About Us

Inspecting policing in the public interest

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) 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 our reports, we ask the questions which citizens would ask, and publish the answers in accessible form, using our expertise to interpret the evidence. We provide authoritative information to allow the public to compare the performance of their force against others, and our evidence is used to drive improvements in the service to the public.

Independence

HMIC 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.

Public interest

HMIC decides on the depth, frequency and areas to inspect based on our judgements about what is in the public interest.

In making these judgements, we consider 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.

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

Our History

On our 150th anniversary in July 2006, a book charting the history of HMIC was produced.

Read ‘The History of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, The First 150 Years’