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Response to HMIC PEEL Leadership inspection

The latest PEEL inspection of leadership in policing has found forces lack sufficiently deep understanding of the skills and capabilities of their workforce.

The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) suggests this is risking their ability to meet future demands

The Police Leadership 2017 report shows that few police forces have adequate succession plans in place and too many are taking a “short-term and reactive approach to address future needs.”

 However, it also notes positive examples of police leaders showing commitment to improvement, including: 

  •  Senior teams consistently demonstrated an understanding of the need for fair and ethical treatment of their workforces and to the public. 
  • Inspectors also found that there has been an increasing prioritisation of wellbeing within the workforce.

Association President  Gavin Thomas said: 

“I welcome this report which has acknowledged some great examples of leadership throughout the service. 

“It recognises that leadership has broadened from operational delivery and performance to equally important areas such as fairness, transparency and the wellbeing of the workforce. All leaders in policing –  not just chief officers – have a responsibility to demonstrate these qualities: it is a key tenet of any leader to address the wellbeing of their people, to seek challenge, and to set, follow or look for best practice.  

“I have repeatedly called for a public debate about what this country wants its police service to do, and how we then structure and resource it accordingly. Leadership is at the core of this.  

“However the results of the most recent resilience survey of our members suggested there is still much to do. This found half of our members had signs of anxiety and almost a quarter had symptoms of depression. A third take annual leave instead of reporting as sick, and 58% per cent said it was unacceptable in their force to admit errors, seek support or say they are not coping.  

“The current model of policing relies on fewer people working longer and harder than ever. This is not sustainable and the leadership of the service need to acknowledge this and put plans in place to address it.” 

The full report is available on the HMICFRS website.