Thames Valley PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
Thames Valley Police has risen to the challenge of the spending review and continues to prepare for future funding reductions. Keeping communities safe remains at the heart of its approach.
Thames Valley is on track to achieve its required savings of £58.9m over this spending review period, and to meet its further financial challenge in 2015/16. Importantly, the force is also looking beyond this period and is planning now for further funding reductions and future financial pressures.
HMIC is reassured by the level of detail that underpins Thames Valley’s saving plans. It is also reassured that the force plans to be able to reduce costs significantly while continuing to fight crime and keep its communities safe.
The force has a good understanding of the issues facing it, and it has a comprehensive and well-managed strategy in place to achieve the required savings, while minimising as far as possible the impact on frontline policing.
Within its plans, the force is focusing on non-pay costs and it has been able to achieve savings with a considerably smaller reduction in officer and staff numbers than other forces. At the same time, Thames Valley stands out as having increased the actual numbers of officers and staff in frontline roles.
This is commendable and demonstrates both the ambition and commitment of the force to maintain the confidence of communities and keep them safe. Thames Valley continues to provide a high-quality policing service to its communities. Over the spending review period, the force has achieved the highest reduction in crime in comparison to other forces, it has low overall crime levels and maintains high levels of victim satisfaction.
To what extent is the force efficient?
Thames Valley Police has a good understanding of demand, which draws on a range of information sources and is refreshed regularly.
The force’s resource allocation method supports the implementation plan and budget.
The force is currently working on refreshing the neighbourhood policing model.
Thames Valley provides a good quality of service to its communities and has achieved high levels of crime reduction, overall low crime and high levels of victim satisfaction.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
Thames Valley Police is in a secure financial position with clear plans as to how further savings will be achieved.
Plans are in place to achieve all the savings needed in 2014/15 (£12.4m) and 2015/16 (£10.8m).
Resources are allocated to meet the priorities in the police and crime plan of reinvesting 34 officers and staff into local policing areas and child abuse in 2013/14.
The force is developing detailed savings plans for 2016/17, with potential options for savings from collaboration and partnership, and it is about to commence planning for 2017/18.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
Thames Valley Police has a well-established change programme with good chief officer oversight, and it has consequently achieved considerable savings during the spending review period.
The pace of the collaboration programme with Hampshire Constabulary has picked up over the past year. In addition to the established collaborative arrangements, there are now developed plans for further collaboration.
Communication about the change programme rationale and understanding the culture of the organisation are in development.