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Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2016

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The force says...

Spanning 4,188 square miles, Dyfed-Powys is the largest force area in England and Wales.

With 13,842 miles of predominantly A and B roads, 2 large ports, 350 miles of coastline and vast areas of countryside the geography of the force area presents significant challenges.

The resident population of 515,871 is spread across extensive rural areas, holiday and market towns as well as more heavily populated areas such as Llanelli and Milford Haven.

The draw of tourism presents unique demands with large numbers of tourists visiting key towns such as Aberystwyth, Tenby and Brecon. This presents its own implications for crime, traffic and roads policing.

We are challenged to ensure our workforce is visible to improve victim satisfaction, protect the vulnerable, prevent crime and bring offenders to justice.

The force has invested significantly in a digital policing programme that provides officers in communities with unprecedented access to force systems.

The Welsh language is spoken by 32% of people compared with the national average of 19%.

Since 1 April 2010, full time equivalent police officers numbers have fallen from 1211 to 1156 and police staff numbers have fallen from 713 to 615. Our workforce also includes 148 PCSOs and 174 special constables.

Since the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, Central Grant Funding has reduced by 21%, £13.5million. In that time, the force has been required to make savings of £23.5million.

Although traditional crimes have fallen in number, demand continues to grow. Most notably, demand concerning Public Safety and Missing Persons has increased since 2012 by 13% and 15% respectively.

Incidents involving mental ill-health and more complex crimes such as Child Sexual Exploitation are increasing, resulting in a changing demand for our resources.

The force has experienced significant changes to its executive leadership in the last year and is now under the leadership of a new Chief Constable.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Dyfed-Powys Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMIC.

HMIC says...

Dyfed-Powys Police provides policing services to the areas of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. The police force area covers 4,230 square miles with approximately 350 miles of coastline in the south west of Wales. Although there are some more affluent areas, Dyfed-Powys has a high level of poverty. Around 0.5 million people live in a predominantly rural setting. The area has distinct, small urban areas including the towns of Carmarthen, Llanelli, Milford Haven, and Aberystwyth. The resident population is increased by university students and the very large numbers who visit or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes a major sea port.

England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.

There are 1,695 OAs in Dyfed-Powys with an average size of 647 hectares which is much bigger than the national average of 87. While a minority (23 percent) of OAs in Dyfed-Powys are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a larger proportion (45 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the predominantly rural nature of the area. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Carmarthen, Llanelli, Milford Haven, and Aberystwyth with the largest spread across the extensive more sparsely populated rural and mountainous areas.

The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.

HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. Dyfed-Powys has a median house price, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £159,500 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Dyfed-Powys has 14.5 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 3.3 percent of OAs are within the top 10 percent of house prices nationally (and 0.6 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are large areas of low value housing and deprivation, with some very small affluent areas of more expensive housing.

The demands for police services are not the same in every area of England and Wales.  Our analysis has revealed that the socio-demographic characteristics of an area influence the demands for police services in that area.

In every police force, there is a concentration of predicted demands in a small number of its OAs. Taking England and Wales as a whole the most challenging 1,811 (1 percent) of these account for 10.8 percent of all the predicted incidents.  We have designated these areas of very high challenge and found that they are characterised by a high concentration of people living, working, socialising or travelling in the area.  Features which both cause and/or indicated a concentration of people include the number of commercial premises, including licensed premises, fast food premises, public transport and social deprivation.  In some areas, these features are in combination.

0.6 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Dyfed-Powys. The highest challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 10.4 percent of Dyfed-Powys’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 0.1 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Dyfed-Powys:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of incidents is lower than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is very low compared with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is broadly in line with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at incidents is broadly in line with the national level of one percent; and
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at crimes is lower than the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Dyfed-Powys we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 4,230 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds and give indicators of the size of the area and the quality of its road network.

Dyfed-Powys has 500 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 38 miles (longest 103 miles and shortest 0.6 miles) and the average travel time of 68 minutes from the centre of the force to each OA are considerably higher than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size and complexity of Dyfed-Powys and the nature of its roads.

While the concentration of demands in a small number of locations (covering a very small area) may be helpful in focusing resources, it is not the totality of demand. The provision of services extends beyond those areas that are a very high challenge to police and includes the least challenging and most remote areas. The challenge of providing services throughout Dyfed-Powys is a function of many things including the size and topography of the area, the road network and how congested the road network is. These considerations influence how police resources are organised and managed, for example where police officers are based and their working patterns.

Key facts

Force Area

4230 square miles

Population

0.52m people 4% local 10 yr change

Workforce

79% frontline 78% national level
3.6 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
7% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.03 per person 0.06 national level
Local 5 year trend (no change) National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

54p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Context Facts

Output area facts

Force Area E&W Level
Number 1,695 181,358
Avg Size 647 hectares 87 hectares
Largest 13,550 hectares 20,166 hectares
Smallest 0.95 hectares 0.02 hectares
% < 10 hectares 23% 58%
% > 100 hectares 45% 15%

Travel facts

Force Area E&W Level
Median distance 38 miles 17 miles
Median time 68 minutes 30 minutes
M-way and trunk road 500 miles 5,523 miles

House facts

Force Area E&W Level
Median house price £159,500 £230,358
% OAs in national top 10% house prices 3% 20%
% OAs in national bottom 10% house prices 15% 11%

Challenge facts

Force Area E&W Level
Predicted incidents in 1% of OAs 10% 11%
Crime very high challenge OA 0.41% 1.00%
ASB very high challenge OA 1.00% 1.00%
Incident very high challenge OA 0.59% 1.00%
Incident calls very high challenge OA 0.94% 1.00%
Crime calls very high challenge OA 0.65% 1.00%