Surrey Police has been rated ‘inadequate’ at responding to the public by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

The force’s performance was graded in a total of nine areas, and was found by inspectors to be failing at responding to the public.

It was found the force answered 77 per cent of 999 calls within 10 seconds, below the standard of 90 per cent.

The force was found to be good in two areas, adequate in four, requires improvement in two and inadequate in one.

Surrey Police received the following gradings:


Preventing and deterring crime and ASB, and reducing vulnerability

Managing offenders and suspects


Police powers and treating public fairly and respectfully

Investigating crime

Protecting vulnerable people

Leadership and force management

Requires improvement

Crime data integrity

Building, supporting, and protecting the workforce


Responding to the public

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said Surrey Police’s performance had “deteriorated” across several key areas since its last inspection in 2021.

He said: "I have concerns about the performance of Surrey Police in keeping people safe, reducing crime and providing victims with an effective service.

"The force doesn't always answer emergency and non-emergency calls in a timely manner, and some callers simply give up.

"This means crime will go unreported and vulnerable people will not be safeguarded."

He also flagged issues with the recording of crime and the support given to officers and staff within the organisation.

The force said it took the issues raised “very seriously”.

Chief Constable Tim De Meyer said: “As the new Chief Constable of Surrey Police I, along with my senior leadership team, welcome the report published today by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue (HMICFRS).

“We must fight crime and protect people, earn the trust and confidence of all our communities, and ensure that we are here for everyone who needs us. This is what the Surrey public rightly expect of the police. We should never take for granted the trust of our communities. Instead, we should assume that in every issue, incident and investigation, trust must be earned. And when people need us, we must be there for them.”

Inspectors however noted several areas of good work, promising practices, and industry leading activity within their report.

This included excellent use of protective orders, with Surrey Police recording the highest number of full stalking prevention orders granted at court across England and Wales, demonstrating the force’s commitment to tackling violence against women and girls.

Checkpoint, the force’s deferred prosecution scheme, also has an average re-offending rate of 6.3 per cent versus 25 per cent for those not going through the scheme.

Chief Constable De Meyer continued: “It is encouraging that the Inspectorate notes examples of where dedicated officers, staff and volunteers provide exceptional service to victims and witnesses.

“This is represented in positive gradings for our ability to prevent and deter crime, reduce vulnerability within our communities, and manage offenders and suspects. It is evident that we make arrests swiftly, and we make effective use of our powers, including bail conditions and protective orders to protect vulnerable people.

“Our focus on long-term problem solving, together with our partners, is also recognised as being at the heart of every investigation; evidenced by projects such as Op Spearhead, our suspicious activity public portal, Op Surfer, where we tackled repeated sexual exposure on the Basingstoke Canal and Checkpoint, our deferred prosecution scheme, all being specifically noted within the report as having a positive impact on our communities.

“However, today’s report demonstrates that since the last inspection there are areas that we still need to improve and are of concern. These are areas of which we were already aware through our own internal reviews, and we take the issues raised by the HMICFRS very seriously.

“Since the inspection earlier this year, much change has been implemented, particularly in the areas of responding to the public, crime recording and supporting our workforce. Significant investments have been made in technology, data, recruitment, and training, particularly within our Contact Centre.

“This shows our determination to improve and swiftly bring about the change required. We are already seeing the benefits of this, with latest internal data, showing 88% of all 999 call are answered within 10 seconds, a declining call abandonment rate on 101 (now 18.2%) and enhanced checking on repeat callers to understand vulnerability and risk1.

“Additionally, while HMICFRS found that over 90% of all reported crimes are recorded correctly, we continue to scrutinise our crime recording practices and support our dedicated teams to ensure that every crime which is reported to us is accurately recorded according to Home Office standards, all reasonable lines of enquiry are followed, and that crime is solved wherever possible.

“We have many challenges including financial pressure, growth in non-crime demand such as mental health, and a highly competitive employment market. But these do not excuse poor performance.

“I know that we have already improved and am confident that we will continue to do so. We will work with partners to improve the response to people with mental health concerns, thereby freeing up valuable police time to respond to crime faster and better. Our standards of investigation will improve and with that our rate of charging offenders. I therefore welcome HMICFRS’s continued support and review of Surrey Police.”