Cumbria PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
Cumbria Constabulary is achieving the savings required today while planning for the future. The force has performed well in the first three years of the spending review – achieving savings, protecting the front line and maintaining high levels of satisfaction.
Cumbria has clear plans not only to meet its financial challenge for the spending review period but also for the year after (2015/16). Importantly, the force is already looking beyond this period and has developed plans, which it will refine, to achieve the savings required over the next four years. Although the force has access to a healthy level of reserves, it has identified a significant risk in the future from potential changes to central funding; this risk is reflected in the level of the reserves it plans to retain over this period.
Overall, the force has performed well in the first three years of the spending review. It has achieved savings while increasing the proportion of the workforce allocated to frontline roles, and maintaining high levels of victim satisfaction in the services it provides.
The investment that the force has made to improve its understanding of demand gives it the opportunity to become more efficient. The continuous improvements made through its robust change programme mean the force is well placed to develop further a sustainable and affordable way of providing community policing in Cumbria. HMIC was reassured by Cumbria’s coherent business plan, and by the leadership’s determination to make further improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of the force’s workforce and assets.
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 both realise savings and enhance effectiveness. Over the spending review period, recorded crime has reduced but at a lower rate than in England and Wales. Over the last year, victim satisfaction with the force 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?
Cumbria has clear plans to achieve savings in 2014/15 and to achieve the £16.6m savings required over the spending review period. It is on course to achieve further savings of £3.5m in 2015/16.
The force has identified that it needs to save £13.1m by 2017/18, and has already developed outline plans that it will review and refine over the next two years.
The force has access to reserves to invest in building a sustainable and affordable policing structure for the future.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
Cumbria workforce structure matches the needs of the organisation to date. More of the workforce is on the front line.
The force has a coherent change programme mapped out. This provides it with a clear projection of the resources required to support its future policing needs while achieving savings.
The force may be able to realise additional savings and operational benefits from collaborative opportunities over the next four years.
The force has achieved approximately 22 percent of its savings by reducing its non-pay costs, although these are still comparatively high.