Humberside Police

Humberside Police

Logo of the Humberside Police
Motto Protecting Communities, Targeting Criminals[1]
Agency overview
Formed 1974
Preceding agencies
Employees 4,032[2]
Volunteers 344[2]
Annual budget £164.9 million[2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Humberside in the country of England, UK
Map of Humberside Police's jurisdiction.
Size 3,517 km²
Population 1,140,200
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Kingston upon Hull
Constables 1,771 (of which 351 are special constables)[3]
Police Community Support Officers 318[2]
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible Keith Hunter, (L)
Agency executives
Divisions 4
Stations 31
Airbases 1
Custody Suites 6
Helicopters MD Helicopters MD Explorer 902
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Humberside Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing an area covering the East Riding of Yorkshire, the city of Kingston upon Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire. The incumbent Chief Constable is Justine Curran, who took over in 2013 after the retirement of Tim Hollis.


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. It was a successor to the Hull City Police, and part of the areas of the York and North East Yorkshire Police, the old Lincolnshire Constabulary and the West Yorkshire Constabulary.

Since the abolition of Humberside in 1996, the local council members of the Police Authority are now appointed by a joint committee of the councils of the East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, North Lincolnshire, and North East Lincolnshire.

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 have since been 'put on hold' by the government.

Humberside Police Authority

On 21 November 2012 the Humberside Police Authority was made redundant by the introduction of the Police and Crime Commissioner role, with the Police and Crime Commissioner taking over responsibilities that were undertaken by the authority on 22 November.

The Humberside Police Authority, at the time it ceased to exist, had 17 members in total; 9 Local Authority Elected members from the area's four Unitary Authorities and 8 Independent Members.[5]

Chief Constable

The Chief Constable is Justine Curran, who was formerly Chief Constable at Tayside Police in Scotland before the introduction of the national Police Scotland service on 1 April 2013, she was unanimously approved by the Humberside Police and Crime panel after Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Grove, proposed her for the post.[6] Curren took over the position from Tim Hollis CBE QPM who retired from the service in March 2013.

On 11 November 2015, it was revealed that Chief Constable Justine Curran had claimed for more than £39,000 in expenses, in order for her to relocate from Tayside to Humberside in March 2013.[7]

Police fleet

Humberside uses a wide variety of vehicles, marked and unmarked. ProViDa is the standard in-car video unit used; the new 1997 Jai/ProViDa is also used. All of the vehicles within the force have now changed to the instantly recognisable Battenberg livery as opposed to the traditional livery. All vehicles within the force now also use LED lightbar technology, as opposed to the older halogen rotating light bars. The LED lightbars are much clearer to see, and provide a lot more illumination, along with front spots and rear reds. The main vehicles used are:

Vauxhall Cars - There are several Vauxhall Astra vehicles within the force which are primarily used for general patrol and by IRT (Incident Response Teams). All Vauxhall vehicles are fully marked with the Battenberg livery and have LED lights. There are also several Vauxhall Vivaro vans which are used primarily for patrol and prisoner transport. These are also fully marked with the Battenberg livery and LED lights. Vauxhall vehicles are also used for the dog section, however these are usually estate vehicles.

Proton Cars - These are used for general patrol and by IRT (Incident Response Teams). The majority are Impians but there are still some older Wira cars plus a few Gen2 models. Proton vehicles are being gradually replaced across the force by Vauxhall vehicles and much of the Proton fleet are now vehicles bought in 2010. All Proton vehicles have the Battenberg livery and LED lights. Humberside Police won the top award in the National Energy Efficiency Awards by running the vast majority of its fleet on Liquified Petroleum Gas. Most Protons are dual fuel, running both LPG and unleaded petrol.

Mercedes Sprinter - These vans are used for Public Order and crowd situations as well as for transporting prisoners. The latest shape vans are now coming onto divisions to replace the oldest sprinters on the fleet. Mercedes Sprinter vans are marked with Battenberg livery alongside LED lights.

Volvo - The Roads Policing (Traffic) Section use Volvo vehicles for patrol and response. These are top of the range Volvo V70 T5 models. Many are fitted with ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) systems. All of the Volvo vehicles in the fleet have been marked with new style Battenburg graphics in yellow and blue alongside LED lights. These vehicles are however being gradually replaced.

Mitsubishi Evolution X - The Roads Crime Section (RCS) has 2 Mitsubishi Evolution X vehicles, which have replaced the Subaru Impreza STi’s. These are specially adapted models to enable Humberside Police’s elite Rote Crime Section to pursue even the fastest vehicles. These vehicles are marked with LED lights.

Lexus - The Roads Crime Section (RCS) also operates this high-performance vehicle as its command and control unit. These vehicles are also fully marked and have LED lights.

BMW X3 - The Road Crime Section (RCS) also operates a few BMW 3 series cars used to quickly ferry dog handlers and their dogs while accompanying the Mitsubishi Evolution X’s. These are fully marked and have LED lights. These vehicles are also used by the RCS for response vehicles and the force has approximately 5 of these for this purpose.

