Durham Constabulary has stated there are no “identifiable causes for concern” after a new government report ranked two of their policing areas as ‘requiring improvement’.

The 2023-25 report, released today by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) states that the force requires improvement in responding to the public and protecting vulnerable people.

This comes as the report states that the county has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse repeat offences as well as answering 61% of its 999 calls within 10 seconds compared to the national standard of 90%.

The Northern Echo:

Compared to a previous report using the same methodology for 2020 data, the force has lost several ‘good’ rankings including in the areas of investigating crime and managing offenders.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said: “I am pleased with some aspects of Durham Constabulary’s performance in keeping people safe, reducing crime and providing victims with an effective service.

“However, there are areas in which it needs to improve. The constabulary has a higher-than-average number of non-emergency calls, but it doesn’t always answer emergency and non-emergency calls as quickly as it should. While the constabulary has tried to prioritise where it puts its resources, it needs to do more to meet the public’s needs in all areas.

“While the constabulary has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse repeat incidents in England and Wales, it isn’t making good use of protective measures or effectively referring victims for support.

“We are assured that senior leaders have already started to plan how they will address the areas for improvement we have identified."

“I hope the changes that follow result in improvements that help Durham Constabulary better meet the public’s needs. We will be monitoring its progress closely.”

Using data from the Home Office, ONS and the force itself, areas are graded from outstanding to inadequate.

Out of the ten areas that were examined in the force for the report, 5 were ranked ‘adequate’, including investigating crime and managing offenders.

Disrupting serious organised crime was ranked ‘outstanding’ preventing crime and recording data about crime were deemed to be ‘good’.


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Despite their results, Durham Constabulary has stated there are no “identifiable causes for concern” and praised the report for being “rigorous”.

Acting Chief Constable Ciaron Irvine said: “We are constantly trying to deliver a better service and make improvements, but this rigorous inspection shows we are tackling the things that matter most to our communities and are delivering on our values to protect the people of County Durham and Darlington.

“The praise of our positive workforce culture, effective planning for the future and the positive engagement with our communities is well deserved and reflects significant effort across the organisation.”