Devon and Cornwall PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
Devon and Cornwall Police has continued to make good progress in achieving savings despite facing a very difficult challenge.
Devon and Cornwall Police is on track to make all of the savings it needs over the period of the spending review. The force has faced a particularly difficult challenge, not only because of the scale of the spending cuts but because it was already spending less on policing than most other forces, and had less scope to find the savings.
The force has assessed the further savings it needs to make for the following financial year of 2015/16 and has plans in place to make these savings. The force is also looking beyond this period and is developing plans for an ambitious alliance with its neighbouring force, Dorset Police. Although there is some risk to savings plans beyond 2016, HMIC is reassured that the force is working hard to find ways of cutting spending while protecting neighbourhood policing and fighting crime.
To what extent is the force efficient?
Devon and Cornwall Police understands the demand on its services and is developing a sophisticated approach to ensure resources are used efficiently.
The force works with local partners to provide a better joined-up service from neighbourhood policing, and has put staff and other resources into tackling local problems.
The force is improving the way it deals with calls from the public and is resolving more calls at first contact, enabling it to use police officer time to best effect.
There are fewer crimes per head of population in Devon and Cornwall than in England and Wales as a whole, but overall crime has not reduced over the spending review period as it has over England and Wales as a whole.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
Devon and Cornwall Police faces a significant challenge in cutting its spending at the scale required. It already spends less on policing than most forces in England and Wales and has less scope to make the savings.
The force has made good progress and is on track to achieve the £53.3m savings it needs over the spending review period. It has plans in place that will achieve the £5.3m savings needed in 2015/16.
Beyond 2016 the savings plans currently in place will not match the expected cuts needed. HMIC is reassured that the force is working hard to identify ways to find further savings without having an impact on its ability to fight crime, such as planning to develop collaborative arrangements with Dorset Police.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
Devon and Cornwall Police began its change programme in 2010 and has continued to evolve the way it provides policing to make best use of the resources available.
The force has improved its processes and services to increase productivity and reduce waste.
The force has made 30 percent of its savings from non-pay areas, with plans in place for more savings. However, the proportion of police officers that it will lose is higher than the figure for other forces.
Collaboration with other organisations has so far made a limited contribution to Devon and Cornwall’s savings, but the force is developing plans for an ambitious alliance with Dorset Police.