Concerns about Sussex Police's performance

Sussex Police needs to improve how it keeps the public safe and reduces crime, the police inspectorate has said.

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of Sussex Police

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Sussex Police’s performance across nine areas of policing and found the force was ‘good’ in two areas, ‘adequate’ in four areas, ‘requires improvement’ in one area, and ‘inadequate’ in two areas.

HMICFRS said the force did not always record reports of violent crime – particularly behavioural crimes (harassment, stalking, controlling and coercive behaviour), rape, domestic abuse and antisocial behaviour.

However, the inspectorate said that the force works well with communities and has progressed involvement with some hard-to-reach communities. It also praised Sussex Police’s work prevention and enforcement, including a focus on reducing serious youth violence and on habitual knife carriers.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said:

“Sussex Police urgently needs to improve how it responds to the public, and how it records crime.

“Its recording of reports of violent crime is inadequate, and the force is also missing opportunities to safeguard vulnerable people. It needs to improve the way it assesses initial calls to the force so that vulnerable people and repeat callers are routinely identified.

“As a result of my concerns I have already been in contact with the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner.

“I am pleased with the way the force has responded so far and I will continue to check the force’s progress in addressing areas for improvement in the coming months.”

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of Sussex Police


  1. In 2014, we introduced our police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Since then, we have been continuously adapting our approach and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
  2. We are moving 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.
  3. We have also expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers. As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.
  4. 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 report.
  5. More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2021/22 is available on our website.
  6. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 0300 071 6781 or