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Avon and Somerset PEEL 2016

Efficiency

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

Last updated 03/11/2016
Good

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has a comprehensive understanding of a full range of current demand and a good understanding of future demand. It makes decisions based on prioritisation of current and projected demand and has robust governance structures in place to manage how it operates. The force continues to seek savings by working with other forces and agencies across the south west region.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of its existing demand, based on a wide range of management information. Through new programmes, such as the Qlik Sense data visualisation app, the force is taking this understanding well beyond an analysis of the calls which the contact centre receives. The force is quick to identify and assess new and emerging demand and has restructured its workforce to provide the skills base and capacity which will meet future needs. It makes decisions based on prioritisation of current and projected demand and it has robust governance structures in place to manage the way it operates.

The force’s financial and workforce planning are closely aligned to deal with areas of high demand. For example, the force has increased its capacity to investigate child abuse and serious sexual offences. The force continues to exploit all methods of reducing costs. Its digital services programme will transform policing over the next four years, and will include remote working and real-time intelligence about current and trending demand. In addition, the force has a good track record of making savings by working closely with both neighbouring forces and other public services across the entire south west region.

Questions for Efficiency

1

How well does the force understand the current and likely future demand?

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of the full range of its existing demand that is based on a wide range of management information. Through new programmes, such as the Qlik Sense data visualisation app, the force is taking this understanding well beyond an analysis of calls received in the contact centre. This now includes a greater appreciation of the workload carried by individuals and teams and their capacity to complete it to required standards.

The force is quick to identify and assess new and emerging demand. It is also adept at restructuring and modernising its workforce to provide the skills base and capacity to meet future challenges. Its understanding of the future is properly informed by an understanding of technological advances and changes in public expectations.

Outstanding
2

How well does the force use its resources to manage current demand?

Avon and Somerset Constabulary makes strategic decisions based on its prioritisation of current and projected demand. Financial and workforce planning arrangements align closely to address areas of high demand. For example, the force has increased its capacity to investigate child abuse and serious sexual offences. The force’s corporate change programme is subject to firm governance arrangements and the force makes regular reviews of the effect of change on budgets, the quality of service provided and factors that affect the morale of the workforce. We believe the force could improve its understanding of the pressures experienced by investigators and we still have some reservations about the sustainability of the investigative model, which we shall test in the future.

The force can clearly demonstrate the benefits of its investments. An estimated £20m over ten years have been saved by providing HR, finance, procurement and other support functions through shared service with other organisations.

Good
3

How well is the force planning for demand in the future?

Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s future is based on prudent assumptions about revenue, its cost base, required savings and areas for investment. Its mid-term financial plan is reviewed quarterly to adjust areas of pressure and is scrutinised by the police and crime commissioner and through external audit assurance processes.

The force exploits all areas of cost savings. It has pioneered shared service savings over a ten-year period. The digital services programme is set to transform policing over the next four years. This will include remote working and real-time intelligence about current and trending demand. The force has a good track record of making savings by working more closely with neighbouring forces and other public services across the south west region. Joint arrangements are now in place for all shared services to be led by individual chief officers.

Good