Terms of reference: Inspection of police capability and capacity to vet and monitor officers and staff

Published on: 20 December 2021

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) will carry out a thematic inspection of police vetting and counter-corruption arrangements in England and Wales.

The inspection will consider whether the police are effective in ensuring that people, including student officers, who are not fit to serve in policing are neither recruited nor remain in the service.

The terms of reference

It will address the following questions:

  • How effective and rigorous are current vetting standards and how well do forces identify the correct vetting levels of officers and staff and vet and re-vet them in accordance with the requirements for their roles?
  • How effective are the vetting arrangements for police officers and staff who intend to transfer from one force to another?
  • How effectively do forces prevent, manage, understand, and investigate potential corruption among their police officers and staff?
  • How effectively do forces identify, prevent, detect and deal with prejudicial and improper behaviour based on gender by their police officers and staff?

For the purposes of this inspection, prejudicial and improper behaviour is any attitude and/or behaviour demonstrated by a police officer or police staff that could be reasonably considered to reveal misogyny, sexism, antipathy towards women or be an indication of, or precursor to, abuse of position for a sexual purpose.

It may include, but is not limited to: inappropriate, crude or offensive comments; telling sexualised jokes; asking intrusive questions about someone’s private life; inappropriate touching; abusive, manipulative, coercive, controlling or predatory behaviour; bullying and harassment; and any other type of behaviour that may give cause for concern over whether a person is fit to serve as a police officer or as police staff.

The attitudes and behaviours that are the subject of this inspection may be towards both female members of the public and women in the police service.

Read the letter

Inspection of police capability and capacity to vet and monitor officers and staff (PDF document)

Get the report

An inspection of vetting, misconduct, and misogyny in the police service