Derbyshire PEEL 2015
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC found that Derbyshire Constabulary is well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has balanced the budget and has a good track record of achieving savings. The constabulary has plans in place to deliver anticipated savings through to 2016/17 and is starting to plan through to 2020. The constabulary has a good understanding of the demand on its services and is developing its understanding of how it can continue to provide an effective policing service at lower cost. In last year’s value for money inspection programme, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Derbyshire Constabulary was judged to be good.
HMIC judges Derbyshire Constabulary to be good. It has achieved its required savings of £24.2m over the spending review period and has well-defined plans to achieve its savings up to 2016/17. Financial management is effective with good controls in place over expenditure.
The constabulary is looking beyond this period and through the work of its change programme, called Moving Forward, is designing a new way of providing policing services which is affordable and sustainable, while retaining the principle of locally-based neighbourhood policing teams.
The constabulary understands well the demands on its services. Its priority-based budgeting analysis enables the constabulary to understand how it can provide better policing services at lower cost so that it can continue to reduce crime, keep its communities safe, and maintain high levels of victim satisfaction with reduced resources. It plans, for example, to increase investment in public protection and to change a number of police officer posts where police powers are not required, to staff posts. The constabulary understands the range of skills, experience and capability across the organisation. Extensive work has been conducted within investigations, on understanding the skills it needs for the future and succession planning, and there are plans to improve investigation skills throughout the organisation.
The constabulary works closely with other public sector organisations to develop effective ways of managing and further reducing demand.
How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?
The constabulary has a good understanding of the demands on its services. It continues to improve its management of demand by looking at effective practice and analysing areas of high demand through its demand management board. The constabulary made an early start on understanding new areas of demand, such as cyber-crime and online child sexual exploitation, and is allocating increased police resources to public protection.
A priority-based budgeting exercise has helped the constabulary to align expenditure more closely with identified priorities. The constabulary now plans to make changes in the coming years to ensure that resources are still better matched to demand based on an assessment of threat, harm and risk.
Well-managed, centralised budgets together with priority based budgeting have given the constabulary a good understanding of the cost of delivering its services.
The constabulary has a measured approach to reducing demand, working with partners to ensure the most appropriate agency is responding.
Police recorded crime has reduced over the period of the spending review and victim satisfaction is similar to that in most forces in England and Wales.
Progress to improve and update technology, including mobile technology, has been slow. However, the constabulary is now addressing this issue by investing in updated IT systems.
How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
Derbyshire maintains its policing structure with locally recognised neighbourhood teams to provide local services. This structure has successfully supported achieving the constabulary’s savings for the spending review period.
The priority-based budgeting exercise has helped inform a sustainable and affordable approach to the constabulary’s operating model. More officers are being assigned to public protection work while a number of officer posts where police powers are not needed will be converted into staff posts. The constabulary has also recognised it must ensure that, when making future staff reductions, the Information Services department can still deliver critical aspects of technological change.
The constabulary is developing new ways of working, for example by reducing demand on frontline officers, but this will still mean fewer officers and staff in the future. It understands the range of skills, experience and capability within the organisation. The constabulary has a greater understanding of skills gaps and workforce mix investigations where extensive work has been conducted to improve investigation skills throughout the organisation.
How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?
Derbyshire has made all the savings it needed up to 2014/15. It has plans in place to achieve the £7.2m savings required in 2015/16. The £7.5m estimated target in 2016/17 will be achieved by a combination of additional planned savings and planned use of reserves.
The constabulary ensures effective financial control by identifying and managing short-term and unplanned financial pressures. Good working relationships between its finance and HR teams ensure that workforce numbers and costs are reconciled.
Derbyshire collaborates with other East Midlands forces where it sees a benefit in doing so. The constabulary is also establishing a shared headquarters with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The future beyond for 2016 is positive and the constabulary plans ahead to 2020. It has completed a priority-based budgeting analysis which has enabled it to identify where investment is needed to meet the police and crime plan priorities.
The police and crime commissioner exercises effective oversight of constabulary expenditure through regular reports from the finance director to the strategic governance board.
Flexibility within the Moving Forward programme enables the constabulary to alter the level of service provision which will increase savings (depending on the future financial climate).