City of London PEEL 2015
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC found that City of London Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. Through good financial management and a commitment to continuous improvement, it has successfully reduced its spending over the last spending review period, improved its understanding of demand and is planning for future financial challenges. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, City of London was judged to be good.
HMIC judges City of London Police to be good. The force has a good understanding of its current demand and is managing its finances effectively. Although its change plans beyond 2016/17 were not yet finalised at the time of our inspection, a plan aimed at achieving savings and balancing future budgets were being developed. For these reasons the force is graded as good.
Under the City First change programme implemented in 2013, the force has undertaken a three year force-wide review of service structure and functions. While resources have been reduced the force has been able to maintain a high level of service to the public resulting in good levels of public satisfaction.
HMIC found the force understands the majority of the demand it faces and works closely through the City Corporation to further understand demands that have an impact on the City of London.. The force engages well with the City Corporation and the force works together effectively with other organisations to further understand and reduce demand on its services.
The force’s current workforce model is meeting demand, organisational and financial requirements. The evidence for this comes from a balanced budget, achievement of savings targets and high victim satisfaction survey results.
However, the force needs to develop more detailed plans and improve its understanding of the workforce skills, knowledge and ability. More work is needed to better align workforce plans with the medium-term financial plan.
The force has met its savings target period to 2014/15 and achieved a balanced financial position from the spending review set in 2011.The force is taking a number of steps to control expenditure. The aims of the 2015 to 2018 financial savings plan are for the force to reduce non-pay costs, attract additional revenue income for core policing and reduce pay costs.
The force has effective arrangements for monitoring budgets with strong governance arrangements that underpin budget monitoring. The policing plan for 2015 to 2018 includes the priorities set by the City Corporation and monitoring of the plan and the budget are through the Police Committee.
How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?
The force has a good understanding of the demand on its services from the public. It is currently meeting this demand and evidence for this comes from the higher than average victim satisfaction rates and good response times.
The force works effectively with the Corporation, other partners and the community to identify better ways of meeting demand and delivering an effective service.
It is the national lead for economic crime and has developed an effective approach to dealing with the demands of this crime type locally and nationally.
The force has a good understanding of its performance and there is clear governance for accountability both internally and by the City Corporation.
The force though recognises the need to change to meet future demand within its future budget. The force’s change programme is looking at new ways the force can operate and improve services to meet future demand with a reduced budget.
How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
Since March 2010 the number of officers in the force reduced from 852 to 739 in March 2015.
The current workforce model is meeting demand, organisational need and financial requirements. Evidence for this comes from a balanced budget, achievement of savings targets and victim satisfaction rates in line with England and Wales.
The force has conducted reviews in each business area to look at demand and resources and is confident that it has achieved this efficiency in resourcing without having an impact on the provision of policing services to the public.
However, the force needs to develop more detailed plans and improve its understanding of workforce skills, knowledge and ability. More work is needed to better align workforce plans with the medium-term financial plan.
Areas for improvement
- The force should develop a future workforce plan that is aligned to its overall demand and budget. The plans should include future resource allocations, the mix of skills required by the workforce and behaviours expected of them.
- To support the workforce plan, the force should improve how it records and retains information concerning the skills and knowledge of the workforce to identify future training needs.
How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?
The force has met its savings target period to 2014/15 and achieved a balanced financial position from the spending review set in 2011.
The force does obtain full cost recovery, such as for the national economic crime lead function and has been successful in securing other funding including from the business community.
It is taking a number of steps to control expenditure and achieve the aims of the 2015/18 financial savings. Future financial plans are still to be fully developed in partnership with the City Corporation but are expected to be finalised in July 2015.
The policing plan for 2015 to 2018 includes the priorities set by the Corporation and these include a closer working relationship to further reduce costs and meet the public demand.
The force budget and the policing plan are jointly prepared with the City Corporation which, through the Police Committee, holds the force to account effectively.
Together with income generation, other efficiencies and potential support from the Corporation, HMIC has confidence that the force should deliver savings and balance future budgets.