Avon and Somerset PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has responded extremely effectively to its spending review challenge. It is looking to the longer term and is taking the necessary decisions today to ensure future sustainability.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary is on track to meet its financial challenge of the spending review period and also for the following financial year of 2015/16. Importantly, the force is looking beyond the immediate horizon. While there are inevitable uncertainties about future funding and costs pressures, the force’s planning is identifying likely future scenarios and developing high-level options to meet the challenge.
Overall, the force understands the issues facing it, and has a comprehensive and well-managed change programme in place to achieve the savings required. It has undertaken a rigorous assessment of demand which has provided the evidence base for restructuring how policing will be provided more effectively and continues to realise savings for the force.
HMIC was reassured by the level of detail that underpins Avon and Somerset’s change plans and by the leadership’s ability, innovation and determination to make changes while fighting crime and keeping its communities safe.
To what extent is the force efficient?
The force has undertaken a systematic, comprehensive and rigorous assessment of demand that has provided an empirical evidence base to inform the new operating model.
The new operating model will align resources against the policing challenges the force faces.
A new comprehensive information and communications technology strategy will realise both savings and enhance effectiveness.
Over the spending review period, crime has reduced at a higher rate than in England and Wales. Over the last year victim satisfaction is above the figure for England and Wales.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has a strong track record of achieving underspends and over achieving saving requirements.
The force has a balanced budget for 2014/15. It has a funding gap for 2015/16 but has plans in place to close this. It is developing plans for 2015/16 and is looking to greater collaboration and partnership to achieve these.
The force is looking to the long term, taking decisions today to ensure future sustainability.
The force recognises that the scale of future challenge means there are limits to how many of these savings can be achieved internally and sees the key to future sustainability as greater collaboration and partnership working.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
The force has an established change management programme in place which is integrated, cohesive and well managed.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been at the forefront of collaboration with the Southwest One initiative, a joint venture with the local authority and IBM. The force is also developing wider police collaborations in the region.
A comprehensive engagement and communication programme is in place.
Over the spending review the force plans to increase the proportion of its workforce and police officers in key crime-fighting roles.