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Cleveland 2017

Read more about Cleveland

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Cleveland Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.

The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which the force is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Matt Parr

HMI's observations

Read my assessment of Cleveland Police below.

I am satisfied with most aspects of Cleveland Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but the force needs to continue to make improvements in some areas to provide a consistently good service.

I am reassured to see that since 2016 it has made improvements in:

  • preventing crime and anti-social behaviour;
  • problem solving; and
  • the way in which it collaborates with partner organisations.

However, the force needs to improve how it protects vulnerable adults and children.

Cleveland Police understands the demand for its services from the public and how the skills and capability of its officers and staff meet that demand. It has a good record of making savings and has sound financial plans in place.

The force has placed particular emphasis on treating people with fairness and respect, resulting in positive engagement with its communities and with its workforce. However, there is more it needs to do in this regard to provide a consistently good service.

I am encouraged by the progress Cleveland Police has made since last year, which provides a good foundation for continuing improvement in the year to come.


How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 22/03/2018

Cleveland Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Since our 2016 effectiveness inspection the force has made progress in all areas inspected. It is further strengthening its approach to neighbourhood policing and responding well to people who are vulnerable through their age, disability, or because they have been subjected to repeated offences, or are at high risk of abuse, for example. However, we found that the force needs to take further action to ensure vulnerable people consistently receive an effective service.

Cleveland Police has an effective approach to reducing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. It prioritises and invests in preventing crime through its approach to neighbourhood policing, working with other organisations. The force has a good understanding of its communities and what matters to local people influences its identification of threat, risk and harm. It is good at tackling crime and anti-social behaviour with partner organisations (such as local authorities, or health and education services). The force reviews the effect of its activity on a case-by-case basis and uses evidence of good practice to inform activity in other areas, although recognises it could do more to understand the cumulative effect of this approach.

However, Cleveland Police must improve its ability to protect vulnerable people. The force is effective at identifying vulnerability. It answers calls promptly, treats victims with empathy and ensures their immediate safeguarding needs are addressed. Officers are providing an appropriate response and immediate safeguarding arrangements are put in place, but the quality of risk assessments is unsatisfactory. The force does not refer all high-risk domestic abuse cases to a multi-agency risk assessment conference, and does not always refer standard and medium-risk cases quickly enough. On a more positive note, the force is generally good at investigating crimes involving vulnerable victims, although the outcomes it achieves for domestic abuse cases require improvement. The force needs to do more to ensure that it manages effectively the risks posed by registered sex offenders. We found that the force works well with partner organisations to support vulnerable people with mental health problems.

Cleveland Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.

View the five questions for effectiveness


How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 09/11/2017

Cleveland Police is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year. The force has maintained a good understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is judged to be good; and its planning for future demand is also assessed to be good.

Cleveland Police has a good understanding of demand for its services and continues to develop its understanding of demand that is less likely to be reported. The force is good at identifying and removing from its processes and systems inefficiencies that create demand. It has basic arrangements in place for ensuring that the benefits from its change programmes are realised. The force is good at listening to and receiving feedback from its workforce and involves them when implementing changes.

The force uses its resources well. It has a good understanding of the skills and capabilities it needs now and in the future, although it could do more to understand its current broader workforce skills and leadership skills. The force has some flexibility in how it prioritises and redistributes its workforce resources. Cleveland Police continues to collaborate well with other forces, partner agencies such as other blue light services and local authorities, and its private sector providers. It actively seeks other opportunities for collaboration and for examples of best practice from other forces, academics and independent reviews.

Cleveland Police is good at planning for the future and is further developing its understanding of future demand. The force’s future plans are built on sound planning assumptions. It has a good record of making savings and it is implementing a plan for further savings. However, it would be difficult for the force to make rapid additional savings or to respond to further increases in demand without stopping a service. The force uses succession planning well and makes good use of external recruitment and young people’s apprenticeships. Although it does not have a formal talent management programme, the force is doing some work to identify and nurture the talent of its existing workforce.

View the three questions for efficiency


How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 12/12/2017
Requires improvement

Cleveland Police is judged as requiring improvement at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is the same as last year. The force requires improvement in aspects of how it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. It requires improvement at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and it requires improvement in aspects of how it treats its workforce with fairness and respect.

Cleveland Police continues to improve some aspects of the way in which it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. The force ensures that its officers and staff understand the importance of treating people with fairness and respect and it communicates this importance clearly through its Everyone Matters programme. Members of the workforce have a good understanding of how to use coercive powers fairly, although the way these powers are actually used, recorded and monitored requires improvement. The force encourages ethical leadership and decision-making, and has made considerable progress in these areas, although there are still some problems due to internal processes, including vetting backlogs.

We were pleased to find that the force identifies, responds to and investigates allegations of discrimination adequately. Although we found that the force needs to improve the way it communicates generally with all potential and existing complainants. The force is consistently good at seeking feedback and challenge from its workforce. In general, the force deals with grievances thoroughly and professionally, although the time it takes can affect the wellbeing of those involved, and officers and staff we spoke to had little confidence in the process. Cleveland Police prioritises workforce wellbeing and has a good understanding of the relevant threats and risks. An effective range of wellbeing support is available to officers and staff, although this is not recognised and accessed in all local areas. We were pleased to find that the force has improved the fairness of its promotion processes, although more work needs to be done to improve the management and development of individual performance, and to identify and develop talent from across the workforce.

View the three questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections; others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Key facts – 2019/20

Force Area

231 square miles


0.57m people
up3% local 10 yr change


92% frontline police officers
92% national level
4.00 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
up10% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.09 per person
0.06 national level
up16% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


69p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • Cleveland is a geographically small force with a mix of densely populated areas with high levels of deprivation and some more affluent or rural areas.
  • The force has a robust approach to understand the threat and risk to its communities. This is used to define local policing and resource allocation.

Police and crime plan priorities

A PCP sets out the police and crime commissioner’s (PCC’s) priorities for policing and the resources the PCC has allocated to the chief constable for achieving these priorities.