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Kent 2018/19

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This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Kent Police. 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.

Kent Police 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 outstanding.

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

Download the full report

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

Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Zoë Billingham

HMI's observations

I congratulate Kent Police on its excellent performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. It investigates crime well. It works effectively with other agencies to identify and protect vulnerable people.

I am particularly pleased with the force’s performance in recording crime. It has substantially improved its crime-recording accuracy since our 2017 inspection.

Kent Police is ambitious in its planning for the future and wants to be at the forefront of innovative practice. I am very impressed with its understanding of changing demand and how it links this to its future financial planning and workforce development.

Senior leaders make sure that the workforce understands the importance of treating the public and each other with fairness and respect. The force continues to be outstanding in this area. It clearly promotes the standards of professional behaviour it expects. This is well understood by the workforce.

Overall, I congratulate Kent Police for its excellent 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 02/05/2019

Kent Police is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe.

It is good at investigating crime. But it should quickly resolve the problems with its new information and communications technology (ICT) system. The force should also make sure it doesn’t close investigations too early.

The force is good at protecting vulnerable people. It works well with partner organisations to do this. It also uses its protective powers well. But it needs to make sure it has enough staff in its online investigation team to manage demand.

In 2017, we judged Kent Police as good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour and at 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

Kent Police operates efficiently and provides services that it can maintain in the long term.

The force is outstanding at future planning. It understands how demand is likely to change. It uses a range of data and works closely with partner organisations to do this.

Kent Police communicates really well with the public. The force understands what matters to people. It knows what skills it needs to provide a good service.

The force has a good financial and people plan. It is good at identifying and supporting future leaders.

In 2017, we judged Kent Police as outstanding 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

Kent Police treats the public and its workforce legitimately.

It is good at behaving ethically and lawfully. Force leaders model this and support a culture of learning. The force encourages officers and staff to think about how they would respond to ethical dilemmas.

The force has an anti-corruption plan. But it needs good monitoring systems to support this. And it needs to have more people working in this area. The force is making better links with groups that work with vulnerable people. This will help it manage corruption better.

In 2017, we judged Kent Police as outstanding at treating the public and 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.

Key facts – 2019/20

Force Area

1,444 square miles


1.87m people
up9% local 10 yr change


94% frontline police officers
92% national level
3.56 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
up2% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.08 per person
0.06 national level
up33% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


49p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • The area has a complex transport infrastructure with millions of passengers and freight movements each year.
  • The force changed its policing model in September 2017 to strengthen our response to vulnerable members of our communities and further align services to the Strategic Policing Requirement.

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.