Skip to content

City of London PEEL 2016

Efficiency

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

Last updated 03/11/2016
Requires improvement

HMIC has assessed that City of London Police requires improvement in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.

City of London Police has a good understanding of the current demand for its services. On a daily basis, it collates, assesses and acts upon a wide range of information on the current demand for its services, and deploys its operational resources efficiently to meet that demand. The force has assessed ‘hidden’ or unreported crime, and has identified those areas of ‘hidden’ crime that pose the greatest threat to its communities. These are child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and human trafficking, and domestic abuse.

City of London Police’s detailed understanding of how much it costs to investigate a particular type of crime or to respond to an incident is restricted to its economic crime directorate. This means that the force cannot be confident that it offers value for money in all of the services it performs. HMIC found that City of London Police has identified some inefficient and wasteful practices. However, the force could do more to ensure that it identifies such inefficiencies early. We also found limited detailed evidence of the benefits from the force’s change programmes, or from collaboration with other forces and agencies. The force has made some progress in assessing and recording the skills and capabilities of its workforce. However, skills of its police staff have not been recorded, and this means that the system is less effective than it might be.

City of London Police does not have a detailed understanding of future demand and its planning for such demand is inadequate. The force has projected the demand on its services for some of its directorates, but this process has not been completed across the force. The workforce plan was incomplete at the time of our inspection and did not consider the future (possibly additional) skills that the workforce may need in 2020 and beyond. The force has recognised that its current information and communications technology (ICT) strategy is obsolete, and has commissioned a new one. However, we are concerned that the force has not properly considered how new ICT systems could transform how it operates. The force has no functioning ICT strategy, does not assess professionally the impact of change projects, and does not have a workforce strategy that considers what skills are needed in the future. We also found confusion over the existence of an ICT change programme plan in the force. It is for these reasons that we judge the force to be inadequate at planning for demand in the future.

Questions for Efficiency

1

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

City of London Police has a good understanding of the current demand for its services. Every day, it collates, assesses, and acts upon a wide range of information on the current demand for its services and deploys its operational resources to meet that demand. The force has assessed intelligence relating to ‘hidden’ or unreported crime and has identified those areas of ‘hidden’ crime that pose the greatest threat to its communities. These are child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and human trafficking, and domestic abuse.

However, we found that City of London Police has identified some inefficient and wasteful practices. The force could do more to ensure that such inefficiencies are identified at an early stage. The force has recognised that there is potential for increased demand from crime such as cyber-enabled fraud, and increased violence within the City’s night-time economy.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • City of London Police should ensure its understanding of the demand for its services, and the expectations of the public, is up to date by regularly reviewing the evidence on which it bases its decisions. It should do this alongside local authorities, other emergency services and organisations that work with the police to care for victims or prevent crime. Involving all these agencies will help to ensure that it takes the necessary steps to meet current and likely future demand, including unreported or ‘hidden demand’.
2

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

City of London Police’s use of resources to manage demand requires improvement.

The force does prioritise resources to manage demand efficiently. However, the force’s detailed knowledge about how much it costs to investigate a particular type of crime, or to respond to an incident, is restricted to its economic crime directorate. This means that the force cannot be confident that it offers value for money in all of the services it performs.

We also found that that the force did not have enough detailed evidence about the efficiency and financial benefits it has realised from its change programmes; knowledge about the benefits it has gained from collaborative work with other agencies is limited. The force has made some progress in the way that it records the skills and capabilities of its workforce. However, not all of the accredited skills of the staff have been recorded, which makes this system less effective.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • City of London Police should ensure that it understands the level of service that it can provide at different levels of expenditure, so it can identify the most effective and efficient way to provide its services.
  • City of London Police should put in place better processes and an effective governance structure to realise the benefits of projects, change programmes and collaborative work, and understand how they affect the force’s ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently.
  • City of London Police should review the capabilities of its workforce so it can identify and put plans in place to address any gaps. This will enable the force to be confident in its ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently.
3

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

City of London Police’s planning for future demand is inadequate. The force does not have a detailed understanding of future demand. While the force has identified demand for some of its directorates, this has not been completed across the force. The force workforce plan was incomplete at the time of our inspection and did not consider the future (possibly additional) skills the workforce may need in 2020 and beyond. In addition, the force has recognised that its current ICT strategy is obsolete and has commissioned a new strategy. However, the absence of a functioning ICT strategy, confusion as to the existence of an ICT change programme plan, a lack of professional assessment of the impact of change projects and a draft workforce strategy which does not consider future skill requirements leaves us concerned that that the force has not adequately considered how new ICT systems could transform the way the force operates.

The gaps in the force’s plans that have been highlighted in this report mean that it is not possible for HMIC to give the public assurance that the force is making credible organisational plans for the future. Action is required by the force to avoid inefficiency and unexpected demand. It is for these reasons that we judge the force to be inadequate at planning for demand in the future.

Inadequate

Cause of concern

The lack of clear coherent plans in City of London Police is a cause of concern to HMIC. It means that it is not possible for us to be confident that the force will continue to be able to provide efficient and effective policing in the future.

To address the cause of concern HMIC sets out a recommendation below.

Recommendations

  • By 31 May 2017, City of London Police needs to complete its ICT strategy, workforce plan, and analysis of future demand for its services.