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West Yorkshire 2017

Read more about West Yorkshire

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of West Yorkshire 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 is good.

Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Matt Parr

HMI's observations

Read my assessment of West Yorkshire Police below.

I am pleased with the performance of West Yorkshire Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime. I am particularly pleased with the improvements the force has made in preventing crime and protecting vulnerable people.

However, I have concerns about some aspects of its investigations; the force needs to address these to provide a consistently good service. In particular, it needs to improve its approach to criminal investigations, with a specific focus on initial enquiries and the quality of supervision of investigations.

The force has a good understanding of the skills and capabilities of its workforce. It is scenario-planning for the future and has plans in place to deal with forthcoming funding challenges.

The force treats members of the public with fairness and respect, and we found a notable improvement in how it treats its own workforce.

Overall, I commend West Yorkshire Police for maintaining the standard of its performance since last year.


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

Last updated 22/03/2018

West Yorkshire Police is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Since HMICFRS’ 2016 effectiveness inspection, the force has made progress in a number of areas. HMICFRS is pleased to see the positive effect recent improvements have had across the force, particularly in preventing crime and protecting vulnerable people. Further action is needed to ensure the force is effective in investigating crime.

The force is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. It is improving its neighbourhood policing team, which focuses on problem solving and early intervention. The force is using targeted patrols as a preventative policing measure, focusing resources on areas of high crime. It has a good understanding of its communities and the threats they face. However, it should evaluate and disseminate effective practice routinely, both internally and with partner organisations (such as local authorities, or health and education services).

West Yorkshire Police’s approach to investigating crime and reducing re-offending requires improvement. The quality of investigations in more serious and complex cases is generally good, but the force needs to improve the quality and supervision of investigations for low-level crimes, such as street robbery, burglary and vehicle-related criminality. The quality of its initial investigative response and handover are a cause of concern. Officers and supervisors need further training in basic investigative skills. The force also needs to review its procedures to track down criminals who are wanted for offences, to ensure they are arrested promptly and prevented from continuing to cause harm. It has good procedures to reduce re-offending by known offenders through its work with partner organisations, such as prison and probation services.

The force is generally good at protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims. It identifies vulnerability routinely at the first point of contact. The force is adequately prepared to manage the risk posed by dangerous and sexual offenders. It has a good understanding of how mental health problems cause vulnerability. The force works well with partner organisations, such as Mind and health services, and has effective arrangements to exchange information. However, it needs to improve capability and capacity within its safeguarding unit.

West Yorkshire Police has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing 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

West Yorkshire 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 is judged to be good for its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is assessed to be good; and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.

West Yorkshire Police has a comprehensive strategic planning framework, centred on understanding demand for its services. The force conducts a yearly strategic assessment, taking into consideration many sources of information. Its programme of change has reviewed inefficient internal processes, resulting in greater efficiency for the force. The force has a strong approach to change management and has identified many areas for review and transformation. It has a good understanding of its workforce skills and capabilities. Its strategic workforce planning group reviews workforce data each month, analysing capacity and operational capability for vacancies, budgeted posts and training gaps, informing and shaping workforce and training plans. The force is recruiting new officers to fill existing gaps and increase capacity. Further consideration of how the force can develop its understanding of its workforce’s leadership skills and capabilities in the medium and long term is now needed. This should go beyond the ‘hard’ police leadership skills of command and control and encompass the qualities and values of what it means to be a leader in West Yorkshire Police.

The force has engaged in several collaborative ventures, including the Yorkshire and the Humber police collaborations. West Yorkshire Police is continually exploring new ways of working with partner agencies in order to reduce demand further, reduce resource requirements and improve service outcomes.

The strategic planning framework ensures that financial resources and the workforce plan are aligned with the force’s understanding of demand. The force has a comprehensive ICT strategy, aligned with the workforce and service plans. Its medium-term financial and workforce plans are based on credible and sensible assumptions. It has a clear understanding of the savings required over the next three years; these are based on prudent assumptions. The force has opted to achieve these savings through fundamental, organisation-wide change while maintaining recruitment.

View the three questions for efficiency


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

Last updated 12/12/2017

West Yorkshire Police 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 good at treating all of the people it serves with fairness and respect. It is also good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and it is good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.

West Yorkshire Police understands the importance of treating people fairly and with respect. West Yorkshire Police’s values are underpinned by the Code of Ethics, which is embedded in force policy, procedure and training. The force has a good strategic approach to stop and search and use of force, with an effective training package, scrutiny and governance of the use of these powers.

The force strives to make sure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. Senior leaders regularly refer their decisions to both internal and external ethics committees that provide robust oversight and critical feedback. The force is doing positive work to make the complaints process accessible and easy for the public to use, and it generally provides timely and meaningful updates to complainants on the progress of their case. The workforce has a good understanding of what discrimination is and how to identify, respond to and investigate reports of discrimination.

West Yorkshire Police uses both formal and informal methods to work with and seek challenge from the workforce. In its recent recruitment of police officers, the force has taken the opportunity to address black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) disproportionality. The force is continuing to develop a comprehensive approach to understanding staff wellbeing. A clear strategy for wellbeing is in place, with organisation-wide, district and departmental plans. The force has effective and well-established structures and processes in place to manage and develop the individual performance of officers and staff. The force participates in direct entry and fast track schemes, and has a talent progression scheme to identify members of the workforce with high potential to become senior leaders. Promotion processes were perceived to be fair by officers and staff we spoke to during the inspection.

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

784 square miles


2.35m people
up6% local 10 yr change


91% frontline police officers
92% national level
4.22 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
up4% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

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


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

Points of context provided by the force

  • The area has diverse and complex communities generating high demands in relation to crime, calls for service and vulnerable persons.
  • The force hosts the National Police Air Service, the North East Counter Terrorism Unit and the Regional Organised Crime Unit. It also leads the Regional Scientific Support Service.

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.