Joint inspections of police authorities

Part of: Specific reviews

In November 2008, the government announced that police authorities would be jointly inspected by HMIC and the Audit Commission across the full range of their activities. These inspections were discontinued in 2010 following the announcement that PCCs would take over from police authorities.


Between September 2009 and July 2010 HMIC, the Audit Commission and the Wales Audit Office inspected 22 of the 43 police authorities in England and Wales. Inspection reports for individual forces can all be found in the police authority inspections section of the Audit Commission’s website (external link).

HMIC’s report, ‘Police Governance in Austerity’, draws on the findings from all 22 inspections.

Police Governance in Austerity – October 2010

In March 2010 preliminary findings following the first ten inspections were published.

Learning Lessons: An overview of the first ten joint inspections of police authorities by HMIC and the Audit Commission – March 2010


Inspectors judged how well police authorities were fulfilling their role of ensuring that the public has an efficient and effective local police force along four key themes:

  • Setting the strategic direction and priorities of the police force;
  • scrutinising the performance of the police force;
  • ensuring results through community engagement and partnerships; and
  • Ensuring value for money and productivity.

Each police authority received a published inspection report, which was made available to the public. The reports identified the police authority’s strengths and areas of innovation to be shared with other police authorities. The reports also identified areas for improvement that we expected police authorities to act upon in order to improve their performance for the public.

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.