West Yorkshire Police elated by 'best ever' inspection report

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has congratulated West Yorkshire Police for its excellent performance in a challenging policing environment.

Nov 24, 2021
By Tony Thompson
Chief Constable John Robins

The most recent police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection looked at ten areas of policing and the inspectorate rated the force as ‘outstanding’ in four areas, ‘good’ in four areas and ‘adequate’ in two areas.

The ‘outstanding’ areas included how the force disrupts serious organised crime and how it treats the public.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said: “I congratulate West Yorkshire Police on its excellent performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. I have graded the force as outstanding in four areas of policing, which properly reflects its high level of performance in a challenging policing environment.

“I am impressed by the force’s well-established approach to community engagement. The force has worked well with its communities to understand their diversity and to solve local policing issues.

“The force has invested significantly in developing its neighbourhood policing model since we last inspected. I am encouraged to see that resources aren’t routinely abstracted away into other areas of policing. I am also pleased to see the value that the force places on early intervention. This is important in supporting children and young people to divert them away from offending.

“West Yorkshire Police is innovative in its approaches to tackling serious and organised crime threats. I am impressed by the way the force has adopted a ‘whole systems approach’ to tackling this serious problem, and how effectively it works with other agencies to do so.

“The force has also done significant work to analyse its stop and search activity, and in the overwhelming majority of cases there are reasonable grounds for that activity to take place. There is good governance in place to make sure that stop and search is scrutinised properly by senior leaders. The force can show that it treats the communities of West Yorkshire fairly when they are subject to stop and search.

“However, the force needs to improve how it identifies vulnerability at the first point of contact because its risk assessments aren’t always effective and don’t always accurately consider the need for support or safeguarding. I am reassured that the force has taken immediate steps to address this after our inspection.”

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins QPM said: “This is the best inspection report in the force’s history. It is all the more impressive considering we are one of the largest and most complex police force areas in the UK and we also hold more national and regional responsibilities than any other force in the country.

“The women and men of West Yorkshire Police deserve the credit for this outstanding performance. It is the police officers, staff and volunteers who day in, day out are delivering the best possible service they can to victims, witnesses and those who need our help. They do this whilst under significant financial, resourcing and demand pressures.”

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe, also welcomed the report.

Ms Brabin said: “I am really pleased to see that the hard work of West Yorkshire Police officers and staff has been further recognised with this latest independent PEEL assessment report that highlights the key work in disrupting serious organised crime and treating the public with fairness and respect.

“I will be passing on the message of thanks to the Chief Constable John Robins and discussing with him the further partnership work being done in the areas highlighted as ‘good’ and ‘adequate’ in the report. These include protecting vulnerable people, which forms a key part of my draft Police and Crime Plan, and managing offenders and suspects.

“Two areas were rated ‘adequate’ including investigating crime and providing a service to victims of crime. We will work with the chief constable to understand what more can be done to support those affected by crime and those investigating it.

“Overall it is a really positive report and is testament to officers and staff at West Yorkshire Police working in really challenging circumstances, I thank each and every one of them.”

Ms Lowe added: “This is a welcome report and the mayor and I are delighted at the progress West Yorkshire Police has made, especially in areas of significant progress such as investigating crime, which was rated as ‘requires improvement’ during the last PEEL inspection 2019, and is now rated as ‘adequate’.

“We want to keep people safe and tackle criminality in all its forms and are both reassured by the positive aspects of this report. Working with victims and witnesses is central to the mayor’s new Police and Crime Plan. Supporting them and putting them at the heart of the criminal justice process, working alongside all our partners including West Yorkshire Police.

“Areas of concern highlighted then are being addressed as this report shows. Along with the mayor, we are not complacent despite the positive areas of the report. We will work with the chief constable to continue this journey of improvement to make policing as good as it can be for the people of West Yorkshire.”

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