Humberside Police

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Humberside Police
Humberside Police badge.svg
MottoServing Our Communities to Make Them Safer and Stronger[1]
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
Annual budget£220.9 million[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionHumberside, England
England Police Forces (Humberside).svg
Map of Humberside Police's jurisdiction
Size3,517 km²
Legal jurisdictionEngland & Wales
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by
HeadquartersKingston upon Hull
Police officers2,200 (of which 150 are special constables)[3]
Police Community Support Officers178[2]
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible
Agency executive
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Humberside Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing The East Riding of Yorkshire including Hull and northern parts of Lincolnshire including Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

The chief constable since 2017 is Lee Freeman.


Humberside Police was created in 1974 following a merger of previous forces under the Local Government Act 1972, along with the non-metropolitan county of Humberside.

Proposals made by the Home Secretary on 21 March 2006, would have seen the force merge with North Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police to form a strategic police force for the entire region.[4] These proposals were later scrapped.

Following the abolition of Humberside in 1996, the local council members of the Police Authority were appointed by a joint committee of the councils of the East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, North Lincolnshire, and North East Lincolnshire. On 21 November 2012, the Police Authority was made redundant by the election of the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The authority, at the time it ceased to exist, had 17 members in total; nine Local Authority Elected members from the area's four unitary authorities and eight independent members.[5]

Chief constables[edit]

From March 2013 to February 2017, the chief constable of Humberside Police was Justine Curran, previously chief constable of Tayside Police in Scotland before the introduction of the national Police Scotland service on 1 April 2013. Her appointment was unanimously approved by the Humberside Police and Crime panel after PCC Matthew Grove, proposed her for the post.[7] Curran took over the position from Tim Hollis, who retired from the service in March 2013.

On 11 November 2015, it was revealed that Curran had claimed for more than £39,000 in expenses for her relocation from Tayside to Humberside in March 2013.[8]

After Keith Hunter was elected as PCC in May 2016, Curran was given six months to improve the force after it was rated inadequate by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). Nine months later, after a further HMIC inspection which identified further "significant failings", Hunter asked Curran to consider her position, and she announced her retirement.[9] She left on 20 February 2017, 18 months before she had been due to retire.[10]

In August 2017, it was revealed that Hunter had "lost confidence" in Curran and was "completely undermined" by her when it was decided to withhold the findings of an HMIC investigation which revealed further inadequacies within the force. Hunter sought legal advice, and Curran was allowed to retire before the statutory procedure to remove a chief constable was started.[9]

Lee Freeman, a former assistant chief constable in Lincolnshire from August 2013 who had joined Humberside in May 2015, took over as deputy chief constable on Curran's departure. He was appointed temporary chief constable in May 2017 and the position was made permanent on 26 June 2017.[11]

Police fleet[edit]

A Humberside Police vehicle pictured in 2009

Humberside uses a wide variety of vehicles, including both marked and unmarked police vehicles.


The force underperformed for a number of years. In October 2006 it was named as the worst-performing police force in the country (jointly with Northamptonshire Police), based on data released from the Home Office[12][13]

In 2007 the force moved off the bottom of the unofficial league table thanks to "major improvements" in performance, according to the Home Office.[14]

Performance continued to improve, with a 20% reduction in total recorded crime as at March 2009. Recorded vehicle crime was down 39%, domestic burglary was down 12%, and robbery was down 36%. Home Office figures published in July 2009 showed that from 2007/08 to 2008/09, Humberside Police had the second highest increase of all forces in England and Wales in the percentage of British Crime Survey respondents who said that their local police do an excellent or good job.

After inspections by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) between April and August 2009, their report identified Humberside Police as one of the top eight forces in the country.

