Cleveland PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
HMIC found that Cleveland Police has made excellent progress in achieving the savings it needs while working hard to protect its frontline crime-fighting roles. It has had one of the largest reductions in police officer numbers, and has transformed the way it provides policing to get better value for money from fewer resources.
Cleveland has made excellent progress in putting itself in a secure financial position. It is working hard to reduce costs and to provide a service to its local communities that offers value for money. The force faced a difficult challenge: it needed to save 21 percent of its total spending over the four years of the spending review. It responded well, and is on track to make all the savings it needs, as well as having found more savings for 2015/16. Importantly, the force has started to develop ambitious plans for achieving savings beyond 2016. The changes being put into place are an ambitious approach to transform the way the force provides policing, involving considerable change to the way the force works. The force has carried out extensive assessments of the demands and the risks that it faces; this is being used to redistribute resources and to reshape the way it provides policing. Frontline crime-fighting roles are being protected as it makes the cuts and neighbourhood policing remains the foundation of the force’s approach. Cleveland is making good use of its partnerships and collaboration with other organisations to ensure that savings are being made without damaging the service to the public. Cleveland is well placed to face the future financial challenges.
To what extent is the force efficient?
Cleveland Police has a good understanding of demand and has used this to reshape the way it provides policing. It is working innovatively to improve further its overall understanding of demand by incorporating information from partners. This will enable it to identify and include greater efficiencies in the way it uses resources. Cleveland is set to lose proportionately more police officers than other forces, but the proportion working on the front line has increased. Over the spending review the force has reduced crime, although crime levels remain higher than elsewhere. Both crime and detection rates are higher than the figures for England and Wales.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
The force already has a strong track record of achieving planned savings. Cleveland Police was set a tough financial challenge. A strong vision and effective leadership has enabled it to achieve the bulk of the savings requirement and there are clear plans in place to achieve the balance in 2014/15. The force is developing outline savings plans that extend beyond 2016. Successful partnering and collaboration with other organisations continue to play a vital role in these plans.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
The force makes good use of working with others to achieve better value for money. Collaboration with other forces and the private sector is well established in Cleveland and has contributed considerably to its savings. It has achieved considerable savings, and will continue to do so. The force has made good overall progress in implementing its change programme. The new structure for policing has enabled it to function with considerably fewer officers and staff. The changes have taken place with minimal impact on the service to the public.
There is a clear future vision involving partnership working and information technology-enabled change. This will help Cleveland to provide an affordable, effective and sustainable resource model.