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Hertfordshire PEEL 2015

Efficiency

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

Last updated 20/10/2015
Good

HMIC found that Hertfordshire Constabulary is very well prepared overall to face its future financial challenges. It is providing good, efficient police services. The constabulary has made outstanding efforts to manage and minimise the impact of the budget cuts on frontline policing and place itself in a sustainable financial position for both the short and the long term. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, the force was judged to be good.

HMIC judges Hertfordshire Constabulary to be good overall. Through good leadership and management the constabulary is in a strong financial position for both the short and the long term. It has a good track record in achieving savings. It uses its resources well to meet its demand.

Hertfordshire has seen an increase in crime since last year (higher than the average for England and Wales) but satisfaction with police services remains higher in Hertfordshire than the average for England and Wales.

The constabulary reduced spending on local policing much earlier than other forces. It acted quickly to restructure its policing in 2010 to make it more affordable, moving to a single local policing command serving the whole county, which enabled more flexibility in using resources. It has worked hard to protect frontline policing from cuts and has seen below average reductions in police officer numbers. The collaboration with other regional police forces and particularly the joint working with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire has further enhanced efficient working.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is developing options to refine further the way it delivers policing through the development of a new police operating model. The anticipated reductions in workforce by 2018 are modest in comparison with the average for England and Wales.

The constabulary’s strong financial position means that it can use some of its reserves to invest in change and improvement, for example investing in new technology and training to ensure its workforce is skilled and efficient.

The collaboration with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire is a pivotal element in the future savings beyond 2015/16, and there remains some uncertainty and risk around the achievement of these savings. However, Hertfordshire Constabulary is aware of the risks and has devised contingency plans.

 

Questions for Efficiency

1

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

Hertfordshire Constabulary uses its resources well to meet the demands on its services. It understands well the most pressing risks to its services and prioritises how it uses resources. It has recently improved its understanding of demand for local policing following a review to help decide on the new operating model options, as well as recent work to analyse calls for service into the constabulary control room as part of the tri-force collaboration development.

The constabulary responds well to changes in demand for its services. Its operating model provides both a flexible approach to local policing across the county and is also integrated with local community safety partnerships to enable joined-up working with local partner organisations.

Hertfordshire is reviewing this model to achieve more efficiencies at the same time as maintaining good services to the public.

Performance is managed well and the victim satisfaction rate with police services in Hertfordshire is above the rate for England and Wales. The constabulary also works constructively to expand the range of activities that it provides in collaboration with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire constabularies, not only to save money but also provide greater resilience and improved services. The collaboration programme has enabled new ways of working through information technology, improving efficiency and transforming the way services are provided to the public.

Good
2

How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?

Hertfordshire Constabulary has a well-developed programme in place to match the workforce to the demand for services across Hertfordshire while also allowing the budget cuts needed. It acted quickly to reorganise policing in 2010 making it more affordable, moving to a single local policing command serving the whole of the county, which enabled more flexible use of resources.

It reduced spending on local policing much earlier than other forces. It has worked hard to protect frontline policing from cuts and has seen below average reductions in police officer numbers. The collaboration with other regional police forces, and particularly the joint working with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, has increased efficiency.

The constabulary is developing options for a new police operating model. This work is progressing well, underpinned by good analysis of the demands on local policing. The constabulary has a clear understanding of what future budget cuts will mean to the reduction in workforce numbers. The anticipated reductions in workforce by 2018 are modest in comparison to the average for England and Wales.

The constabulary’s strong financial position enables it to increase the number of police officers by recruiting ahead of schedule so that it can ensure recruits are fully trained and the workforce has the right mix of skilled officers needed for the future.

Good
3

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

Hertfordshire Constabulary has a strong track record of rigorous and effective financial management. It has made outstanding efforts to manage and minimise the impact of the budget cuts on policing and place itself in a sustainable financial position. It has achieved its savings each year and has balanced the budget throughout the spending review and for 2015/16, reducing its spending by more than it needed to.

The constabulary works constructively with the police and crime commissioner and resources are directed to priorities in the police and crime plan. The force’s strong financial position means that it can use its financial reserves to invest in change and improvement, for example by increasing the number of police officers and investing in new technology and training to ensure the workforce is efficient and has the right skills to meet future needs.

The constabulary made savings through collaboration and also at reducing spending in non-pay areas, limiting the impact of budget cuts overall and protecting frontline services.

The collaboration with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire is a pivotal element in the future savings beyond 2015/16, and there remains some uncertainty and risk around the delivery of these savings. However, Hertfordshire Constabulary is aware of the risks and has developed contingency plans.

Outstanding