Skip to content

Devon and Cornwall PEEL 2015

Efficiency

How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 20/10/2015
Good

HMIC found that Devon and Cornwall Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. Through robust financial management and a commitment to continuous improvement, it has successfully reduced its spending over the last spending review period, and is effectively 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, Devon and Cornwall Police was judged to be good.

HMIC judges Devon and Cornwall Police to be good. The force understands its current demand and has robust arrangements for managing its finances and its plans for change. Its direction of travel is one of improvement as it has extensive plans for a strategic alliance with Dorset Police which are being developed and implemented over three phases through to 2018. For these reasons it is graded as good. It is too early to judge the impact of the work being undertaken on the strategic alliance and the force has yet to agree its revised operating model.

The force understands its current demand and uses this effectively to deploy its resources to respond to calls for service. This is based on detailed demand analysis which was initially carried out in 2013 and work within the control rooms to understand the nature of incidents arising from calls from the public better.

This analysis is informing the force change programme and the strategic alliance with Dorset Police and will inevitably lead to a significant change in how the force will provide policing services in the future. Although total workforce numbers have been projected for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, ongoing development of the future operating model means that distribution of workforce numbers across officers, staff and PCSOs has not been fully determined.

The force has a secure financial position for the short and medium term although not all savings have yet been identified for 2017/18 and 2018/19. Plans to achieve savings through to 2018/19 include development of a new operating model and the strategic alliance with Dorset Police. All budget plans are developed in consultation with and shared with the PCC. The nature of the working relationship provides reassurance that financial planning and workforce plans are aligned.

 

Questions for Efficiency

1

How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?

The force understands its current demand on services and uses this effectively to deploy its resources to respond to calls for service and investigate crime. Given that workforce numbers may continue to reduce in the future the force recognises that its current operating model will have to change if it is to continue to meet demand. Workforce numbers have been profiled through to 2020 and the force is using this information to design a future operating model focused on providing a response based on threat, harm and vulnerability.

A strategic alliance with Dorset Police has been agreed to enable the two forces to provide jointly a wide range of specialist and support services. Extensive plans are being developed and implemented over three phases through to 2018 with demand and resource management a principal element of the planning.

The force is also working with other agencies, such as health, to understand demand better and identify opportunities for prevention. This is supported by a well-established assessment process which seeks to reduce demand by better targeting prevention activity.

Good
2

How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?

The force is analysing its current demand to identify areas where more efficient use can be made of police resources and where a focus on preventive policing can reduce future demand. This analysis is informing the force change programme and the strategic alliance with Dorset Police and will inevitably lead to a significant change in how the force will provide policing services in the future. For example, there are plans for improved customer self-service arrangements through telephony and internet and provision of enhanced mobile data equipment for officers to increase their visibility and improve effectiveness.

Although total workforce numbers have been projected for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, ongoing development of the future operating model means that the distribution of future workforce numbers across officers, staff and PCSOs has not been fully determined. The force has identified some future savings but unless additional savings are identified, there is risk that further posts may have to be removed from the current published figures up to 2018/19.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that its workforce modelling includes a focus on threat, harm and vulnerability when outlining future resource allocations, the mix of skills required by the workforce and behaviours expected of them.
3

How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?

The force has a secure financial position for the short and medium term, although not all savings have yet been identified for 2017/18 and 2018/19. Prudent budget management enabled the force to achieve all of the savings required during the last spending review period.

Plans to achieve savings through to 2018/19 include development of a new operating model and the strategic alliance with Dorset Police, with the majority of the savings set to come from a reduction in police officer numbers.

The force has made a considered decision to use reserves over the period from 2015/16 to 2018/19 to support development of the new operating model and the transition to the strategic alliance.
The force’s financial plans support the objectives set out in the police and crime plan. The force’s chief finance officer works closely and constructively with the police and crime commissioner’s finance officer.

The force provides timely and relevant financial information to the OPCC and shared assumptions are used to develop financial planning. All budget plans are developed in consultation with and shared with the PCC. The nature of the working relationship provides reassurance that financial planning and workforce plans are aligned.

Good