Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) independently assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces, policing and fire and rescue services. This covers everything from neighbourhood teams to serious crime and the fight against terrorism.

HMICFRS (previously known as Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary or HMIC) aims to provide authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their force against others, and to drive improvements in the service to the public.

HMICFRS is independent of Government and the police:

  • HM Inspectors of Constabulary are appointed by the Crown – they are not employees of the police service or government.
  • HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary reports to Parliament on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces in England and Wales.
  • HM Inspectors have powers to seek information from police forces and to access their premises.

HMICFRS decides on the depth, frequency and areas to inspect based on judgements about what is in the public interest. In making these judgements, HMICFRS considers the risks to the public, the risks to the integrity of policing, service quality, public concerns, the operating environment, the burden of inspection and the potential benefits to society from the improvements that might arise from the inspection.

HMICFRS’s annual inspection programme is subject to the approval of the Home Secretary in accordance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Search HMICFRS's website for all reports on Merseyside Police.

Police Effectiveness Efficiency Legitimacy (PEEL) Assessment

In November 2014, HMIC (now HMICFRS) published its first PEEL (Police Effectiveness Efficiency Legitimacy) assessments for all forces across the country, following a number of HMIC inspections over the year.

PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) gives you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas. It does this in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year-on-year.

HMICFRS can make one of four judgements regarding force performance:  outstanding; good; requires improvement; or inadequate. 

HMICFRS announced the results of its fourth assessment during 2017 and into 2018. It found:

  • The extent to which Merseyside Police is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
  • The extent to which Merseyside Police is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
  • The extent to which Merseyside Police is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

Read the full PEEL assessment for Merseyside Police here.

Further Assessments

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year.

You can find all the additional inspections here.

HMICFRS’s website also provides a Crime and Policing Comparator to allow members of the public to compare data on recorded crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB), quality of service, finances and workforce numbers for all police forces in England and Wales. HMIC validates and publishes this data, which is submitted by police forces.

HMICFRS Inspection Responses

Section 55(5) of the 1996 Police Act requires all Police and Crime Commissioners to prepare comments on any Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) reports that are published in relation to their force, to forward these to the Home Office and then publish in the manner they see fit.

The PCC has decided to publish all her responses on her website, on a dedicated HMICFRS Inspection Response page.