What is PEEL?

In 2014, we introduced our police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales.

The questions that make up the PEEL assessments do not remain exactly the same, and must adapt to changing priorities and circumstances in policing. 2021/22 has seen the most significant changes yet.

Changes to the PEEL programme in 2021/22

We have moved to a more intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years.

We have also changed our approach to graded judgments. We now assess forces against the characteristics of good performance, and we more clearly link our judgments to causes of concern and areas for improvement. We have expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers:

  • Outstanding
  • Good
  • Adequate
  • Requires improvement
  • Inadequate

As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.

However, these changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded this year with those from previous PEEL inspections. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, does not necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the force’s report.

PEEL 2021/22

On the PEEL 2021/22 page we set out:

  • the changes to the programme in more detail
  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the programme in 2020; and
  • links to the methodology and further information

Previous assessments

To read about how we inspected the first PEEL assessments, through to the latest, published in 2018/19, see the PEEL assessments 2014 – 2018/19 pages.

National reports and spotlights

We regularly publish spotlight reports on national themes that arise from PEEL force reports or investigate specific issues in more depth.