BMW X5 - The force also operates BMW X5’s which are used to ferry specialist firearms officers.

The Roads Crime Section (RCS) is now based at Melton on the North Bank of the Humber as opposed to being based in various locations around the force. This has enabled the section to respond to incidents more quickly and efficiently.

Specialist vehicles

The fleet also consists of many specialist vehicles which are used for specific purposes. These include an Underwater Search vehicle, a bullet-proof Land Rover Defender, a Leyland Prison Bus, plus marked Police recovery vehicles.


Humberside Police Lexus IS-F cruiser. (above)
A Proton Impian of the Humberside Police. (below)

The force under performed for a number of years and in October 2006 was named, jointly (with Northamptonshire Police), as the worst performing police force in the country, based on data released from the Home Office[9][10]

In 2007 the force moved off the bottom of the unofficial league table thanks to "major improvements" in performance, according to the Home Office.[11]

Since then performance has continued to improve with a 20% reduction in total recorded crime (to March 2009). This overall reduction has included reductions in recorded vehicle crime (down 39%), domestic burglary (down 12%) and robbery (down 36%). The force is also now starting to see increases in public confidence. Figures published by the Home Office in July 2009 showed that between 2007/08 and 2008/09, Humberside Police had the second highest increase of all forces in England and Wales in the percentage of British Crime Survey British Crime Survey respondents who agree that their local police do an excellent/good job.

A report published in October 2009, following inspections by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary between April and August, identified Humberside Police as one of the top eight forces in the country.[12]

In April 2009 the force was cited as the poorest performing force for completing Criminal Record Bureaux (CRB) checks. The Home Office requirement is for 95% of requests to be completed within 14 days; Humberside Police managed to complete just 15%. As such checks are a condition of employment in numerous sectors the failure of the force to meet targets has caused delays for those waiting to commence employment in such areas.[13]

Graham Stuart, the Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, said he was disgusted with the failure of Humberside Police to carry out criminal record bureau checks within a reasonable time. He went to say “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."[14]

In October 2015, it was revealed that officer morale in the force was the lowest in the country, with a total of 84.5 per cent of officers stating that their morale was currently low, compared to that of 70.2 per cent nationally.[15]

On 19 October 2015, a report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) ranked Humberside Police as the only force in the country 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 is 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 responded to the report by saying that the force had "moved on" since then.[16]

Similarly, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) released its annual statistics of police complaints from forces throughout the country, with Humberside Police above average in many areas including the number of complaints, which nationally had increased by six per cent; Humberside’s had decreased by four per cent. However, despite a drop in complaints, the number of dissatisfied complainants appealing had increased by 24% – three times the national average.[17]

In November 2015, it was revealed that thousands of telephone calls to the 101 service were being abandoned, with the problem reaching its peak in June that year when over 11,000 calls were abandoned.[18]

On 19 November 2015 the East Riding of Yorkshire Council agreed to reconvene a review panel into Humberside Police after October's HMIC inspection of the force. 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 to 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. 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.[19]

Custody suites

Humberside Police has six Custody Suites which operate 24/7 and hold prisoners which have been arrested by officers in the force. The six Custody Suites are located at Hull Clough Road, Hull Priory Road, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Bridlington, Goole and Beverly. In 2013, Clough Road Police Station and Force headquarters opened and introduced a new Custody Suite with 40 cells.[20] This led to the closure of Queens Gardens Police Station in the city centre of Hull. After the opening of the new force headquarters, the total number of custody cells the force have increased to 119. The amount of cells that each Custody Suite has is shown in the table below.[21]

Police Station Number of Cells
Hull Clough Road 40
Hull Priory Road 20
Grimsby 23
Scunthorpe 14
Bridlington 10
Goole 5
Beverley 6

In October 2015, an article was published in the Scunthorpe Telegraph stating that the Ministry of Justice are reviewing the future of Scunthorpe Custody Suite 'after proposals to shut down the 61-year-old court centre in the town's Laneham Street. The result of the possible closure would be that prisoners would have to be transferred to Grimsby Police Station and be processed there. It is thought that this would not be practical because of the distance, however the article confirms that 'at this stage no decisions have been made'. It is thought that it will be after the new year before any decisions are made.[22]


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".[23][24] Five Humberside Police officers were charged with manslaughter and misconduct in public office but the trial collapsed when the judge ordered the jury to find the officers not guilty on all charges.[25]

Humberside Police shot to the national headlines in mid-2004 when it refused to sack Chief Constable David Westwood despite instructions from the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett.[26] The Home Secretary eventually obtained a court order suspending Westwood.[27] The force had come under pressure to sack Westwood due to the Soham Inquiry blaming in part failings in Humberside Police to properly inform the authorities of Grimsby-born Ian Huntley, who was known to Humberside Police and local social services after there had been reports of nine sexual offences that Huntley had been suspected of, 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 NELC. Bichard report

