Durham Constabulary is the top performing force in the country after receiving the highest possible gradings by inspectors.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) carried out the latest element of the Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2014 (the PEEL Report).
The inspections, which are part of a rolling programme, looked at how efficient forces are at keeping people safe and reducing crime.
This was broken down to three areas. Durham Constabulary was graded “outstanding” – the highest grade – in each area.
It is the only force in the country to achieve this.
The HMIC report said: “HMIC found that Durham Constabulary is exceptionally well prepared to face its future financial challenges.
“HMIC found that the constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of the demand for its services and is using innovative ways of working to manage demand, with widespread joint problem-solving with other local organisations.
“The constabulary has an impressive track record of robust financial management, accurate budgeting and achieving planned savings.”
Durham currently holds two “outstandings” and a “good” as part of previous inspections for effectiveness.
This means that out of a possible six areas, the Force has received five “outstandings” and one “good” – the best of any force in the country.
Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have received these gradings.
“It is down to the hard work of everyone who works or volunteers for Durham Constabulary that we are in such an enviable position and they should take the credit.
“At a time when we are operating amongst the continuing bite of austerity, it is heart-warming that we are recognised in this way.
“Now for the hard work, to maintain our success. But I have every confidence that our talented people will do just that.”
Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “In my role as Police and Crime Commissioner, I am required to ensure our residents receive an efficient and effective policing service. The last two HMIC PEEL inspections have seen Durham the only Force in the country to receive five outstanding grades out of six, with the remaining one graded as good.
“This outcome is a testament to the tremendous hard work throughout the whole of Durham Constabulary, from the leadership right through to the front line, including the vital assistance we receive from our statutory partners, the voluntary sector and our communities.”