The PEEL 2021/22 inspection of Greater Manchester Police was published earlier this month. Did you miss it? Fear not, as this blog explains exactly what is PEEL, summarises the highlights from the recent GMP PEEL report, and also gives key stats about GMP.

What are PEEL Assessments?

“The police are the public and the public are the police.” – Peelian policing principle

The PEEL assessments are the flagship strategic reports into how England and Wales police forces are performing. Like how Ofsted report on the performance of schools, HMICFRS (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services!) report on the performance of police forces. The name is clearly inspired by Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the UK ‘policing by consent’ model of policing created nearly 200 years ago and still pertinent today. Policing by consent is based around the set of 9 Peelian Principles underpinning British policing.

‘PEEL’ is actually an acronym used by HMICFRS (herein abbreviated to their traditional and colloquial name, ‘HMIC’) defining the broad framework for the inspections. It stands for Police Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Legitimacy. All three elements can be traced back to the nine timeless Peelian Principles. The name is in fact a stroke of literary and marketing genius; I imagine Ofsted are kicking themselves they didn’t think to call their flagship school inspections ‘POUND Reports’. I digress…

The HMIC use the PEEL assessment framework as a comprehensive review of all the important facets of policing for that force. It covers aspects from how the public contact the police, to how crimes are investigated and even how the force treats its people. It also considers the force’s commitments to national objectives and even how it manages its funding. The 12 inspection themes are summarised in the infographic below:

12 PEEL police inspection themes

Note that Police Scotland have a similar scrutiny body, HMICS, who provide thematic inspections and audit reviews rather than all-in-one reports. The England & Wales HMIC also provide inspection reports covering PSNI and nationwide UK forces.

How are Forces Graded in PEEL Assessments?

As a result of the inspection, HMIC provide gradings for the force on the inspection themes. Here’s how performance is graded, depending on how well the inspectorate believe the force is doing based on their research, interviews and analysis into the force:

Outstanding: This is ideally where the people who decide your promotion fate want to be.

Good: Many senior leaders will be perfectly happy to reside here.

Adequate: You’re doing OK, but clearly can be improved through action.

Requires Improvement: As it says on the tin. Not an ideal place to be, but at least it’s not…

Inadequate: This is politically damning for senior leaders; if you can identify way’s you’ll help the force get out of this horrendous rut, you’ll be looked on favourably as a promotion candidate!

10 of the 12 of the inspection themes shown above attract a grading, depending on evidence gathered and observations by the HMIC Inspectors. The Strategic Policing Requirement and Armed Policing themes are inspected, but do not attract such ratings.

For 2021/22, HMIC introduced a new infographic comparing the gradings of forces against each inspection theme, as sampled below. This replaced the overall gradings which used to be applied to each of the three PEEL themes: Effectiveness, Efficiency, Legitimacy. Although a useful interactive comparison tool, it is unfortunate to no longer have any overall assessment conclusion for a force.

PEEL comparison graphic HMIC

Once given overall gradings on each theme, the PEEL report for a force will detail its findings on specific areas of policing and business. This includes identifying any areas of concern, recommending where improvements can be made, and providing examples of good practice which other forces can learn from:

Innovative Practice: Highlights and praises good practice, from which other forces may learn. Something for the force to boast about.

Areas for Improvement: Where forces can do better. Every force will have these, even the better-graded ones (e.g. Durham Constabulary 2022 report).

Cause for Concern: These are serious failings that Chief Officers aim to avoid, not least because they’re also the ones media organisations predictably love to fanfare. These are accompanied by areas where HMIC identify the force must improve.

Smart forces have a system of centrally managing their ‘AFIs’ and recommendations as part of a continuous improvement culture. Not just those received by HMIC (albeit these are deemed most important), but also those resulting from other internal/external reviews, audits, and inspections. For example, recommendations from internal auditors or improvements identified within IOPC investigations.

Sergeant Inspector promotion guide

Greater Manchester Police PEEL Report & Summary Video

I understand many cops are pressed for time to be reading detailed improvement reports and comprehensive reviews. However, it is imperative to spend the time developing your strategic awareness about issues facing policing, particularly for your own force. Such considerations are imperative to ponder; especially if you’re seeking promotion to the more strategic ranks of Inspector or above. This is why I create these summary videos, to condense and visualise these often lengthy and arduous reports. I hope it saves you time and prompts targeted preparation ahead of your promotion board, helping you to demonstrate where you can add value in future as a leader, manager, and supervisor…

So how did GMP fare in the 2021/22 inspection results? Here’s an extract from the report written by Andy Cooke, HM Inspector of Constabulary:

“While this report outlines the concerns I have about the performance of Greater Manchester Police in keeping people safe and reducing crime, I am pleased with the progress that has been made in a short period of time since the force published its new long-term plan, Planning our future: Building a new GMP.

While not a clear overall assessment, the specifics suggest a somewhat unfavourable situation, with mostly ‘Requires Improvement‘ or ‘Inadequate‘ ratings. This is clearly tempered in the report by some positive indications that the situation is starting to improve. The summary infographic below provides the Greater Manchester Police PEEL 2022 ratings across the specific inspection themes.

Greater Manchester Police 2022 PEEL

In the video, I outline 20 improvement areas identified by HMIC, for which promotion candidates could consider. How you could contribute as a future leader within the organisation (even if just about one thing) could serve you well as a promotion candidate, particularly when responding to forward-facing questions and demonstrating your strategic awareness. Here’s just 4 examples from the 20, with links to further support for your leadership CPD:

Note that in the ‘further reading’ section of my video, I encourage promotion candidates to also consider other strategic reports. The ‘Planning our Future’ is certainly one very relevant to officers in Greater Manchester!

GMP Key Facts and Statistics

How many officers in GMP

When seeking promotion, it’s useful to know ahead of time some basic key facts about your police force! As with my other PEEL summary videos, I also provide answers to the following fundamental questions:

  • How many officers does GMP have?
  • What is GMP’s total workforce strength?
  • How many people does GMP serve?
  • What does GMP spend each year?
  • How much demand does GMP deal with?

This key information is never easy to find in one place… until now! Looking through the GMP Police and Crime plans, financial reports, and other information on its website, Greater Manchester Police covers nearly 500 square miles, employs 7,000 full-time-equivalent officers among its 11,000+ strong workforce, supports a growing population of nearly 3 million people, receives 1.1 million 999/101 calls per year, and spends nearly £900 million on policing. Those are some sizeable sums, placing GMP as the fourth largest police force in the UK.

I hope you find the GMP key facts, summary of improvement areas, and information about the PEEL inspection regime helpful on your journey to promotion. As I suggest in the video above, let me know if there are other important policing reports you’d like summarised in this way. I’ll leave you with some further links to recent videos that may also support you when seeking promotion through the ranks of Greater Manchester Police:

Kind Regards, Steve

UK Police promotion insights

If you found this blog helpful, you can hit the ground running with your promotion preparation. Get your personal digital promotion toolkit, attend or download my Police Promotion Masterclass, or contact me to arrange personal coaching support. If you first want to explore completely free content, I have a collection of videos, eGuides, a podcast, plus free blog content both here and via my Police Hour guest articles.