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Merseyside 2018/19

Read more about Merseyside

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

Merseyside Police was inspected in tranche three 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.

Download the full report

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

Phil Gormley, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary


HMI's observations

I am pleased with Merseyside Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. It investigates crime well and has invested in technology to assist in the day-to-day management and supervision of investigations. The force is good at keeping vulnerable people safe and works well with partners to identify and protect them.

The force’s accuracy in recording crime is good, having improved how it does this since our last inspection.

Merseyside Police has a good understanding of current demands for its services. It is conducting a comprehensive review of the skills its workforce currently has and those it is likely to need. It will use this information to develop sustainable financial and workforce plans.

The force continues to uphold an ethical culture and promote standards of professional behaviour well. However, I am concerned that it does not consistently comply with legislation when dealing with detainees in custody.

Overall, I commend Merseyside Police 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 20/01/2020

Merseyside Police is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe.

The force is good at investigating crime. It has invested in new technology to improve the quality of investigations and has started a review to assess its effect. The force uses technology to keep track of how long people are kept on bail or released under investigation (RUI), but it should also make sure that bail is being used appropriately in cases involving a vulnerable person.

Merseyside Police is good at protecting vulnerable people. Its officers and staff understand this issue, and what their responsibilities are. The force receives a high number of calls from the public, and it needs to be more consistent in recognising and recording risk during these calls. It also needs to make sure that it considers the potential risks when delays occur or circumstances change.

It has created a new vulnerable person referral unit to improve the service provided to vulnerable people. This needs time to become established – it had some staffing and process difficulties at the time of inspection. The force frequently uses the domestic violence disclosure scheme (DVDS, also known as Clare’s Law) and multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs). But it needs to make sure that it processes cases quickly enough and must ensure that it follows national guidance so that vulnerable people are protected from further harm. The force has good arrangements for managing sex offenders who pose a risk to vulnerable people.

In 2016 we judged Merseyside Police as outstanding at tackling serious and organised crime, and good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour.

View the five questions for effectiveness


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

Last updated 20/01/2020

Merseyside Police is efficient and works hard to provide a sustainable service. It engages well with the public and has introduced new technology to improve access to policing services. It has clear priorities and the workforce is aligned to meet them. The force is developing its leadership through talent management and training, and it continues to work to understand the capabilities of its workforce. Recruitment is well planned, and the force has taken steps to bring in managers with specialist skills.

The force has sound financial plans and understands the further savings it will need to make in future. Its plans are ambitious and will invest in both technology and estates to provide a sustainable service for its communities.

In 2017 we judged Merseyside Police to be 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 20/01/2020

Merseyside Police is good at treating the public and its workforce fairly.

It has a positive ethical culture and an open learning environment. Its leaders demonstrate this to the workforce. It is active in showing its officers and staff which behaviours are acceptable and unacceptable. But not everyone knows how or where to raise ethical concerns.

Since our 2017 legitimacy inspection the force has taken steps to address the vetting needs for its officers and staff. It is good at managing corruption risks, but it could use more of its data to identify those at risk of corruption.

In 2017 we judged the force to be good at both 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

252 square miles


1.43m people
up4% local 10 yr change


93% frontline police officers
92% national level
4.40 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
down8% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.07 per person
0.06 national level
up8% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


68p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • Merseyside has a population of approximately 1.5million, deals with almost 1 million calls for service annually, of which 275,000 are 999 calls.
  • Resources are allocated daily in accordance with threat, harm and risk focused on putting the needs of the community first and the early identification of vulnerability to provide appropriate support.

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.