Lancashire PEEL 2015
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC found that Lancashire Constabulary is exceptionally well prepared to face its future financial requirements. It has a good understanding of the main elements of demand and uses its resources well. It is taking clear and effective steps to tailor its future workforce plans to meet longer-term changes in demand, as well as future organisational and financial requirements. It has an excellent track record of robust financial management to achieve planned savings and has well developed plans for future savings. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Lancashire was judged to be outstanding.
HMIC judges Lancashire Constabulary to be outstanding. Lancashire Constabulary has a good understanding of the demand for its services from calls and incidents and is developing its understanding of demand in other areas. It has re-aligned its resources to provide a more versatile and responsive workforce. The constabulary retains a daily focus on prioritising threat, risk and harm issues while caring for the needs of vulnerable people and is committed to developing its approach with other public sector organisations. Additionally, there are well established meeting structures that consider performance, finance, personnel, tasking and demand management, which provide the constabulary with a robust structure to prioritise activity and inform the development of a new neighbourhood policing model.
The constabulary’s current workforce model matches current demand and organisational and financial requirements. There is good oversight and monitoring of personnel issues.
It has projected required workforce numbers to 2018 and is clear on which officers will leave the organisation by 2021, including an understanding of their skills and capabilities which will need to be reviewed and potentially replaced. This is to ensure required savings are secured while continuing to protect the public.
The constabulary has a secure financial position. Careful management of budgets and a considered approach to strategic change has allowed the constabulary to meet the savings required from austerity and to invest in technology. This should enable the constabulary to engage with their communities more effectively through increased use of technology and for officers to remain on patrol for longer in the community.
How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?
The constabulary has a good understanding of the demand for its services from calls and incidents. It is developing its understanding of demand in other areas.
Lancashire Constabulary’s resources are matched to its predicted demand and effective arrangements are in place to quickly move resources to respond to increases in demand.
It has developed new ways to respond to demand from the public, such as greater use of investigations over the telephone. It could improve how it identifies which resources are available to respond to calls from the public. The constabulary is improving its internal processes and working with other public sector organisations to better manage demand.
The constabulary has good arrangements to hold senior managers accountable for the cost and the quality of the local police service being provided.
It is making good use of technology and working with others to improve its service provision to the public. However, it is hampered by its existing IT infrastructure which the constabulary intends to improve over the next three years. To achieve this, it has plans in place and funding set aside.
How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
The constabulary’s workforce model matches current demand, organisational and financial requirements. There is good oversight and monitoring of personnel issues provided at senior management level.
The constabulary has undertaken a major re-organisation to enable it to better provide frontline policing services while making substantial cuts to its budget. While there is an appreciation that the workforce will become smaller, there is continuing research and investment ongoing within the constabulary to explore more efficient working methods and improve the service to the public.
The constabulary’s future workforce model is also matched to demand, organisational and financial requirements. It has projected workforce numbers going forward to 2020 and is clear on those officers that will leave the organisation to 2021, including an understanding of their skills and capabilities which will need to be reviewed and potentially replaced. This is to ensure required savings are secured while continuing to protect the public.
How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?
The constabulary has a good history of achieving or exceeding savings requirements and has balanced the budget for 2014/15. Owing to the constabulary overachieving on planned savings, a capital reserve was accrued in 2014/15 enabling the constabulary to invest in areas such as information technology to increase efficiency. It has balanced the budget for 2015/16.
The constabulary has looked to maximise investment opportunities and has identified the future risks to this funding to enable it to manage those risks.
Strong and effective financial governance is in place with all pay budgets managed centrally. This provides greater control and allows the constabulary to ensure its workforce model matches demand and financial requirements. The constabulary has earmarked reserves for capital investment over the next four years rather than face an increase in its costs through borrowing.
The constabulary has considered and aligned the financial plans for future policing across the county in line with the objectives set out in the police and crime commissioner’s (PCC’s) police and crime plan. The PCC is provided with timely and relevant financial and future plans information.
The constabulary has well developed plans to achieve future savings. The constabulary has forecast the savings requirements through to 2019/20.