In April 2009 the force was cited as the poorest performing force for completing Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks. The Home Office requirement is for 95% of requests to be completed within 14 days; Humberside Police completed just 15%. As such checks are often a condition of employment, this failure caused delays for those waiting to start work.[15]

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, said he was disgusted with this failure. He said, "The delay in processing them stops people taking up work and has a crippling impact on voluntary groups who have to get their volunteers approved. The Humberside Police are seriously lagging behind virtually every other constabulary in the country and local people are being let down."[16]

In October 2015, it was revealed that officer morale in the force was the lowest in the country, with 84.5% of officers saying that their morale was currently low, compared to 70.2% nationally.[17]

On 19 October 2015, in a report published by HMIC, Humberside Police was the only force in the country classed as inadequate. The report suggested that the force had a "limited understanding" of demand for its services, and raised "serious concerns" over the way it was organised. HM Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said: "Humberside Police has a limited understanding of the current and future demand for its services and, as it is unable to fully match resources to demand in some important areas, this affects its ability to provide a good service to the public." Chief Constable Justine Curran said the force had "moved on" since then.[18]

Similarly, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) released its annual statistics of police complaints from forces throughout the country: Humberside Police performed better than average in many areas; e.g. the number of complaints had decreased by 4% compared to an increase of 6% nationally. But the number of appeals by dissatisfied complainants had increased by 24%: three times the national average.[19]

In November 2015, it was revealed that thousands of telephone calls to the 101 service were being abandoned; the problem had reached its peak in June 2015 when over 11,000 calls were abandoned.[20]

On 19 November 2015 the East Riding of Yorkshire Council agreed to reconvene a panel to review the force after October's HMIC inspection. The panel ended up criticising both police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove and chief constable Justine Curran for refusing to attend one of its meetings. This had led the council to write a critical letter to the parliamentary committee for standards in public life, highlighting concerns over a lack of proper consultation over the reorganisation[what reorganisation?]. Speaking at the full council meeting, Cllr. Owen said the panel's concerns had been vindicated by the HMIC report. He said "all public sector bodies are facing huge financial pressures and I fully appreciate the pressures we all face, and Humberside Police are no different, recovering from a number of years of having to improve performance in a climate of low funding and other pressures.[21]

In June 2018, 12 months after Curran's departure, Humberside Police were formally disengaged[clarification needed] by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and assessed as sufficiently improved and stable to be removed from what were in effect "special measures"

In August 2018, in the annual Police Federation Pay and Morale Survey, Humberside were officially recorded as the most improved police force in the country in terms of police officers' reported levels of personal morale. The survey placed the force 3rd out of 43 forces across England and Wales; the previous year the results were reported locally as Humberside having the lowest morale in the country.

PEEL inspection[edit]

His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) conducts a periodic police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection of each police service's performance. In November 2022, the force was awarded six outstanding and two good grades in its PEEL inspection, one of the best in the UK.[22] It was rated as follows:[23]

  Outstanding Good Adequate Requires Improvement Inadequate
2021/22 rating
  • Preventing crime
  • Treatment of the public
  • Protecting vulnerable people
  • Managing offenders
  • Developing a positive workplace
  • Good use of resources
  • Investigating crime
  • Responding to the public
  • Recording data about crime

Custody suites[edit]

Humberside Police has two custody suites in Hull and Grimsby, that operate 24/7 and hold prisoners which have been arrested by officers in the force.

The 40-cell custody suite at Clough Road Police Station in Hull was built as a state of the art replacement for the Queens Gardens Police Station.[24]

In 2019, both the Scunthorpe and Grimsby custody suites shut. Prisoners are now held in a £14 million, 36-cell custody suite, located at Birchin Way, Grimsby. The new cells include a secure holding bay for arriving prisoners, CCTV monitoring throughout, and special 'orange' holding cell for vulnerable prisoners.[citation needed]


The 1998 death of Christopher Alder, a black man who was unlawfully killed while in the custody of Humberside Police, led to an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and a subsequent apology by the government in the European Court of Human Rights, admitting that it had failed to meet its obligations regarding preservation of life and ensuring no person is subjected to "inhuman or degrading treatment".[25][26] Five Humberside Police officers were charged with manslaughter and misconduct in public office but the trial collapsed and the judge ordered the jury to find the officers not guilty on all charges.[27]

