Durham Constabulary has been rated Outstanding by Government inspectors for an unprecedented fourth year in a row.
In their annual Peel report, published today, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services graded Durham:
• Outstanding for effectiveness
• Outstanding for efficiency
• Good for legitimacy
It means the force has achieved the highest possible overall rating for four successive years.
Deputy Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “We are delighted that Durham Constabulary has once again been graded as outstanding in this year’s Peel inspections, but more importantly we’re pleased that we are not alone in achieving the highest rating.
“The safety of everyone in the UK relies on the police across the country doing an outstanding job and if more forces can provide an outstandingly effective service, then that will make everyone in the country safer and further protect people in County Durham and Darlington.”
Among the key areas singled out for praise by inspectors were the force’s work to look after victims of crime and the standard of Durham Constabulary’s criminal investigations.
Inspectors also highlighted Durham’s outstanding planning for the future; the “impressive and comprehensive” work of its “professional and forward-thinking” IT team and highlighted the work the force had carried out “to understand what the public want and how expectations are changing.”
Deputy Chief Constable Farrell added: “I am particularly pleased that our work to look after victims and identify vulnerability has been recognised.
“If the police have a unique selling point it is that we investigate crime and so it’s nice to see that our amazing officers, police staff and volunteers have been recognised for the quality of their investigations and for their investigative standards.”
Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington said: “I am delighted that once again, the Inspectorate has decided to rate Durham Constabulary as ‘outstanding’ in this comprehensive and rigorous performance assessment.
“It’s a real tribute to the hard work of all the police officers and staff of the force, and to the excellent leadership at the top of the organisation.
“I would like to congratulate them wholeheartedly for this outcome. Local people can be assured that the Constabulary will continue to work with them to understand the issues they face, and to deal with them effectively.”
Inspection findings from a tranche of 14 police forces were published today, with the remainder of the UK’s 43 forces to have their results published over coming months.