Norfolk Constabulary control staff are effective and professional but the force must improve how it handles emergency calls involving vulnerable people

Norfolk Constabulary must improve the way it handles and responds to emergency calls involving vulnerable people, the police inspectorate has said.

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Police and crime commissioner-commissioned inspection into Norfolk Constabulary

In January 2024, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) was commissioned by the then Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk to review Norfolk Constabulary’s control room. The focus of the inspection was on how the force handles and responds to 999 calls.

The inspectorate, which reviewed almost 500 emergency 999 calls, said that overall, the force’s call handlers provide an effective and professional service to the public and a new script approach to completing risk assessments has supported improvement.

However, HMICFRS also found during the review period that:

  • information gathered through the call handling system was not recorded consistently, and there were variations in how checks on force systems were completed. Sometimes, these checks weren’t completed at all;
  • some control room staff had not received the relevant training to help them correctly identify and respond to vulnerable people during calls; and
  • incident responses were sometimes downgraded without being reassessed or without supervisory oversight.

Inspectors said that this lack of consistency meant the force wasn’t always able to identify vulnerable people, and may not provide them with the safeguarding support or level of response needed to keep them safe. This includes children and victims of domestic abuse.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Roy Wilsher said:

“We found that Norfolk Constabulary’s call handlers provide a high level of service to the public. However, we found some areas that need to be improved. This is particularly relevant to the identification of, and response to, those that are vulnerable.

“The force must make sure it has robust quality assurance measures in place to ensure processes are consistent, and it should provide staff with relevant training to help them to correctly identify vulnerable people.

“The force’s new approach to risk assessment and the introduction of the Right Care Right Person model will help formalise the working arrangement that the force has with other agencies. The result will be that incidents that aren’t police matters are dealt with by the most appropriate agency.”

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Police and crime commissioner-commissioned inspection into Norfolk Constabulary


  1. The inspection request was made by Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie under section 54(2BA) of the Police Act 1996.
  2. The Right Care, Right Person (RCRP) model aims to bring together the police and partner agencies to identify the most appropriate agency, and the most effective response, to provide vulnerable people with the care and support they need.
  3. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 0300 071 6781 or