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Cumbria 2018/19

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This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Cumbria Constabulary. PEEL is designed to give you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year.

Cumbria Constabulary was inspected in tranche one and we found:

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

the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is good.

the extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately is good.

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PEEL: Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy 2018/19 – Cumbria Constabulary

Phil Gormley, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary


HMI's observations

I am pleased with Cumbria Constabulary’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The constabulary understands its communities. It is good at preventing and investigating crime. It has a clear focus on protecting vulnerable people. Since our last inspection, it has further improved how it supports people in need.

The constabulary understands well the current demand for its services. It uses this to inform its financial and workforce plans to meet future needs. There is a constabulary-wide culture of continuous improvement.

Senior leaders make sure that the workforce understands the importance of treating the public and each other with fairness and respect. I am pleased that the workforce is using body-worn video better during its interactions with the public.

Overall, I commend Cumbria Constabulary for sustaining its positive performance over the past year. I am confident that it is well equipped for this to continue.


How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?

Last updated 01/05/2019

Cumbria Constabulary is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe.

It is good at protecting vulnerable people. This is a strategic priority. Officers and staff understand the importance of protecting vulnerable people.

Specialist safeguarding officers work in the control room. They advise and guide officers dealing with incidents. This means call takers and officers make better quality risk assessments. The constabulary can take the right safeguarding measures at the earliest opportunity.

A 24-hour mental health helpline assists officers and staff in supporting people with mental health problems.

Officers can recognise less obvious signs that a person may be vulnerable.

They know how to protect those at risk from modern slavery and human trafficking.

Officers use body-worn video cameras to record evidence at domestic abuse incidents. The constabulary uses arrest, charge and bail to reduce risk of further harm.

Dedicated officers and staff manage dangerous and sex offenders. They visit them regularly and use court orders to control their behaviour.

In 2016 we judged the constabulary as being good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. In 2017 we judged the constabulary to be good at investigating crime and tackling serious and organised crime.

View the five questions for effectiveness


How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?

Last updated 02/05/2019

Cumbria Constabulary is good in the efficient way it operates and provides sustainable services to the public.

The constabulary forecasts future changes with detailed demand analysis. Public engagement informs its plans and how it allocates resources.

It now understands what skills it needs to meet future demand. So, it is changing its workforce mix.

Police and partner organisations work together in local focus hubs to resolve community problems. This will reduce long-term demand. Additional officers deal proactively with people who are harming communities.

The constabulary recognises the importance of ICT in the future. It has allocated enough funds to meet its needs. A new system to match skills to demand will help it manage resources better.

A new workforce development programme is helping the constabulary develop talented people and future leaders.

The constabulary has robust financial plans with scenario planning for several possibilities. These are subject to external scrutiny.

An overarching change programme, Cumbria Vision 25, brings together departmental change programmes. So there is a co-ordinated approach to preparing for the future. The constabulary has improved its processes to realise the expected benefits of change. It has good collaborative arrangements with police partners. It is making progress with an ambitious blue light collaboration.

In 2017 we judged Cumbria Constabulary as being good at meeting current demands and using resources.

View the two questions for efficiency


How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?

Last updated 02/05/2019

Cumbria Constabulary is good in the way it treats the public and its workforce.

The constabulary is good at treating the public fairly. Senior leaders make sure officers and staff understand the importance of fairness and respect when dealing with the public. Neighbourhood teams engage with communities to understand their problems and keep them updated about actions. Schemes such as the mini-police in schools help to improve understanding.

Officers and staff are trained to use force and stop and search powers appropriately. Frontline staff use body-worn video cameras, giving extra reassurance that they act professionally. Internal scrutiny of these powers ensures they are being used properly. The constabulary publishes data for the public. But there could be better external scrutiny.

The workforce is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. Policies and processes align with the Code of Ethics. The workforce understands the principles of the code. But the constabulary should improve how it discusses ethical dilemmas with the workforce.

All officers and staff are vetted to the correct level, with minimal backlogs.

The outcomes of complaint and misconduct investigations are published. This ensures lessons are learned about acceptable standards of behaviour.

The constabulary has a good capability to tackle potential corruption. But it needs to improve its ability to gather intelligence proactively.

Officers and staff have a good awareness of the problem of abuse of position for a sexual purpose. They have been trained to look for warning signs.

In 2017 we judged Cumbria Constabulary as good at treating its workforce fairly.

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.

Other reports

Key facts – 2019/20

Force Area

2,634 square miles


0.5m people
No change local 10 yr change


88% frontline police officers
92% national level
3.86 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
down6% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.05 per person
0.06 national level
up10% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


64p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • Cumbria is 98% rural & mountainous, with 150 miles of coastline, geographically isolated and with a sparse population.
  • The small population increases with millions of visitors each year increasing the demand on services and infrastructure.

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.