PEEL spotlight report: The Hard Yards – Police to police collaboration

Published on: 21 July 2020


Many police forces across England and Wales collaborate with neighbouring forces to share resources and core functions. These collaborations were brought in to help forces create efficiencies and provide a better service for the public. However, nationally forces are spending over a quarter of a billion pounds on collaborations every year without achieving the desired results.

As part of the annual 2018/19 PEEL assessments, HMICFRS inspected the 43 forces in England and Wales. During the reporting process, we identified themes around force to force collaboration, and drew them together in this report. These findings were supplemented by six specific case studies, covering 27 forces.

Our findings highlight some good practice and areas for improvement. The findings fall into four themes:

  • purpose;
  • benefits and cost analysis;
  • leadership and governance; and
  • skills and capabilities

We have also made two national recommendations.

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PEEL spotlight report: The Hard Yards – Police to police collaboration (PDF document)

Find out more about PEEL

Find out more about PEEL and see the individual forces’ grades and performance reports

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Failing police collaborations cost forces money, time and effort


In March 2020 we suspended our inspection activity to enable forces and fire and rescue services to focus on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We deferred this report’s publication as part of this suspension. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor comments in detail on this as part of his annual assessment of policing, published on 2 July 2020. Our findings in this report are based on evidence we collected before the pandemic was declared. Care should be taken if seeking to make links between our findings and police performance during the lockdown.

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Get the police and crime commissioners' responses to the report

Dorset PCC’s response

Durham PCC’s response

Gwent PCC’s response (PDF document)

Merseyside PCC’s response (PDF document)

Nottinghamshire PCC’s response (PDF document)

Surrey PCC’s response

West Yorkshire PCC’s response

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