Skip to content

South Wales 2018/19

Read more about South Wales

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

South Wales Police was inspected in tranche two 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 – South Wales Police

Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

HMI's observations

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

The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and understands the importance of working with its communities to do this. It investigates crime well and has a clear focus on identifying and protecting vulnerable people.

The force understands the complexity and scale of demand for its services. It is using this information to develop its financial and workforce plans to meet future needs. It is good at using resources to meet demand.

Senior leaders make sure the workforce understands the importance of treating the public and each other with fairness and respect. The force continues to uphold an ethical culture and promotes well the standards of professional behaviour it expects.

Overall, I commend South Wales 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 27/09/2019

South Wales Police is good at preventing and investigating crime. Prevention is at the core of the force’s approach to reducing crime and keeping people safe.

The force recognises the importance of working closely with communities. Officers and staff understand the importance of treating people with fairness and respect. The force has a strong understanding of the threats facing its communities. It is good at protecting the public from harm.

The force is good at understanding and identifying vulnerability. Officers and staff are aware of the importance of identifying and handling vulnerability appropriately. Protecting vulnerable people is a clear priority for the force.

The force needs to improve the ways in which it provides ongoing support to vulnerable victims. It needs to find long-term solutions to the challenges it faces to effectively support victims of domestic abuse.

The force is effective in managing those offenders who are known to pose a risk to vulnerable people. It has achieved a positive reduction in the number of registered sex offenders awaiting assessment.

South Wales Police is good at investigating crime and tackling serious and organised crime. These questions were not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2016 effectiveness inspection has been carried over.

View the five questions for effectiveness


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

Last updated 27/09/2019

South Wales Police is good at operating efficiently and sustainably.

In 2017, we judged that the force’s approach to meeting current demand and using resources was good. We have carried over our judgment from the 2017 effectiveness inspection.

The force is good at planning for the future. It has used software to inform its Operation Morse change programme and managed demand accordingly. It is still developing its understanding of hidden and emerging demand.

The force is good at prioritising its use of resources, and at flexing resources to meet demand.

The force needs to improve its future workforce planning.

The force has a comprehensive medium-term financial plan, but this plan will not ensure a balanced budget through to 2023. The force will need to focus on value for money over the next four years if it is to sustain and improve operational effectiveness.

South Wales Police has good plans in place to improve the services it gives to the public. It is implementing several significant change programmes, from neighbourhood policing to the extension of mobile technology. These are likely to result in a more responsive, visible and accessible service.

View the two questions for efficiency


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

Last updated 27/09/2019

South Wales Police treats both the public and its workforce fairly.

The force recognises the importance of working closely with communities. Officers and staff understand the importance of treating people with fairness and respect. However, frontline officers and staff varied in their knowledge of unconscious bias.

The force needs to improve the extent to which it understands the use of force. It would benefit from analysing its data more effectively, to increase its understanding of how officers and staff use force. It also needs to give all officers feedback about their use of force.

The force is good at using stop and search powers. The force trains its workforce on the ethical use of stop and search tactics. Officers understand the need to apply these powers lawfully and ethically.

The force is good at developing and maintaining an ethical culture and has clear processes for promoting ethical decision making.

The force is good at identifying and managing corruption risks and is developing an overarching control strategy in line with the authorised professional practice for counter-corruption.

The force is good at treating its workforce fairly, and workforce wellbeing is a clear priority for its leaders.

The force needs to improve the management, performance and development of its officers and staff.

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

Last updated 27/09/2019
View other reports

Key facts – 2019/20

Force Area

803 square miles


1.35m people
up5% local 10 yr change


89% frontline police officers
92% national level
4.16 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
up9% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.06 per person
0.06 national level
down2% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


66p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • The Force area covers 1.3m people, almost half the population of Wales and its capital city, as well as 64 of its 100 most deprived communities.
  • The Force manages around 43% of the total crime in Wales, polices many major events and is the busiest force in Wales.

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.