West Yorkshire PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
HMIC is encouraged that West Yorkshire Police has made impressive progress since last year in developing and carrying out a programme of change that is enabling it to provide good value for money.
West Yorkshire has faced one of the largest cuts to its spending of all forces in England and Wales. After a faltering start in the early years of this spending review period, it has made rapid progress this year. It is now on track to meet its financial challenges over the spending review period and beyond, to 2016. Importantly, the force has started to develop its outline plans for achieving savings beyond 2016 and has sufficient reserves to enable change, achieve the ambitions of the police and crime commissioner and support transformation and innovation.
The pace and scale of improvement in the force since last year has been impressive. West Yorkshire has introduced a new way of providing policing and has significantly improved its approach to managing change to tackle the challenges it faces. Despite major change and significant reductions in staffing, the force has continued to provide effective policing; crime has continued to fall in West Yorkshire throughout this period at a greater rate than elsewhere and victims’ satisfaction with the police is high.
The challenge now is to implement the changes fully.
To what extent is the force efficient?
West Yorkshire Police has a detailed understanding of the demands it faces. The level of detail, analysis and understanding of need in local neighbourhood teams is particularly impressive and enables the force to make the most effective use of its resources and serve local communities better. Through clear leadership the force has made rapid progress in finding IT solutions that improve productivity and effectiveness. Crime in West Yorkshire has continued to fall throughout the spending review period and victim satisfaction with the police is high.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
West Yorkshire Police has a strong track record for achieving savings and is expecting to achieve more savings than it needs over the spending review period. Given the scale of the savings needed, at 20 percent of its total spending, this is a real achievement. The force has already developed outline savings plans that extend beyond 2016, based on prudent assumptions. Its financial performance over the next two years will determine the level of reserves available to provide a degree of financial security.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
West Yorkshire Police has changed the way it provides policing in the last year to enable it to operate effectively with fewer resources. There is an emphasis on ensuring the long-term sustainability of local policing that will be affordable and work towards the force’s ambition of providing world class policing. West Yorkshire has made impressive progress since last year in developing and implementing the change programme needed to make the savings. The force continues to pursue collaboration within the framework of the Yorkshire and Humberside forces. Potential opportunities continue to be assessed.