Kent Police needs to improve in some areas

Kent Police has performed well in some areas, but further improvements are needed, the police inspectorate has said.

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of Kent Police

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded Kent Police’s performance across nine areas of policing and found the force was ‘outstanding’ in one area, ‘good’ in four areas, ‘adequate’ in one area and ‘requires improvement’ in three areas. HMICFRS said the areas requiring improvement include how the force responds to the public, how it investigates crime, and how it manages offenders and suspects.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said:

“I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of Kent Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but there are areas where it needs to improve.

“Kent Police is outstanding at recording crime with very effective crime recording processes. The force is good at both preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour and treating people fairly and with respect.

“The force promotes an ethical and inclusive culture, and generally supports its workforce. The force is also good at achieving savings and improving productivity.

“I recognise that Kent Police has faced some unique difficulties in relation to Brexit and channel crossings, because of the county’s geographical location. But there are some improvements needed, particularly in its service to victims of crime and the way it responds to calls from the public.

“Kent Police needs to improve its ability within local policing to arrest and manage suspects and offenders to protect the public from harm. It also needs to review its policy for people released on bail and while under investigation.

“The force must ensure that all crimes are allocated promptly to officers who have both the capacity and capability to investigate them properly. Opportunities to achieve positive results for victims are being missed because some investigations are poor, or because officers haven’t maximised evidential opportunities. This lets victims down.

“Kent Police’s response to domestic abuse is of particular concern. The force is rightly proud of some of its work protecting vulnerable people. However, domestic abuse investigation teams have not been properly resourced with suitably qualified staff. As a result, some victims have received an unacceptable level of service and have continued to remain at risk. Investigations have often been delayed or are of a poor quality, reducing opportunities to achieve positive outcomes for victims. I am pleased to acknowledge that the force recognises these concerns and is already taking steps to improve its response.

“I acknowledge the good work Kent Police has already undertaken, and I will monitor the force’s progress towards addressing the areas where it can improve.”

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of Kent Police


  1. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 07836 217 729 or
  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 and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2021/22 is available on our website.