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External audit and review

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS)

HMICFRS independently assesses police forces and policing across activity from neighbourhood teams to serious crime and the fight against terrorism – in the public interest.

In preparing their reports, they ask the questions which citizens would ask, and publish the answers in accessible form, using their expertise to interpret the evidence. They provide authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their force against others, and their evidence is used to drive improvements in the service to the public.

Along with a range of thematic inspections, HMICFRS conducts a programme of regular, annual inspections of aspects of day-to-day policing in all police forces.

This programme, known as the PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessments, reports on how well each force in England and Wales:

  • cuts crime (effectiveness);
  • provides value for money (efficiency); and
  • provides a service that is legitimate in the eyes of the public (legitimacy).

The PEEL Assessment is divided between these three pillars (efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy) and looks at forces over the calendar year (not financial year). Evidence for these 3 pillars is derived from a series of questions posed by HMICFRS through these inspections. 

Sussex 2017 PEEL Assessment

HMICFRS also conduct comprehensive value for money (VfM) profiles provide comparative data on a wide range of policing activities. For instance: does your force spend more or less than other similar forces? Does it receive fewer or more 999 calls? How does the crime rate differ from other force areas?

It is important to note that the profiles highlight what these differences are, but not why they exist. There are many reasons why (for instance) a force might spend more on a particular function than other forces, or pay its officers more. Forces and police and crime commissioners can explain these reasons; the VfM profiles aim to help you ask the right questions.

The profiles are based on data provided by the police and include information on costs, workforce, offences and outcomes. Read the 2017 VfM profile

Read the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner’s responses to Sussex Police inspections.

To find out more about current crime figures, go to the Sussex Police pages on 


Read other audits and reviews of Sussex Police operations and procedures - there are a number of reports available in the 'downloadable documents' box.