Humberside Police shot to the national headlines in mid-2004 when it refused to dismiss Chief Constable David Westwood despite instructions from the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett.[28] The Home Secretary eventually obtained a court order suspending Westwood.[29] The force had come under pressure to dismiss Westwood when the Soham Inquiry apportioned part of the blame to Humberside Police for not properly informing the authorities of Grimsby-born Ian Huntley, who was known to Humberside Police and local social services, after reports of nine sexual offences of which Huntley had been suspected, and also an alleged burglary. In only one of the sex offence investigations was Huntley charged (with rape) and remanded in custody, but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence, and his burglary case was left on file. Huntley was not convicted of any crime (his only actual conviction was for a minor motoring offence in 1993), and Humberside Police did not adequately inform the authorities in Cambridgeshire about Huntley when he moved to Soham to work as a school caretaker. He was found guilty of murdering two 10-year-old girls (Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman) in 2003.

This led to the Bichard enquiry for the police force and the Kelly report for the local council (North East Lincolnshire Council).[30][31]

It returned to the headlines in 2005 when Colin Inglis, its chairman at the time of the crisis, appeared in court charged with indecent assaults against children dating back to the 1980s.[32][33] Inglis was cleared of all charges in July 2006.[34]

In January 2015, former Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Andrews was convicted of common assault, harassment, stalking, and witness intimidation.[35] Court testimony revealed that other senior officers in Humberside Police questioned whether an investigation into Andrews' conduct should have gone ahead, concerned by "the 'dirt' he might throw" and the damage caused to the force's reputation.[36] One victim, a police inspector, expressed fear of a Goole-based "mafia" of senior officers that included Andrews.[37]

In November 2015, a sergeant with 27 years' service was dismissed after kicking a 16-year-old boy in the head following a chase. Sergeant John Stevenson was involved in one of the most high-profile cases in Humberside Police's recent history when he arrested his own boss, Colin Andrews, who was found guilty of stalking, harassment and assault in January.[38] Many speculated that the sergeant was used as a scapegoat.[39]

A former police officer, Harry Miller, was questioned over the telephone by Humberside Police for 34 minutes because he liked a Twitter post apparently mocking Transgender ideology.[40] The High Court ruled in 2020 that this questioning was unlawful and represented a "disproportionate interference" with the man's right to freedom of expression.[41]

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)[edit]

On Thursday 15 November 2012 the people of Humberside went to the polling stations to vote for a candidate for the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner for the Humberside Police, as did the rest of the people of England and Wales, except the Metropolitan Police area, to vote for a PCC in their respective police services. Following the poll Matthew Grove was elected as the new Police and Crime Commissioner for the Humberside Police area.[42] When the commissioner took up office the existing Police Authority was abolished.

On 6 May 2016, Labour's Keith Hunter was elected as Humberside Police's next PCC, receiving over 76,128 votes in total during the second round, compared to Grove's 51,757.[43]


The Lock Up[edit]

Humberside Police recently participated in a documentary serious named The Lock Up, where cameras followed Police and Custody officers in their work at the Custody Suite at Humberside Police Headquarters on Priory Road, Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire.

The documentary has had 2 series, the first aired on BBC Three which started showing on 4 February 2011[44] consisting of 8 episodes where cameras rolled 24/7; the second series was aired primarily on the main BBC Channel, BBC One.

Neighbourhood Blues[edit]

Humberside Police have also participated in the second series of Neighbourhood Blues, that covered the work of the forces Neighbourhood Policing Teams. This was aired on weekday mornings for two weeks starting on 12 December 2012, on BBC One.[45]

Officers killed in the line of duty[edit]

The Police Roll of Honour Trust and Police Memorial Trust list and commemorate all British police officers killed in the line of duty. Since its establishment in 1984, the Police Memorial Trust has erected 50 memorials nationally to some of those officers.

