Review of Intelligence and Witness Protection

Part of: Police ethics and accountability Specific reviews

In January 2010 HMIC assessed whether Nottinghamshire Police and Lincolnshire Police offer appropriate levels of protection to the public; specifically in respect of intelligence sharing and witness protection. This was of significant public interest during the inquests into the deaths of John and Joan Stirland.

Key findings of the inspection include:

  • Both Nottinghamshire Police and Lincolnshire Police comply with the current ACPO guidance on witness protection.
  • It was evident that Nottinghamshire had made enhancements and improvements to its management of intelligence and the protection of witnesses, such as:
    • recent intensive management training in threats to life and the protection of vulnerable people;
    • introduction of a custom built IT system to support the management of threats to life; and
    • additional management added to Nottinghamshire’s dedicated Witness Protection Unit, improving the monitoring of the unit’s activity.
  • Inspectors found evidence that Lincolnshire Police had made changes and improvements to the force’s intelligence and witness protection arrangement, such as:
    • learning lessons from significant incidents through targeted reviews;
    • improvements to analytical systems that help to gauge threats to witnesses of crime and other vulnerable people; and
    • improvements to systems, processes and training to ensure that risks are addressed.

HMIC found that Nottinghamshire Police had taken necessary steps to manage risks to the public, but that further improvements could be made.

HMIC found that Lincolnshire Police had made real changes and improvements.

Read ‘An inspection of Lincolnshire Police regarding Intelligence and Witness Protection’

Read ‘An inspection of Nottinghamshire Police regarding Intelligence and Witness Protection’

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.