Warwickshire PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
HMIC commends Warwickshire Police for making excellent progress in achieving what has been a very challenging savings target. Through the innovative and ambitious alliance with West Mercia Police, the force has made efficiency savings while maintaining and improving policing for the people of Warwickshire.
Warwickshire Police has already achieved the savings required for the spending review ahead of schedule and is now developing plans for the future. There is a clear focus on value for money evidenced throughout the alliance with West Mercia that has demonstrated the potential to achieve further significant savings over a number of years. The force is extremely well placed to face future financial challenges.
The force has made good progress with developing and implementing the alliance; the phased approach to managing this organisational change has been effective and well led. The alliance is providing the force with significant opportunities for cost savings and, importantly, is providing the people of Warwickshire with a better equipped and more effective police service.
The force understands its demand and is ensuring that police time is used to best effect. The shared resources of both forces are deployed in a ‘borderless’ way to ensure that the most appropriate response is provided, regardless of who owns the resource. Despite major changes and the scale of the cuts in spending, recorded crime has continued to fall in Warwickshire, and has fallen at a faster rate over the 12 months to March 2014 than for England and Wales.
To what extent is the force efficient?
Warwickshire Police analysed demand when devising its structures and, now these are in place and operating, it is planning to carry out further analysis of demand.
The crime bureau resolves a high proportion of the force’s low-level crime at the first point of contact. This allows neighbourhood teams to be more available within their areas.
The resources of both Warwickshire and West Mercia forces can be deployed in a ‘borderless’ way to ensure that the most appropriate response is provided.
Over the last 12 months, recorded crime has fallen by 3 percent compared to the England and Wales figure of 1 percent.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
Warwickshire Police faced a difficult financial challenge to save 28 percent of its total spending, from a position of already being a low spending police force.
Warwickshire has an ambitious and innovative alliance with West Mercia Police, which is enabling both forces to make significant savings through collaborating.
As a result of the alliance, the force will overachieve on savings during the spending review and will also balance its budget for 2015/16.
Finances are well managed, with sound future plans. Further significant savings are expected from the alliance. The force is extremely well placed for future financial challenges.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
The alliance is providing Warwickshire Police with significant opportunities for cost savings and, importantly, is providing the people of Warwickshire with a better equipped and more effective police service.
The force has made good progress with developing and implementing the alliance; the phased approach to managing the change has been effective and well led.
Most of the savings have been made from reducing staffing numbers, and now the alliance is set to increase the non-pay savings.
The force has protected frontline policing from cuts. The proportion of officers on the front line by 2015 will be higher than that for England and Wales.