Written evidence submitted by Andy Cooke QPM DL, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary and His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services (POP0092)



Dear Chair,


1. I write regarding my appearance at the Home Affairs Select Committee on 18 January 2023. As part of your inquiry into policing priorities, Tim Loughton MP asked whether HMICFRS routinely collects data on calls to confidential police whistleblowing phone lines. In short, we do.


2. As part of our rolling programme of inspections to examine how effectively forces manage vetting and counter-corruption, we assess what methods police officers and staff have to report suspected wrongdoing. Since October 2022, we have been collecting data about the use of confidential reporting lines. This data helps us assess the confidence of the workforce to report wrongdoing.


3. Our inspection methodology includes reviewing force policies, interviews with specialist teams, focus groups and reality testing. Confidential reporting lines is an area that we ask about and explore. 


4. We do not use the data or information we collect to compare contrasted numbers and the use of the confidential reporting lines within forces. Forces across England and Wales vary in size and consequently do not all have the same size workforce. Data comparison, therefore could be misleading for the public.


5. HMICFRS has had a focus on vetting and counter corruption for several years, urging forces to ensure their counter-corruption arrangements are effective.


6. During 2018-2019 we inspected all 43 forces counter-corruption arrangements and published our national findings in a spotlight report Shining a light on betrayal. We found all forces had a confidential reporting system. In 41 of 43 forces, staff and officers were aware of the methods to report concerns about colleagues. They were also confident in the integrity of the anonymous method.  During our national thematic inspection into vetting, misconduct and misogyny in the police service, we found that most staff were aware of the confidential reporting system and how to access it.  Our review of corruption-related intelligence files showed that of the 616 cases, 118 originated from reports made through confidential internal systems.  


I hope the committee will find this letter helpful.






January 2023