North Yorkshire Police improves says inspectorate

12 March 2024

North Yorkshire Police has made improvements in how it keeps people safe, reduces crime and provides victims with an effective service, the police inspectorate has said.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded North Yorkshire Police’s performance across nine areas of policing and found the constabulary was good in five areas and adequate in four areas.

  • Good – Preventing crime
  • Good – Recording data and crime*
  • Good – Police powers and public treatment
  • Good – Protecting vulnerable people
  • Good – Managing offenders
  • Adequate – Investigating crime
  • Adequate – Responding to the public
  • Adequate – Developing a positive workplace
  • Adequate – Leadership and force management

HMICFRS said the force has improved its approach to protecting vulnerable people. It has an established domestic abuse scrutiny panel, which works to improve public confidence in the force’s approach to domestic abuse and rape, and it makes good use of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. Inspectors also said that the force has invested significantly in its control room, and observed improvements in call handling and how quickly it arrives at emergency and priority incidents.

However, the inspectorate said the force needs to do more to ensure it consistently achieves appropriate outcomes for victims. HMICFRS also said that the force needs to better understand its demand, so it can manage it more effectively.


His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Michelle Skeer said:

I have been impressed with North Yorkshire Police’s response to the findings of our last inspection in 2022. The force has worked quickly to improve the policing service it provides to the communities of North Yorkshire. Because of this, it has made progress in all the areas of improvement identified in our last inspection.

Chief officers have made well thought out changes and investments to make sure the force has the resources to meet the public’s demands. The force’s management has significantly improved its services to the public, with the leadership of Chief Constable Lisa Winward playing a key role in the positive progress made. I wish her well in her retirement.

There are still areas in which North Yorkshire Police must do better. However, I am optimistic that the force’s leadership and management will continue to build on the improvements that we have seen during this inspection.



Acting Chief Constable, Elliot Foskett said:

It’s been a transformative year for policing in North Yorkshire.

We fully embraced the feedback from the Inspectorate at the end of the 2022 inspection and set to work, as a force, to address the multiple areas which were identified as needing to be improved. We put in place our improvement plan, which was challenging and tough for everyone in the force. We told you that the leadership team had a grip on the issues and that we would manage the plan tightly. We moved at a pace and have delivered on all fronts. We have worked hard over the past 12 months to bring the force to a level where the Inspectorate told us that the change has been phenomenal. At all times we have had our focus on delivering an exemplary service for the communities that we serve.

We have invested significantly in our Force Control Room to ensure that when the public reach out for help that we are ready and able to pick up that call. Our average answer time for 999 calls was 16.2 seconds in January 2023 and this has improved to 10.2 seconds in January 2024 with 84.3% of these calls being answered within 10 seconds.

The best way to keep the public safe is to prevent them coming to harm in the first place and we have prioritised prevention activities this year. A lot of that work is done through our neighbourhood teams, and it was gratifying to see in the Inspection report, that our level of investment in neighbourhood policing is over 9% above the average for our most similar group of forces. The Inspectorate noted that this was sustainable and that the force works well with its partner organisations.

Our crime recording continues to improve and is just shy of being ‘outstanding’. This provides the public with the confidence that we are accurately accounting for the amount of crime occurring in their communities.

The Inspectorate noted that our officers understand the importance of treating the public fairly and respectfully when using their police powers. We have a great framework of Independent Advisory Groups in place across the force and one of them scrutinises our use of police powers. Alongside this it is important that our officers have the confidence to use their powers when they judge it to be necessary. The inspectorate was satisfied, not only with the way we carry out our stop and search, but also the high degree of transparency through external scrutiny and low levels of disproportionality.

We have done a lot of work this year to improve the quality of our investigations. We have invested heavily in the recruitment and development of detectives and have established a new Safeguarding Investigation Team, one on each command area, to focus on the most difficult and complex cases. The Inspectorate noted that we have improved our governance and oversight of investigations and pursue evidence-led prosecutions on behalf of victims whenever possible.

The force has improved its approach to reducing vulnerability over the past year. We have improved our information sharing and the quality of referrals to our safeguarding partners as well as working with our officers to emphasise the importance of capturing the ‘voice of the child’.

The Inspectorate noted the force’s high level and proactive use of domestic violence prevention orders to safeguard victims of domestic abuse. North Yorkshire Police still has one of the highest rates of arrest and positive action at incidents of domestic abuse. In the area of managing registered sex offenders, they note that the force has made a clear improvement in the quality of our offender management.

Behind all the improvements made across the force over the past year are the officers, staff and volunteers who every day, dedicate themselves to keeping the communities of York and North Yorkshire safe, and feeling safe. It is not an easy job, and we know that we still have much more to do to bring our force to a level where the independent Inspectorate can rate us as outstanding. For myself as Acting Chief Constable, I know that as a force we will not cease in our efforts to continuously improve.

We are one of the safest counties in England and this Inspection report shows that we are also now one of the best forces in England. The public of North Yorkshire and York deserve a police force they can trust and have confidence in. Policing has moved on and we needed to rebuild our foundations – they are now in place.



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