Durham Constabulary does some things well but there are concerns about its response to the public

Durham Constabulary is effective in many areas of tackling crime but needs to improve how it responds to the public, the police inspectorate has said.

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PEEL 2023-25: An inspection of Durham Constabulary

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Durham Constabulary’s performance across 10 areas of policing and found the constabulary was outstanding in one area, good in two areas, adequate in five areas and requires improvement in two areas.

HMICFRS said the constabulary is good at preventing and deterring crime, using a range of prevention initiatives, and investing in police community support officers.

However, the inspectorate said the constabulary needs to improve its response to the public, particularly the time it takes to answer emergency and non-emergency calls. It also said that Durham Constabulary needs to make sure it promptly identifies vulnerability when people, particularly children and young people, go missing.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said:

“I am pleased with some aspects of Durham Constabulary’s performance in keeping people safe, reducing crime and providing victims with an effective service.

“However, there are areas in which it needs to improve. The constabulary has a higher-than-average number of non-emergency calls, but it doesn’t always answer emergency and non-emergency calls as quickly as it should. While the constabulary has tried to prioritise where it puts its resources, it needs to do more to meet the public’s needs in all areas.

“While the constabulary has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse repeat incidents in England and Wales, it isn’t making good use of protective measures or effectively referring victims for support.

“We are assured that senior leaders have already started to plan how they will address the areas for improvement we have identified.”

“I hope the changes that follow result in improvements that help Durham Constabulary better meet the public’s needs. We will be monitoring its progress closely.”

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PEEL 2023-25: An inspection of Durham Constabulary


  1. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 0300 071 6781 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.
  2. 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.
  3. We have continued our intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years.
  4. 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.
  5. It isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded in this PEEL inspection and those from the previous cycle of PEEL inspections. This is because we have increased our focus on making sure forces are achieving appropriate outcomes for the public, and in some cases we have changed the aspects of policing we inspect.
  6. More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2023-2025 is available on our website.