Hampshire PEEL 2015
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC found that Hampshire Constabulary is very well prepared to face its future financial challenges. The constabulary has a strong track record of making savings, robust financial management and well-developed plans to achieve further savings. It has introduced a new workforce model to manage within a reducing budget. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Hampshire was judged to be good.
HMIC judges Hampshire Constabulary to be good. The constabulary has implemented an ambitious new operating model, designed to meet demand more efficiently with reduced resources. This is based on a thorough understanding of current demand and is a significant change that has affected almost all the workforce. The model is planned to be capable of achieving effective policing through to 2017.
Hampshire Constabulary is willing to innovate and work collaboratively to provide better services more efficiently. Its plans to extend the collaboration with Thames Valley Police are aimed to further reduce cost and maintain services. The partnership with other local authorities is now providing all human resources, finance and administration services to the constabulary and has achieved significant savings.
Hampshire is open to the use of new technology, making good use of body-worn video equipment, and intends to expand its use of mobile data. It has well-developed plans to use IT to allow the public to contact and interact more easily with the constabulary.
The constabulary achieved all of its savings targets; it has a balanced budget for 2015/16 and a comfortable level of reserves. Hampshire’s detailed savings plans provide us with confidence that the further savings required by 2016/17 will be achieved.
Savings plans beyond that are well-developed. The constabulary expects that increased collaboration and the ongoing review of estates will deliver further savings. The constabulary is confident that their new structure and operating model can be adjusted to achieve further savings if necessary. The constabulary will also consider using reserves to meet short term needs and smooth their transition.
How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?
The constabulary thoroughly understands demand and can match its resources to meet the demand from the public.
The constabulary implemented an ambitious new policing model, designed to meet demand more efficiently with a reduced level of resources. This is a significant change, affecting almost all the workforce who understood the change and the reasons for it.
The constabulary uses its better understanding of demand ensuring that, as resources continue to reduce, it can focus its efforts on tackling the key risks and concerns facing the community. HMIC will monitor closely Hampshire’s new approach to resolving a number of crime reports over the phone as it is important that the service to the public is maintained.
Hampshire has a good understanding of costs and where it spends its money to meet demand.
The constabulary is willing to innovate and collaborate to provide better services more efficiently. Its new policing structure has been designed to support local partnership working with the creation of fourteen local policing areas.
Hampshire’s plans to extend the collaboration with Thames Valley Police are aimed to further improve how the constabulary will meet demand with less resources. The formation of the H3 partnership (now providing all HR, finance and administration services) has achieved significant cost savings.
How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
Hampshire recognised that given the scale of future budget cuts it was facing, its previous workforce model was neither sustainable nor affordable. It has thoroughly reviewed current and future demand and matched this against its financial plans to design a new model for policing which it has now fully implemented.
The new structure represents a significant change for the constabulary, affecting around 3,000 police officers. The model is planned to be capable of delivering effective policing through to 2017.
Hampshire is closely monitoring the impact of the changes and is prepared to make alterations if necessary to maintain effective service levels.
However, changes to the operating model present the risk of not achieving the full savings anticipated. Careful monitoring will be required to track what savings are being realised through the financial year while the new model takes effect.
The constabulary is confident that it has not yet realised all the savings that its demand analysis suggested could be made. It is confident that this model can be amended to achieve further savings, and that it will understand what impact on service this may have.
How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?
The constabulary has a strong record of making savings having successfully achieved £53m of cost reductions between 2011 and 2015.
It has balanced its budget for 2014/15 and 2015/16, including making further considerable savings. Hampshire has detailed plans in place which provide confidence that all but a very small amount of the £25m savings required by 2016/17 will be achieved.
It maximises other funding opportunities including a recent successful large joint bid with Thames Valley police to the Police Innovation Fund and an innovative collaboration with the University of Portsmouth to manage forensic examination of digital devices and the compilation of digital evidence.
The constabulary maintains robust control of expenditure with a comprehensive understanding of where and how the budget is spent.
Hampshire’s plans reflect the priorities set by the PCC who works with the constabulary to identify future savings such as a reduction in the police estate. There is a strong joint understanding of the current and future financial plans with the office of the police and crime commissioner (OPCC).
Plans to deliver further savings from greater collaboration and through its estate plans are well advanced and credible. Hampshire has a comfortable level of reserves to augment its savings plans if required and smooth any further workforce reductions that may be required.