West Yorkshire PEEL 2015
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC found that West Yorkshire Police is very well prepared to face its future financial challenges. The force has positioned itself with a good understanding of its current demand but has a less well-developed understanding of its future demand. The force has ambitious plans for the future workforce, including development of its skills and capabilities. The force has balanced the budget and has planned a balanced budget through to 2017/18, although future plans rely on reserves to balance the budget. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, West Yorkshire was judged to be good.
HMIC judges West Yorkshire Police to be good. West Yorkshire Police has robust management of its current demand, its finances and programme of change. However, future planning, particularly beyond 2017, is less well developed.
The force has a good understanding of its current demand, having undertaken work to review and map the different areas of demand it faces and allocating current resources flexibly to meet it. There is less well-developed analysis of future demand, which may impact on the future direction and capability of the force.
There is a significant and ambitious programme of change being undertaken by West Yorkshire Police to review and remodel the force to improve its efficiency and to enable it to meet future financial requirements. This change is being implemented using a range of business processes and working with academic partners to undertake a cultural audit and ensure the implementation of change is embraced by the whole force.
There is a clear and impressive workforce plan, which recognises the need to develop the skills of officers and staff. The force has a vision to equip staff to provide policing services through its ‘People Ambition’, which has seven strands including leadership, ethics and integrity and well-being.
The force has planned overall staffing levels to 2020, though the division of resources between the functions in the new operating model has not yet been decided.
The force has effective financial controls, with an agreed three year balanced budget to 2017/18. The force models possible future financial scenarios and updates this as new information becomes available. There has been considerable investment in technology and new ways of working to improve efficiency and visibility.
How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?
The force understands its current demand and is developing its understanding of future demand. It currently matches resources to demand well and work is underway to better align shift patterns to demand.
The force has been successful in reducing its budget while improving the quality of service it provides. It is working to develop how it engages with the public and how people prefer to be contacted. It is active in using social media to engage and communicate with the community.
West Yorkshire Police uses threat, harm and risk in its decision-making to manage demand. In general the force works well with other public sector organisations, although this varies considerably between districts.
The force has robust arrangements in place to monitor costs and outputs through monthly performance meetings at both force and district level with the focus on threat, harm and risk, along with the quality of service to the public.
West Yorkshire Police has developed a clear programme of change and is embracing technology and new ways of working to ensure it can efficiently provide services, match resources to demand and provide a quality service.
How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
The force’s current workforce model matches demand, organisational and financial requirements. The force is making use of volunteers to enhance the diversity of its workforce and recently demonstrated, during the cycling ‘Tour de Yorkshire’, that it is able to mobilise large numbers of special constables and police volunteers.
The force has identified that the current model and demand is not sustainable beyond 2017. Current workforce plans identify the resource numbers for each of the districts to this point.
The force has an impressive programme of change and timetable of reviews to ensure that the future workforce model meets demand. There is a clear ‘People Ambition’ with seven strands and a vision to equip staff to provide policing services. The force has undertaken a cultural audit and, along with an academic expert, is using this as a basis to develop a longer term plan to improve, including managing change and leadership development.
The proposed operating model beyond 2017 is made up of a core of policing functions with clear links to support services. The overall staffing levels to 2020 are known, but the division of resources between the functions in the new operating model has not yet been decided.
How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?
West Yorkshire Police has balanced the budget throughout the period of the spending review and plans a balanced budget for 2015/16 without the use of reserves.
The force has effective financial controls in place along with tight control of its expenditure. The force has earmarked funds as part of medium-term planning, including specific pieces of work for projects such as public finance initiative (PFI) and organisational change.
The force’s financial plans are aligned to the objectives set out in the police and crime plan. The force works closely with the OPCC and provides relevant and timely information to enable oversight and governance of the financial position of the force along with the programme of change.
The force has a three year financial plan which balances the budget through to 2017/18. It actively models the future finance situation with financial scenario planning built on both optimistic and pessimistic figures and contexts. The force will continue to remodel the scenarios as the future financial context and data is received and confirmed.