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Norfolk 2017

Read more about Norfolk

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Norfolk Constabulary. 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 constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

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

The extent to which the constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Zoë Billingham

HMI's observations

Read my assessment of Norfolk Constabulary below.

I am very pleased with the performance of Norfolk Constabulary in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

I am satisfied that the workforce identifies risk and supports vulnerable victims well. The force has strong working relationships with partner organisations, which enables it to meet the ongoing needs of vulnerable people appropriately.

The force uses its resources well and has an outstanding understanding of its current demand. It also carries out innovative work with academic bodies and external organisations to better project future demand.

The force treats members of the public and its own workforce with fairness and respect. It ensures that its officers and staff behave ethically and lawfully and has robust external processes, such as public scrutiny panels, in place to support this.

I commend Norfolk Constabulary for another strong performance this year and am confident that it is well equipped for this to continue in the future.


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

Last updated 22/03/2018

Norfolk Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force has performed consistently well in our effectiveness inspections and maintains high-quality services for its communities. This overall judgment is based partly on evidence gathered in 2016, but it was reviewed following the most recent inspection.

The force is good at supporting victims and protecting people who are vulnerable through their age, disability, or because they have been subjected to repeated offences, or are at high risk of abuse. It consistently identifies whether a person is vulnerable when they first contact the police and it provides a good initial response. There are clear processes in place for assessing risk to victims, and the force arrests a high proportion of domestic abuse suspects, which helps to protect their victims from harm.

Norfolk Constabulary fully understands its role in supporting people with mental health conditions, and is seeking to further improve the service it provides in this area. The force has good working relationships with partner organisations, (such as local authorities, or health and education services), which enable it to provide an impressively high standard of support to vulnerable people and to address their needs appropriately.

Investigations involving vulnerable victims are generally conducted well and the force achieves outcomes in domestic abuse investigations which are comparable to those of other forces.

Norfolk Constabulary has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities, and to respond initially to an attack which requires 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

Norfolk Constabulary is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment is consistent with last year. The force is judged to be outstanding in its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is judged to be good; and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.

Norfolk Constabulary has an outstanding understanding of the current and likely future demand for its services, which is based on research and analysis. The force analyses data from public organisations such as local councils, health services and the fire service. The joint performance and analysis department with Suffolk Constabulary does high-quality, innovative work, supported by robust academic research and scrutiny. The force has a good understanding of more complex and hidden demands (such as modern slavery and so-called honour-based violence) and has analysed demand which can be prevented or responded to by a more appropriate agency.

The force has effective processes to manage, prioritise and filter demand. Its contact and control room has impressive arrangements in place to ensure that structured assessment is used to manage demand. It is trialling a new district triage team to manage calls from the public which do not require an immediate police response, and is proposing two investigation hubs to group its specialist resources to increase its flexibility.

Norfolk Constabulary has an impressive range of working arrangements with other police forces and external organisations to help save money and improve the services it provides. For example, it has collaborated with Suffolk Constabulary on a revised ICT strategy and is sharing a number of premises with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. The force has a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, led by the chief constable and supported by senior leaders, and it encourages its workforce to suggest new ideas.

The force has a good understanding of the current skills and leadership capabilities of its police officers, but now needs to develop a similar understanding for its police staff. The force could do more to understand fully what skills it needs in its leaders now and in the future. It uses the annual staff appraisal and continued professional development plans to identify the development needs of both officers and staff, and is seeking new talent from outside the force.

Norfolk Constabulary has a good record of making necessary savings. The force seeks to identify inefficient processes, and has robust quality assurance mechanisms to ensure that its efforts to achieve efficiency do not lead to demand being suppressed. It engaged external consultants to help develop a new approach to allocating money internally, called outcome-based budgeting, which gives it a better understanding of how it uses its resources and what is achieved as a result. Its plans for the future appear to be realistic and achievable, although it realises that making the required savings will be difficult.

View the three questions for efficiency


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

Last updated 12/12/2017

Norfolk Constabulary is judged to be good 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 is judged to be good at treating the people it serves with fairness and respect. It is judged to be good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully, and good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.

Norfolk Constabulary continues to demonstrate that it treats the people it serves with fairness and respect. We identified a strong culture of ‘doing the right thing’ among the workforce, who receive the training they need to use their powers fairly and respectfully. The force monitors the use of its coercive powers and ensures any learning from this is used to improve workforce training. Effective external scrutiny is provided through public meetings as well as an independent advisory group and independent stop and search scrutiny panel. The force is introducing body-worn video cameras for frontline officers, which will enable further scrutiny.

The force is good at ensuring that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and its policies are based on the Code of Ethics. However, the force needs to ensure that it complies fully with current national vetting standards.

Norfolk Constabulary provides comprehensive information about how to make a complaint, both on its web page and in force buildings. The force reviews all public complaints and internal misconduct investigations to ensure it learns from its mistakes. The force’s joint professional standards department with Suffolk Constabulary undertakes satisfactory investigations in cases involving alleged discrimination. However, it needs to ensure it identifies all allegations involving discrimination, it updates complainants and those who are the subject of allegations in a timely manner (in line with legal requirements) and that updates contain sufficient information on the progress of the investigation.

Norfolk Constabulary is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect. The force encourages and listens to feedback from the workforce. It uses a wide variety of methods to gather feedback with the workforce in person and anonymously, and is proactive in responding to concerns. The force continues to improve the range of wellbeing services it provides. It is making progress in increasing the diversity of its workforce so that it better reflects the communities it serves. However, it needs to improve the way individual performance assessment is used and ensure that selection and promotion processes are consistent and fair 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.

Last updated 11/04/2018
View other reports

Key facts – 2019/20

Force Area

2,079 square miles


0.914m people
up7% local 10 yr change


93% frontline police officers
92% national level
3.23 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
up3% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.05 per person
0.06 national level
up21% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


55p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • Extensive collaboration with Suffolk Constabulary achieved savings of £17.4m of the £30m saved since 2010 whilst minimising reductions on frontline local services.
  • The constabulary has an increased focus on threat, harm and risk, in response to the rise of reported domestic abuse crimes and serious sexual offences.

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.