HMICFRS publishes its policing inspection programme and framework 2018/19

New inspections into hate crime, county lines and older people in the justice system, are central to the programme and framework of policing inspections published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

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Policing inspection programme and framework 2018/19

The document, which has been laid before parliament today, sets out HMICFRS’s programme of policing inspections up until the end of the financial year, and details those inspections already taking place. The programme and framework builds upon findings from inspections in 2017/18 and continues to place importance on how forces deal with vulnerable people with this element being examined across all inspections.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor, said:

“As in previous years, HMICFRS has a demanding programme of inspection work. his year, as well as our continued emphasis on counter-terrorism, child protection and crime data integrity, we will be reporting on the police response to hate crime, including that of disability.

“We will continue to provide graded judgments as part of our annual all-force PEEL programme to enable the public to see how the performance of their local police force has changed over time. This year, however, sees a new way of inspecting, based on risk. In 2018/19, we will carry out PEEL inspection work in a more integrated way, with fieldwork taking place once a year in each force and the areas for inspection determined according to our assessment of risk.

“Work on the development of force management statements continues apace and these will play a vital role in assessing risk in police forces. We have had the first of these statements from police forces and will continue to work with them to refine the content of these statements further.”

Proposed thematic inspections this year include hate crime, counter-terrorism, fraud (including cyber-enabled fraud), older people in the criminal justice system, cybercrime and HMICFRS’s rolling programmes concerning child protection and crime data integrity. Crime data integrity inspections assess whether police forces record and categorise crimes correctly. We will start thematic work on county lines in 2018/19.

Protecting vulnerable people is a fundamental part of policing. HMICFRS assesses the police response to threats to and crimes against vulnerable people in several of our inspection programmes, including custody inspections and specific questions in the PEEL inspections. Child protection programmes will produce thematic findings, as well as findings relating to specific forces.

HMICFRS will publish the results of the first components of our hate crime inspection programme shortly (conducted jointly with HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate). We will also conduct work to follow up on previous inspections relating to victims of so-called honour-based abuse; forced marriage and female genital mutilation; and modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 established a new system of super-complaints. Although super-complaints must be made first to HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, there will be a process – to be set out in secondary legislation – specifying how super-complaints will be dealt with and who will deal with them. HMICFRS will work with the College of Policing and the Independent Office for Police Conduct to decide what action should be taken in response to a super-complaint.

The inspection programme and framework was consulted upon in the period of 22 January to 19 February 2018, and this programme reflects the observations made to HMICFRS by, among others, the public, police and crime commissioners and chief constables.

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Policing inspection programme and framework 2018/19


  1. County lines is the police term for urban gangs supplying drugs to suburban areas and market and coastal towns, using dedicated mobile phone numbers known as ‘deal lines’
  2. HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest, and assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence.
  3. HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies. It also inspects all 45 fire and rescue services in England.
  4. For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
  5. HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.