HMICFRS considers the risks to the public, service quality, public concerns, the operating environment, the effect which inspection may have on a force, and the benefits to the public of improvements which may follow inspection.

HMICFRS may also carry out inspections of police forces on its own initiative if it considers that the performance or circumstances of a force merit it.

Fire & rescue service inspections

The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 provides that HMICFRS will inspect and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of fire & rescue authorities in England.

HMICFRS’s inspection programme for fire & rescue authorities in England is subject to the approval of the Home Secretary.

The Home Secretary may also require HMICFRS to carry out further inspections of any or all fire & rescue services in England.

In its inspections, HMICFRS focuses on the efficiency and effectiveness of each English fire & rescue authority and how well it looks after its people. HMICFRS may also on its own initiative carry out an inspection not in its inspection programme if it considers that the performance or circumstances of the fire & rescue authority merit it.