The Chief Inspector of Constabulary today publishes his first annual assessment of policing

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State of policing: the annual assessment of policing in England and Wales 2012/13

HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, has today published his annual assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in England and Wales.

The assessment covers the full breadth of policing work inspected by HMIC throughout 2012/13, and an overview of police forces in England and Wales. The report opens with an essay by HM Chief Inspector, on his thoughts on policing for the last year drawing on his experience in his role, and HMIC inspections. The essay addresses the financial challenge faced by forces, the demand for the services of the police and the changing nature of crime, crime prevention, the role of police and crime commissioners and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary’s role in inspecting forces.

Commenting, in his assessment, on public confidence in the police, Mr Winsor said:

“Controversies and revelations of a serious and negative nature in relation to the conduct of some police officers, both past and present, have hurt public confidence in the police, and the morale of the very great majority of honest, hardworking, committed and brave police officers has suffered as a consequence. The police service has been damaged, but it is certainly not broken. It is primarily the responsibility of the leadership of the police to repair the damage which has been done, through an intensification of its commitment – in deeds as well as words – to the highest standards of professional conduct, to the vigorous and uncompromising establishment (with others) of the truth, and the firm treatment of those found to have violated the high standards by which police officers and police staff are bound, and to which so very many adhere every day.”

Mr Winsor also addresses the financial challenge faced by the police in recent years, and said:

“Economic pressures, increased public accountability and public scrutiny, the changing nature of demand for police services and the need to exploit significant advances in information and communications technology will continue to drive police leaders towards the creation of a leaner, fitter, more efficient and effective police service which is focused on the needs of the victim and the public.”

Get the report

State of policing: the annual assessment of policing in England and Wales 2012/13


  • The full assessment can be found at
  • HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary is required by section 54(4) of the Police Act 1996 to submit the annual assessment to the Home Secretary, and to lay it before Parliament.
  • As part of the preparation for this work, Mr Winsor asked a large group of organisations and individuals for their views, in general, and on the following questions in particular:

    • What are the most significant issues and difficulties which have faced the police service in England and Wales in 2012/13, and how well has the service responded to them?
    • What do you consider the service does especially well, and in what respects should it improve?
    • What should the police service be doing now to ensure it can provide the best possible service to the public in the year ahead?
    • How do you think the police service is facing the challenges of the changing face of criminality?
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest, and rigorously examines the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence. HMIC inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing bodies. More information can be found at
  • For further information, HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
  • HMIC’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.