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Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2016

Efficiency

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

Last updated 03/11/2016
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Dyfed-Powys Police has been assessed as requires improvement in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has a good understanding of the current demand for its services but does not understand potential future demand. Its current allocation of resources matches financial requirements and meets most current demand and organisational requirements, but it does not have a full understanding of the costs and quality of the service levels provided through its current operating model. Dyfed-Powys Police does not have credible investment plans based on prudent assumptions but has undertaken some work to understand how it might need to change its service provision in the future.

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

Dyfed-Powys Police has a good understanding of the current demand for its services but does not understand potential future demand. The force’s current allocation of resources matches financial requirements and meets most current demand and organisational requirements, but it does not have a full understanding of the costs or quality of the service levels provided through its current operating model. The force has a good track record of achieving efficiencies, particularly in meeting reduction targets, while balancing its annual budget and accruing reserves through annual underspends.

Dyfed-Powys Police does not fully understand its current workforce skills and capabilities, relying on plans that are largely reactive and unsophisticated. This leads to inconsistencies in service provision. The force does not have a structured approach to working with others in order to manage the demand for its services better. However, it is involved in strategic alliances and collaborative initiatives designed to improve efficiency. Dyfed-Powys Police has a limited understanding of how changes made to improve efficiency have affected its ability to manage demand and is unable to demonstrate an understanding of the impact of previous change programmes.

Dyfed-Powys Police does not currently understand where it may need to make future reductions in workforce numbers. The force does not have credible investment plans in place based on prudent assumptions, but it has undertaken some work to understand how it might need to change its service provision in the future through the force workforce plans. Further, it has invested well in ICT.

Dyfed-Powys Police has a track record of achieving savings. It saves more money than it needs to and has therefore underspent each year by a considerable margin. HMIC did not see evidence that the force has developed joint working arrangements, whereby mixed teams from different organisations work together to realise efficiencies and improve the service to the public, other than under IOM arrangements. This means that it is not maximising the benefits of collaborative working.

Questions for Efficiency

1

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

Dyfed-Powys Police requires improvement in respect of how well the force understands the current and likely future demand. Dyfed-Powys Police has a good understanding of the current demands for its services. On an annual basis, the force completes a strategic assessment that draws on a wide range of information to identify the threats, harm and risks faced by the communities of Dyfed-Powys. The force presently relies on historic data and online access to real-time information to understand current demand. These sources of information support and inform a range of effective daily and monthly tasking arrangements across the force.

The force has a limited understanding of less visible demands for its service and could be more proactive in taking steps to understand and address those demands. At present, each department assesses the future demand for its services independently. However, this process is largely uncoordinated and does not provide assurance that the force understands all the potential future demands. Through the work of the ‘spending wisely’ project, the force hopes to understand what the demand for its services will look like in the future. However, as this activity has yet to be undertaken, the force continues to have only a limited understanding of future demand.

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Areas for improvement

  • Dyfed-Powys Police should develop its understanding of current and likely future demand, ensuring that it has analysed appropriate information and intelligence from wider sources.
2

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

Dyfed-Powys Police requires improvement in respect of how well the force uses its resources to manage demand. The force has a limited understanding of the costs and quality of current services and how successfully it has reduced costs and improved quality through its current operating model. It therefore cannot assess the extent to which its services provide value for money or accurately cost future operating models. However, the force has a strong track record of achieving efficiencies, particularly in meeting reduction targets, while balancing its annual budget and accruing reserves through annual underspends.

Dyfed-Powys Police does not fully understand its current workforce skills and capabilities, relying on plans that are largely reactive and under developed. It is therefore unable to address quickly any gaps in skills or capability, which leads to inconsistencies in service provision. The force does not have a structured approach to working with others in order to manage the demand for its services better, but is involved in strategic alliances and collaborative initiatives designed to improve efficiency. Dyfed-Powys Police has a limited understanding of how changes made to improve efficiency have affected its ability to manage demand and is unable to demonstrate an understanding of the impact of previous change programmes.

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Areas for improvement

  • Dyfed-Powys Police should ensure it understands the level of service that can be delivered at different levels of costs, so it can identify the optimum level of service provision.
  • Dyfed-Powys Police should put in place better processes and governance to understand and realise the benefits of its collaboration work and how they affect the force’s ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently.
  • Dyfed-Powys Police should undertake appropriate activities to understand its workforce’s capabilities fully, in order to identify any gaps and put plans in place to address them. This will enable the force to be confident in its ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently.
  • Dyfed-Powys Police should develop a better understanding of how the benefits of investing and using ICT affect the force’s ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently, with a view to updating its ICT strategy.
3

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

Dyfed-Powys Police requires improvement in respect of how well is the force planning for demand in the future. The force does not currently understand where it may need to make future reductions in workforce numbers or alter the balance of the workforce. This may mean that it might operate less efficiently in the future.

Dyfed-Powys Police has invested well in ICT. Its ICT strategy and digital programme are well-considered and designed to reflect the needs of the whole community. They are also designed to ensure that technology and systems are developed and implemented that exploit all opportunities. The force does not yet have credible plans based on prudent assumptions. It has undertaken an exercise to estimate its financial position based on a number of general assumptions derived from the government’s spending review of 2015. Since those assumptions rely on factors largely outside of the control of Dyfed-Powys Police, these plans cannot be considered resilient or based on sound information and understanding. However, the force has undertaken some work to understand how it might need to change its service provision in the future, using the force workforce plans, which are flexible enough to accommodate some changes to the ways Dyfed-Powys Police provides its services.

The force has a strong track record of achieving savings. It saves more money than it needs to and has therefore underspent each year by a considerable margin. However, this indicates that to date there has been some lack of understanding as to the current cost of policing and the phasing of savings. HMIC did not see evidence that the force has joint working arrangements in place, whereby mixed teams from different organisations work together, other than under integrated offender management arrangements.

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Areas for improvement

  • Dyfed-Powys Police should ensure it has adequate plans in place to show it can deliver services, while also making necessary cost savings.