Basic Command Unit reports

Part of: Behind the frontline

There are over 200 basic command units (BCUs) in England and Wales. BCUs are local policing areas. They vary in size from over 1,000 officers to just under 100; some serve densely-populated, ethnically-diverse inner cities, while others cover vast tracts of sparsely-populated countryside. What they do share are some key aims and objectives, specifically to work with partner agencies in reducing crime and disorder in their areas, and to do so with integrity.

Scrutiny of police performance is shifting from overall force performance to that of individual BCUs, recognising that policing is essentially a locally delivered service.

A nationwide rolling programme of BCU inspections, focused on performance and leadership, is intended to help enhance performance and spread good practice.

Aims of BCU inspections

  • Promoting effective leadership
  • Disseminating good practice
  • Identifying inefficiencies
  • Providing pointers to enhance performance
  • Strengthening the capacity for self improvement.

Reports on individual BCU’s performance can be found in the publications section.

Please note: In July 2017 HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Inspections carried out before July 2017 may continue to refer to HMIC.