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.[28][29] Inglis was cleared of all charges in July 2006.[30]

In January 2015, former Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Andrews was convicted of common assault, harassment, stalking, and witness intimidation.[31] 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.[32] One victim, a police inspector, expressed fear of a Goole-based "mafia" of senior officers that included Andrews.[33]

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 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.[34] Many speculated that the sergeant was used as a scapegoat.[35]

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)

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.[36] 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.[37]


Traffic Cops

Humberside Police have taken part in the BBC One documentary series of Traffic Cops, the programme shows the day-to-day aspects of a Police Officer within the Traffic Department of the Service and the incidents and emergencies that they deal with which often, but not always, relate to roads policing issues.

The Humberside Police Traffic Department has also taken part in the separate spin-off series billed as Traffic Cops Specials, entitled Motorway Cops on occasions, which often shows the Central Motorway Police Group, however often includes Humberside and numerous other forces Motorway Cops as they each deal with Incidents and Emergencies that occur on the motorways.

The Lock Up

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[38] consisting of 8 episodes where cameras rolled 24/7; the second series was aired primarily on the main BBC Channel, BBC One.

Neighbourhood Blues

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.[39]

Officers killed in the line of duty

The Police Memorial Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty, and since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.

Since the formation of Humberside Police 6 officers have been killed in the line of duty, these officers are:[40][41]

Notable incidents and investigations

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

See also


  1. "Home". Humberside Police. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4
  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.
  6. "Humberside Police appoints its first female chief constable". BBC News. BBC. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  7. "Named and shamed: Humberside Police chief Justine Curran claimed £39,000 in expenses to move to area". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  8. "Oscar 99 Aircraft". Humberside Police. 24 June 2002. Archived from the original on 11 February 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  9. "Humberside 'worst police force'". BBC News Online. BBC. 24 October 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  10. "Police Performance Assessments 2005/06" (pdf). Home Office. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  11. "Police force sheds 'worst' label". BBC News Online. BBC. 9 October 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  13. "Police admit crime check delays". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  14. "Graham Stuart 'disgusted' with CRB checking performance by police". Graham Stuart MP. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  15. "Officer morale at Humberside Police lowest in the country – survey". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  16. "Humberside Police rated 'inadequate' by inspectors". BBC News. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  17. "Police report reveals complaint statistics". Beverley Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  18. "Thousands of calls to Humberside Police go unanswered new figures reveal". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  19. "East Riding Council to review Humberside Police restructure amid 'grave concerns'". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  20. "Custody suite is ... open for business!". Hull Daily Mail. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  22. "Future of cell block at Scunthorpe police station under review". Scunthorpe Telegraph. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  23. Stokes, Paul (25 August 2000). "Ex-para in police station was killed unlawfully". The Daily Telegraph. London. p. 11.
  24. "Government pays out over death of 'wrong body' Falklands veteran Christopher Alder". The Yorkshire Post. Leeds. 22 November 2011.
  25. Mintowt-Czyz, Lech (22 June 2002). "Death police go free: Judge clears officers who laughed and chatted as ex-Para died in custody". Daily Mail. London. p. 32.
  26. "Authority's statement in full". BBC News Online. 2 July 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  27. "Embattled police chief suspended". BBC News Online. BBC. 2 July 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  28. "Police authority chief suspended". BBC News Online. BBC. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  29. "Ex-police authority head charged". BBC News Online. BBC. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  30. "Ex-council chief cleared of abuse". BBC News Online. BBC. 17 July 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  31. "Former Humberside detective Colin Andrews guilty of stalking". BBC News. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  32. Bristow, Simon (24 December 2014). "Senior police officers asked if inquiry into Colin Andrews 'should go ahead', trial hears". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  33. Bristow, Simon (13 December 2014). "Police inspector was worried about 'mafia', Colin Andrews trial hears". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  34. "Humberside Police Sergeant John 'Mick' Stevenson sacked for kicking teenager in head". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  35. "Sacked Humberside Police sergeant John 'Mick' Stevenson 'hung, drawn and quartered'". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  36. "Prescott beaten by Conservatives in Humberside PCC vote". BBC News. BBC. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  37. "Labour's Keith Hunter elected PCC for Humberside". BBC News. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  38. "Hull's young drunks on TV tonight as BBC screens The Lock Up". Hull Daily Mail. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  39. "Episode guide". Neighbourhood Blues. BBC. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  40. "Humberside Police – Police Memorial Roll of Honour". 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  41. "Humberside Police – Police Roll of Honour". 14 October 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  42. "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.
  43. "Humberside Police assist the Metropolitan Police with Riots,". This is Hull and East Riding. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  44. Brown, Jonathan (8 July 2010). "One Tenth of UK Armed Police join manhunt from Roul Moat". The Independent. London. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
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