PEEL News – Update 3

HMIC is developing a new programme of annual force inspections, called PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessments. This is the third in a series of short updates, aimed at keeping you informed during the development of the new programme.

In order to provide an overall assessment of each force’s performance, the first PEEL assessments (to be published on 27 November 2014) will answer 13 questions.

Last week’s update gave an overview of the effectiveness part of the PEEL assessments, and set out the six questions which make up the assessment. This week we explain more about the efficiency and legitimacy strands, which will answer the remaining seven questions.


The efficiency strand assesses how well each police force in England and Wales provides value for money.

The inspection to inform this part of the 2014 PEEL assessments has already been carried out, and we published our report, Policing in austerity: Meeting the challenge, on 22 July 2014.

This inspection was designed in a way that allowed for each police force to be given a graded judgment (either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate) against each of the following questions:

  1. To what extent is the force efficient?
  2. To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
  3. To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?

You can find out more about this inspection and read the report on our website, along with the individual force reports.

Graded judgment for efficiency overall

Efficiency is the only one of the three strands of PEEL 2014 which will produce an overall graded judgment. This is because all the questions in this strand can be answered with a judgment. Effectiveness and legitimacy will not have overall judgments because they both draw on evidence from inspections which were carried out before the PEEL assessments were agreed.


The legitimacy strand assesses how well each police force in England and Wales operates fairly, ethically and within the law. It isn’t enough only to look at what the police do – it is also important to consider how they do it. This is the focus of HMIC’s assessment of police legitimacy.

It will answer the following four questions:

  1. What are the public perceptions of the force?
  2. To what extent does the force respond to calls for service appropriately?
  3. To what extent does the force ensure that the workforce acts with integrity?
  4. To what extent are the data and information provided by the force of a high quality?

Over the last year, HMIC has looked at aspects of legitimacy while inspecting other areas of policing and will use this evidence to answer the questions above. These sources include, but are not limited to:

  • our inspection of police integrity and corruption, which was designed specifically to inform PEEL 2014 and carried out earlier this year – find out more about this inspection below;
  • HMIC’s inspection into crime data integrity – we have already published our interim report on this inspection;
  • our domestic abuse inspection, published in March
  • the Crime Survey for England and Wales; and

Police integrity and corruption (PIC) inspection

The PIC inspection assessed the steps police forces were taking to ensure police officers and police staff act with integrity. The inspection considered:

  • what progress each force had made since 2012;
  • the extent to which ethical behaviour is communicated and embedded in each force;
  • the extent to which each force proactively looks for, challenges and investigates misconduct and unprofessional behaviour; and
  • how well each force identifies, prevents and investigates corruption.

To do this, we gathered data on complaints, conduct matters and the outcomes of investigations, as well as the capability and capacity of professional standards departments and anti-corruption units.

The full PIC report will be published towards the end of 2014.

Graded judgments

There will be no graded judgments for legitimacy in the first PEEL assessments. This is because there is insufficient compelling evidence from the inspections we conducted this year.

Keeping you updated

To keep up to date on PEEL news,
view the list of our PEEL news articles or subscribe to our news feed.

If you have any comments or questions about the PEEL assessments, you can email the programme team at

Coming up

The next update will include a message from HMI Stephen Otter, who is leading the development of the new assessments.