South Yorkshire PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
South Yorkshire Police is on track to meet its financial challenge for the spending review. It continues to develop plans to address future austerity challenges and central to this will be extending collaboration with other forces.
South Yorkshire has plans in place to meet its savings requirement for 2014/15. It will also meet the overall financial challenge of the spending review. Importantly, the force will implement new structures for providing policing within its four districts, and this work will provide a more flexible model in order to cope with the future. Of central importance to savings for 2016/17, and beyond, is extending existing collaborations with other forces in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Work is underway to develop the detail of this. HMIC welcomes the force’s ambition, but there is a lot to be agreed before this becomes a reality. The force will need to monitor progress closely and might wish to identify back-up plans in the event of delays or other difficulties. The force has seen a reduction in overall crime over the spending review, although this has been at a lower rate than for England and Wales. Overall crime levels remain higher than the figures for England and Wales. It is important that, while South Yorkshire implements further changes, it keeps a strong focus on crime fighting and protecting its communities from harm.
To what extent is the force efficient?
South Yorkshire Police is using a range of methods to understand the demand placed on its services and the consequences of that demand, for example, the numbers of staff required for crime investigation and prosecution file preparation. This information will be vital for the successful implementation of the new operating model. The force has flexibility in moving resources to address new and emerging threats such as child sexual exploitation. The force has seen a reduction in overall crime over the spending review, although at a lower rate than in England and Wales, and overall crime levels remain high.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
South Yorkshire Police has developed savings plans to achieve the £12.9m savings needed in 2014/15 and £13.5m in 2015/16. The force has identified that new structures for providing policing are necessary in meeting its spending review challenges. Savings from 2016/17 onwards will become increasingly dependent on the force’s ambition to increase services provided in collaboration with other forces. For this ambition to be realised, there is a need for firm plans to be agreed and implemented.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
In response to austerity savings, South Yorkshire Police’s public-facing services continue to be provided through four districts, aligned to local authority boundaries. The force is now at the point of implementing a new structure for the provision of local policing. Incrementally, business support functions have become increasingly provided through collaboration, much of which has been led by South Yorkshire. The next phase of the continuous improvement programme will focus on the collaboration of operational support and specialist crime.