Since the formation of Humberside Police six officers have been killed in the line of duty, these officers are:[46][47]

  • September 1979 – Police Constable, Linton Andee Le Blanc, 19, killed when his patrol car crashed when responding to a burglar alarm call
  • January 1998 – Police Constable Steven Stimpson, 33, accidentally killed when his traffic patrol car left the road and crashed
  • August 1998 – Police Constable James Heaton, 30, fatally injured when his traffic car crashed when responding to an accident
  • September 1998 – Police Constable Jonathan Templeton, 37, collapsed and died of heart failure whilst on duty at Hedon police station
  • July 2003 – Police Constable Robert Douglas, 44, killed in a road traffic accident returning from his duties at the airport
  • April 2015 – Police Constable Russell Wylie, 28, during the morning of Monday 13 April 2015 he was on routine motorcycle patrol when he was involved in a collision with a car on the B1362, Burstwick, East Riding of Yorkshire. He was airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary, however his injuries proved to be fatal. He was a traffic officer based at Melton.[48]

Notable incidents and investigations[edit]

Notable major incidents and investigations in which Humberside Police have been involved in include:

  • July 2010: Northumbria Police manhunt: Humberside Police was involved in the major police manhunt for Raoul Moat who, upon release from prison, shot his ex-girlfriend's new partner, his ex-girlfriend and the then serving traffic police Officer, PC David Rathband. Humberside Police, along with other police forces, provided mutual aid to Northumbria Police by providing armed police officer to assist in the armed police coverage and search for Raoul Moat.[49]
  • August 2011: 2011 England Riots: Specially trained officers were sent to assist the Metropolitan Police as riots broke out across the London area, which later spread across the country. under the command of ACC Stuart Donald, who was the senior force Chief officer, responsible for the deployment and co-ordination of operations in relation to the riots. Over 50 officers travelled to London to assist the Met Police.[50]
  • February 2019: Disappearance of Libby Squire: On 1 February 2019, Humberside police launched a major search for missing Hull University student Libby Squire. Appeals were made on social media and a large police presence was focused around the Beverley Road area of Hull. Humberside Police arrested a man on suspicion of abduction a few days later and charged him with several unrelated offences. He was released under investigation in connection to Libby Squire. Seven weeks later, the body of Libby Squire was discovered in the Humber Estuary, over 30 miles from her last known location in Hull.[51] On 24 October 2019, police charged 25 year old Pawel Relowicz for the rape and murder of Libby Squire.[52] On 10 February 2021, Pawel Relowicz was found guilty of rape and murder.[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Home". Humberside Police. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Performance and Measurement – Humberside". Home Office. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013". HM Government. Office for National Statistics. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Police merger plan is recommended". BBC News Online. BBC. 21 March 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  5. ^ "Humberside Police Authority (". 12 November 2012. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012.
  6. ^ "tributes to Longeest Serving Police Officer". Grimsbylive. Grimsby Argus. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Humberside Police appoints its first female chief constable". BBC News. BBC. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Named and shamed: Humberside Police chief Justine Curran claimed £39,000 in expenses to move to area". Grimsby Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  9. ^ a b Leeson, Lucy (25 August 2017). "What ex-police chief said in revealing first interview since sudden exit". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Humberside Police Chief Constable Justine Curran steps down". BBC News. BBC. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  11. ^ Robinson, Hannah (26 June 2017). "Lee Freeman named as new Humberside Police chief constable". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Humberside 'worst police force'". BBC News Online. BBC. 24 October 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  13. ^ "Police Performance Assessments 2005/06" (PDF). Home Office. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Police force sheds 'worst' label". BBC News Online. BBC. 9 October 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  15. ^ "Police admit crime check delays". Grimsby Telegraph. 29 April 2009. ProQuest 426042515.
