Staffordshire Police: PEEL causes of concern revisit letter

Published on: 21 May 2024

Letter information

Michelle Skeer
His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services

Chris Noble
Chief Constable
Staffordshire Police

Ben Adams
Staffordshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Sent on
21 May 2024

Staffordshire Police: PEEL causes of concern – May 2024

Thank you for the thorough presentation and discussion at the Policing Performance Oversight Group last week. I said I would come back to you once I had discussed next steps with my Board.

I am pleased to let you know that His Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, Andy Cooke, has decided to return Staffordshire Police to our default level of monitoring, which is known as ‘scan’. This decision is supported by the fact we have been able to close the force’s remaining causes of concern, which I cover in more detail below.


In January 2022, we conducted a victim service assessment as part of our police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy inspection of Staffordshire Police. During the inspection we identified two accelerated causes of concern, which were that the force:

  • was failing to identify and assess vulnerability at first point of contact; and
  • wasn’t carrying out effective investigations and didn’t give victims the support they needed.

On 6 July 2022, we moved Staffordshire Police to the engage phase of our monitoring process. This provides additional accountability and support to forces that are tackling enduring problems.

Responding to the public

In our original inspection, we found that the force wasn’t identifying and assessing vulnerability effectively at the first point of contact.

We made the following recommendations, stating that the force should make sure that:

  • call handlers use and correctly record structured initial triage and risk assessments;
  • vulnerable and repeat callers are routinely identified, as are other people in the household who may also be vulnerable; and
  • call handlers give relevant advice on the preservation of evidence and crime prevention.

In December 2023, we closed this cause of concern. We found that the force had significantly improved the frequency and quality of threat, harm, risk, investigation, vulnerability and engagement (THRIVE) assessments at the first point of contact. It had also improved the identification of vulnerable and repeat callers.

These improvements were supported by a comprehensive auditing regime that helped the force to understand its performance and better target work to improve that performance.

Investigating crime

In our original inspection, we found that Staffordshire Police needed to make sure that it carried out effective investigations and gave victims the support they needed.

We made the following recommendations, stating that Staffordshire Police should make sure that:

  • it completes investigation plans to give direction and identify lines of inquiry at an early stage;
  • investigations are actively and regularly supervised and have their progress reviewed, and that all proportionate lines of inquiry are followed;
  • it pursues evidence-led prosecutions when a victim withdraws support for the investigation; and
  • it complies with the requirements established in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and that it completes victim needs assessments.

In February 2024, we inspected the force’s crime standards again, and carried out additional inspections between February 2024 and May 2024. We found that the force had improved the standard of its investigations and was providing higher quality supervision. It had also improved its compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. This means that victims now receive a better service from the force.

As such, I am pleased with the improvement in Staffordshire Police’s investigation of crime. I am therefore able to close this cause of concern.

Further monitoring

In conclusion, I am pleased that Staffordshire Police is continuing to make good progress. I am satisfied that it has made sufficient progress to address concerns in relation to responding to the public and investigating crime.

The force still has work to do in relation to answering 999 and 101 calls, reducing the time it takes to attend incidents, and further increasing the frequency of investigative plans and supervision. However, I am reassured by the plans that you have put in place to continue this journey of improvement.

HMCI Andy Cooke has therefore decided that Staffordshire Police will be removed from the engage phase of force monitoring. From now, the force will return to our standard scan monitoring process and will continue to be inspected as part of our police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy continual assessment programme.

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Staffordshire Police: PEEL causes of concern revisit letter