Durham Constabulary congratulated for good performance

Durham Constabulary has been congratulated for its overall good performance, although it needs to improve in some areas, the police inspectorate has said.

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of Durham Constabulary

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Durham Constabulary’s performance across 10 areas of policing and found the force was ‘outstanding’ in two areas, ‘good’ in seven areas and ‘adequate’ in one area.

HMICFRS said the ‘outstanding’ areas included how the force disrupts organised crime and how it achieves value for money.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said:

“I congratulate Durham Constabulary on its overall good performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime, although it needs to improve in some areas to provide a consistently good service.

“I am impressed by the well-established approach to disrupting the threat posed by serious and organised crime. A dedicated team is supported by very effective partnerships with other organisations, such as local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive, the NHS, and HMRC.

“The force works hard to break the cycle of repeated offending. It is willing to try new ideas and offenders have been encouraged to turn their lives around by addressing the causes of their offending.

“Established with the police and crime commissioner, an independent panel reviews arrests of people from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds, the use of force, and the use of stop and search.

“The force promotes an ethical and inclusive culture, and equips its supervisors with leadership, wellbeing and inclusion training. I am encouraged to hear how participants have since put this learning to practical benefit in the workplace, improving their own leadership.

“During the pandemic, the force moved quickly to change police staff contracts, taking advantage of the benefits of home working and making best use of its finances.

“The force should improve its compliance with the requirements of the Code of Practice for Victims. The Code sets out 12 rights that victims can expect from the criminal justice system. While the force has provided training to staff, work is needed to ensure that it is applied more consistently – in particular, by ensuring that it identifies and meets the needs of individual victims.

“While I congratulate the officers and staff of Durham Constabulary for their efforts in keeping the public safe, I will monitor the progress towards addressing the areas I have identified where the force can improve further.”

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of Durham Constabulary


  1. In 2014, we introduced our police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Since then, we have been continuously adapting our approach and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
  2. We are moving to a more intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years. We have also changed our approach to graded judgments. We now assess forces against the characteristics of good performance, and we more clearly link our judgments to causes of concern and areas for improvement.
  3. We have also expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers. As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.
  4. However, these changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded this year with those from previous PEEL inspections. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, does not necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the report.
  5. More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2021/22 is available on our website.
  6. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk (e-mail address).