  16. ^ "Graham Stuart 'disgusted' with CRB checking performance by police". Graham Stuart MP. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  17. ^ "Officer morale at Humberside Police lowest in the country – survey". Hull Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 12 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Humberside Police rated 'inadequate' by inspectors". BBC News. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Police report reveals complaint statistics". Beverley Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Thousands of calls to Humberside Police go unanswered new figures reveal". Hull Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  21. ^ "East Riding Council to review Humberside Police restructure amid 'grave concerns'". Hull Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Humberside Police force given highest rating in UK by inspectors". BBC News. 25 November 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  23. ^ "PEEL 2021/22 Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy: An inspection of Humberside Police" (PDF). His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. 25 November 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  24. ^ "Report on an unannounced inspection visit to police custody suites in Humberside" (PDF). Criminal Justice Inspectorates. 3–6 January 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016.
  25. ^ Stokes, Paul (25 August 2000). "Ex-para in police station was killed unlawfully". The Daily Telegraph. London. p. 11.
  26. ^ "Government pays out over death of 'wrong body' Falklands veteran Christopher Alder". The Yorkshire Post. Leeds. 22 November 2011.
  27. ^ "Police officers' trial collapses". BBC News. BBC. 21 June 2002. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  28. ^ "Authority's statement in full". BBC News Online. 2 July 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  29. ^ "Embattled police chief suspended". BBC News Online. BBC. 2 July 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  30. ^ Bichard, Michael (22 June 2004). "The Bichard Enquiry Report" (PDF). dera.ioe. UK Government. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  31. ^ Kelly, Christopher (21 July 2004). "Serious Case North East Lincolnshire 1995 - 2001" (PDF). North East Lincolnshire Area Child Protection Committee. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  32. ^ "Police authority chief suspended". BBC News Online. BBC. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  33. ^ "Ex-police authority head charged". BBC News Online. BBC. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  34. ^ "Ex-council chief cleared of abuse". BBC News Online. BBC. 17 July 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  35. ^ "Former Humberside detective Colin Andrews guilty of stalking". BBC News. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  36. ^ Bristow, Simon (24 December 2014). "Senior police officers asked if inquiry into Colin Andrews 'should go ahead', trial hears". Hull Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  37. ^ Bristow, Simon (13 December 2014). "Police inspector was worried about 'mafia', Colin Andrews trial hears". Hull Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  38. ^ "Humberside Police Sergeant John 'Mick' Stevenson sacked for kicking teenager in head". Hull Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  39. ^ "Sacked Humberside Police sergeant John 'Mick' Stevenson 'hung, drawn and quartered'". Hull Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  40. ^ Keane, Duncan (25 January 2019). "Humberside Police quiz man after he likes 'offensive transgender limerick'". Grimsbylive. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  41. ^ "Harry Miller: Police probe into 'transphobic' tweets unlawful". BBC News. 14 February 2020.
  42. ^ "Prescott beaten by Conservatives in Humberside PCC vote". BBC News. BBC. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  43. ^ "Labour's Keith Hunter elected PCC for Humberside". BBC News. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  44. ^ "Hull's young drunks on TV tonight as BBC screens The Lock Up". Hull Daily Mail. 4 February 2011. Archived from the original on 14 February 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  45. ^ "Episode guide". Neighbourhood Blues. BBC. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  46. ^ "Humberside Police – Police Memorial Roll of Honour". 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  47. ^ "Humberside Police – Police Roll of Honour". 14 October 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  48. ^ "Police officer 'was on wrong side of road' when he crashed into car on his motorbike". Yorkshire Post. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  49. ^ Brown, Jonathan (8 July 2010). "One Tenth of UK Armed Police join manhunt from Roul Moat". The Independent. London. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  50. ^ "Humberside Police assist the Metropolitan Police with Riots". This is Hull and East Riding. 9 August 2011. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  51. ^ "Libby Squire: Tributes to Hull student after body found". BBC News. BBC. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  52. ^ "Libby Squire: Pawel Relowicz charged with murder and rape". BBC News. BBC. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  53. ^ "Libby Squire: Pawel Relowicz guilty of student's murder". BBC News. BBC. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.

External links[edit]