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City of London 2017

Read more about City of London 2017

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of City of London Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.

The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not yet graded.

The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below.

Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Matt Parr

HMI's observations

My overall assessment of City of London’s performance will be published in spring 2018, following the publication of the effectiveness inspections in March 2018.


How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

To be graded
View the five questions for effectiveness


How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 09/11/2017

City of London Police is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This is an improvement on the overall judgment last year, when the force was judged as requiring improvement. The force’s understanding of demand for its services is good; its planning for the future is also good; but its use of resources to manage demand still requires improvement.

Overall, City of London Police is good in how efficient it is at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Through the introduction of its strategic threat and risk assessment (STRA) process, the force has improved considerably its understanding of both current demand, and demand less likely to be reported to the police. It has good structures in place for receiving feedback from its workforce about its efficiency, but it should do more to understand how inefficient processes create demand. It also needs to continue the work it has done since 2016 to achieve the full benefits of the change programmes that are already under way.

The force needs to improve how it uses its resources. Until a full skills audit of its workforce is completed (at the time of inspection this was due in October 2017) it cannot fully understand or plan for the gaps in its current capability. The force also needs to complete work to understand the levels of service that can be provided at different levels of cost. However, the force is one of only a few to take the positive action to recruit externally to provide skills and capabilities it lacks. It is developing an understanding of the leadership skills and gaps in its workforce.

City of London Police is good at planning for the future. The force’s plans have developed significantly since last year and although it is reliant on the City of London Corporation to underwrite this year’s budget, it is investing in infrastructure to make savings for the future. The force’s understanding of how technology can benefit policing, and criminals, particularly in fraud and internet-based crime, is outstanding. So too is the force’s understanding of what the public wants and how this expectation is changing.

View the three questions for efficiency


How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 12/12/2017
Requires improvement

City of London Police is judged to be requiring improvement in how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is less positive than last year, when we assessed the force as good overall. The force is judged to require improvement in some aspects of how it treats all of the people it serves with fairness and respect and in ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. However, it is judged as good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.

City of London Police requires improvement in the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It needs to improve some aspects of how it treats people. Although it is clear that its leadership understands the importance of treating people fairly, some officers are not effectively recording grounds for stop and search and the force is failing adequately to supervise officers’ recording of these grounds. It has not provided enough training on unconscious bias for its workforce, or completed stop and search training for all frontline officers. The workforce has good communication skills, which include showing empathy and listening. External scrutiny has improved considerably since last year but could be further developed if the force appointed an independent chair to the community scrutiny group.

More should be done to ensure its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Although we have seen outstanding practice from the force’s leadership in building a strong base in ethical decision-making through its ethics panel and membership of the London police challenge forum – and also through the ethical decision-making training that the entire workforce has received – this is not reflected in how the force investigates allegations of discrimination. The force learns from the outcomes of grievance cases, communicating the resulting lessons effectively to the workforce in terms of learning rather than censure. The complaints process can be easily found and understood, and additional help is offered to people who have difficulty in using it, for instance in assistance with language or with people wishing to be spoken to in their own home. However, the service that all parties receive during investigations of discrimination is unsatisfactory.

The force is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect. Its leaders actively seek feedback and challenge from the workforce and make changes as a result. Although the force has yet to put its wellbeing strategy fully into practice, the support it offers to its workforce is good. It values wellbeing and provides good support to its workforce, although it could understand more clearly the risks and threats to its personnel in this respect, and prioritise the services it provides accordingly. The force needs to develop its system for assessing performance (performance development review process, or PDR) and link this to the career aspirations of individuals and the offer of development opportunities. The force has used external recruitment effectively to address gaps in its capability.

View the three questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Key facts

Force Area

1 square mile


0.32m people - transient population


74% frontline 78% national level
3.7 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
5% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.01 per person 0.06 national level
Local 5 year trend National 5 year trend (no change)


62p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • Policing an area of 1.1 square miles of cultural, political and national economic importance, the force also leads on the national response to fraud.
  • Force priorities encompass national protective services such as counter terrorism and public order through to local concerns such as road safety.

Police and crime plan priorities

We assess all the risks and threats that have an impact on the City of London, considering the level of harm they present together with the likelihood of them occurring. From this we develop a risk register and a number of strategic assessments, which together provide an evidence base for the priorities adopted for the City of London.

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We engage with our community and listen to their concerns so they can influence how policing is delivered in the City of London, while engaging with key people ensures our service is bespoke to the needs of the businesses in the City.

We also pay close regard to our obligation to support the Strategic Policing Requirement, which sets out those matters relating to national threats transcending force boundaries. As many of our priorities directly support our national commitments it is no longer cited as a separate priority.

Our resulting priorities address both our national and local obligations:

  • Counter Terrorism
  • Cyber Attack
  • Fraud
  • Vulnerable people
  • Violent and acquisitive crime
  • Road Safety
  • Public Order