Norfolk PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
Norfolk Constabulary’s response to the financial challenge of the spending review is outstanding. The force is determined to continue to provide a high-quality policing service to the public. It is planning for the long-term, taking the necessary steps today, so it is ready to meet future funding challenges in this ongoing era of austerity.
Norfolk has clear plans to meet its financial challenge for the spending review period. Importantly, the force is looking beyond this period and has already developed outline plans to achieve two-thirds of the £20m savings required over the next four years to 2017/18.
The force has performed exceptionally well in the first three years of the spending review. It has achieved the required savings while maintaining police officer numbers and improving performance. This can be attributed in part to its collaboration with Suffolk Constabulary. Norfolk’s success is also due to its considerable understanding of the demand it faces and the way it analyses and assesses this to decide how to provide policing effectively.
The investment that the force has made already to redesign the way it can provide local policing over the next four years, and the robust change programme it has in place – with a reputation for providing benefits – means Norfolk is well placed to meet future financial challenges. It has healthy reserves that provide it with a level of financial security into the long-term. Norfolk continues to provide a high quality policing service to its communities.
Crime has reduced over the spending review and the force has maintained one of the lowest levels of crime in England and Wales, while the level of victim satisfaction is high.
To what extent is the force efficient?
Norfolk Constabulary has an extensive understanding of the demands and risks it faces and these are systematically assessed.
The way the force provides policing over the next four years has been designed based on this and future projections of demand. There is evidence of resources being allocated on the basis of priorities, both locally and against national demands.
The force remains committed to local policing and partnership working to improve quality of the service and to reduce demand.
Victim-based crime has fallen by 14 percent, in line with the figure for England and Wales, while victims’ satisfaction continues to improve and is higher than most forces in England and Wales.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
Norfolk Constabulary has clear plans to achieve savings for 2014/15, and its plans are well underway for 2015/16. It will use reserves built up during the current spending review to meet any residual funding gap if required.
Current budget allocations support the police and crime commissioner’s priorities, with growth built into the budget to tackle prioritising vulnerability and to protect the number of local policing officers.
Of the £20.3m savings to be achieved by 2018, the force has already identified savings which reduces the funding gap to £6.4m and it has identified opportunities for further savings. It has healthy reserves in excess of £30m ensuring it is financially secure over the long term.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
The workforce structure has successfully matched the needs of the organisation, while improving policing outcomes and is set to meet its savings requirement over the spending review.
To ensure it can provide local policing services effectively in the future, the force has developed a variety of options to achieve between £2.5m and £8.5m of savings.
Norfolk Constabulary’s successful collaboration with Suffolk Constabulary continues to achieve financial and operational efficiencies, as has its robust change programme. This has enabled the force to sustain its operational front line with minimal reductions in workforce numbers throughout the spending review. This is commendable.