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Gwent PEEL 2015

Efficiency

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

Last updated 20/10/2015
Good

HMIC found that Gwent Police is well 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, improved its understanding of demand, introduced a new operating model 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, Gwent Police was judged to require improvement.

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

HMIC judges Gwent Police to be good. The force is developing a good knowledge of the public demand on its services, along with ways to understand better the demand in more specialist crime areas, such as cyber-related crime.

This improved understanding has enabled the force to identify areas where it can manage demand better, so it can focus resources on priority areas of policing. This understanding has also been used to design the new operating model.

HMIC is impressed with the quality of the work that has gone into planning the new structure. More police officers have been put into frontline roles, and resources have been allocated based on demand, with additional resources directed at areas with the greatest needs. The force could improve how it assesses whether the operating model is meeting the needs of the public with better information about how well it responds to calls from the public.

Gwent Police has successfully reduced its spending over the last four years. As a result of the significant steps forward this year in implementing plans for savings, the force expects to have surplus savings of £5.6m, which it plans to hold in reserves for future use.

There are well-developed plans in place to achieve most of the future anticipated savings through to 2019/20. The operating model is flexible and there are further potential savings from continuing to remove inefficiencies and improve processes.

This is a considerable improvement on the position last year, and has provided HMIC with a far greater degree of confidence in the force’s financial position in the short, medium and longer term.

 

Questions for Efficiency

1

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

Gwent Police is developing a good understanding of the demand it faces from the public for core police services, and is also introducing ways to understand the demand in more specialist crime areas.

This improved understanding has been used to design the new operating model, which has put more officers into local policing areas and allowed more flexibility in using resources to match demand.

Established collaborative working with other forces in Wales enables the force to focus its resources more efficiently and effectively.

The force has a good understanding of its costs for providing services, and has carried out a comprehensive exercise to compare its costs with those of others, in order to identify the areas where savings ought to be made.

There is still a limited understanding of the relationship between costs and outcomes, which is further hindered by a lack of performance information in some important areas (such as the time taken to respond to incidents). This will limit the force’s ability to evaluate properly the impact of the new operating model.

Good
2

How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?

Following a comprehensive review, which included a detailed analysis of demand and the anticipated budget cuts required, the force reorganised the way it provides policing in April 2015.

HMIC is impressed with the quality of the work that has gone into planning the new operating model, which puts more police officers into frontline roles. Resources have been allocated based on demand, with additional resources directed at areas with greatest need.

The force should ensure it can fully assess the effect of the changes it has made, including the impact of reallocating more resources to local policing from other functions in the organisation. In addition, because some data (such as response times) are not readily available, the force will need to consider how it assesses whether the new operating model is fully meeting the needs of the public.

The new workforce model has taken into account new or emerging demand (such as cyber-related crime) and organisational needs (such as assessing the likely future recruitment needs in response to planned promotions, retirements and resignations).

The force is planning to assess the impact of the changes it has made to ensure that it is meeting public demand for its services from its resources and within its budget.

Good
3

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

Gwent Police has successfully reduced its spending by the required £24m over the last four years. It has set a balanced budget for 2015/16, which includes making all of the required savings this year.

As a result of the significant step forward this year in implementing plans for savings, the force expects to have surplus savings of £5.6m, which it plans to hold in reserves for future use.

The force has sought other funding, including from the Police Innovation Fund and from the Welsh Assembly.

The force reflects the police and crime commissioner’s (PCC’s) priorities in its plans, and is held to account by the PCC.

The office of the police and crime commissioner (OPCC) works with the force to develop financial plans. The PCC is provided with the same financial reports as the force chief officers.

The force anticipates that it will need to reduce its spending by a further £26.7m between 2015/16 and 2019/20. There are well-developed plans in place to achieve most of the future anticipated savings through to 2019/20.

This is a considerable improvement on the position last year, and has provided HMIC with a far greater degree of confidence in the force’s financial position in the short, medium and longer term.

Good