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Essex 2016

Read more about Essex 2016

This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Essex Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.

The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime: not yet graded.

The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is: good.

The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime: not yet graded.

The efficiency inspection findings are published below. My overall assessment of Essex’s performance will be published in spring 2017.

Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Zoë Billingham

Effectiveness

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

To be graded

PEEL assessments are updated throughout the year, as the results of the different inspections and data collections become available. The graded judgments for effectiveness will be published in March 2017. See last year’s assessment of the force’s effectiveness.

View the five questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

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

Last updated 03/11/2016
Good

Essex Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has a detailed understanding of the demand on its services and is evaluating how demand may change in the future. It has improved how it uses its resources to manage current demand since last year, but the force could still do more. Essex Police has a good track record of delivering savings. It has an ambitious financial plan that should lead to savings and greater efficiency, while also improving services. In last year’s efficiency inspection, Essex Police was judged to be good.

Essex Police has maintained its efficiency in keeping people safe and reducing crime since HMIC’s inspection in 2015. The force is good at understanding current demand through using an extensive range of management information. Its recent comprehensive mapping exercise to identify all current demand allows future demand to be modelled, based on local and national crime trends. The force has also developed a sophisticated understanding of new, emerging and hidden demand, including cybercrime, hate crime and female genital mutilation. It has developed a new strategy for tackling digital crime and is looking into disability hate crime and hate crime in sport.

The force is working with the children’s charity Barnardo’s and local authorities to improve the identification and reporting of female genital mutilation. It is making good progress in evaluating likely future demand and the impact, scale and likelihood of future risk, and is working closely with partner organisations to understand how reducing resources may affect services and what action should be taken.

Essex Police is also good at making sure it has the right number of properly trained officers and staff in the right place to provide an effective service to the public. The force regularly looks for ways to identify inefficient activities and its transformation programme uses demand and process mapping to identify and resolve such inefficiencies. It has mature and effective processes to assess the cost of services in relation to the quality and level of outcomes.

The force has improved its management of demand since HMIC’s 2015 inspection, with good reductions in unresolved open incidents and suspects who have yet to be investigated, but needs to do more. It does have a comprehensive understanding of workforce skills. The force’s detective capacity and capability was found to be low in last year’s inspection and is now improving. Essex Police has an extensive, mature and expanding collaboration with Kent Police and they have ambitious joint plans for mobile devices later in 2016.

Essex Police is also good at planning for future demand. Its plans are ambitious but credible and realistic, and are informed by a good understanding of the force’s future challenges. The medium-term financial plan is based on realistic and prudent assumptions about future income, costs and benefits and it links to the workforce plan and planned increase in digital capabilities. Future investment plans are designed to achieve greater efficiency and service improvement.

The force has a good track record of delivering savings, despite being one of the lowest-funded forces. It has an ambitious plan to 2019/20 to deliver savings of £43.9m across a wide range of budgets, but mainly in the back and middle office functions. It is also aiming to realise major savings through changes to its estate. Essex Police has a strong track record of joint working, primarily with Kent Police but also as part of a seven-force strategic collaboration that seeks to find efficiencies in operational, middle office and support services. The force is also part of the Athena programme, in which nine forces have jointly obtained a new integrated single policing system . If the force successfully implements all of its plans, it will have a solid and sustainable base for the future.

View the three questions for efficiency

Legitimacy

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

To be graded

PEEL assessments are updated throughout the year, as the results of the different inspections and data collections become available. The graded judgments for legitimacy will be published in December 2016. See last year’s assessment of the force’s legitimacy.

View the three questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMIC carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Leadership

PEEL assessments are updated throughout the year, as the results of the different inspections and data collections become available. HMIC’s assessment of leadership will be published in December 2016. See last year’s assessment of the force’s leadership.

View the three questions for leadership

Other reports

This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Essex Police.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

1,417 square miles

Population

1.77m people 8% local 10 yr change

Workforce

75% frontline 78% national level
2.9 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
17% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.05 per person 0.05 national level
Local 5 year trend (no change) National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

42p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

Find out more about the area policed by this force.

Police and crime plan priorities

The police and crime plan, as well as other information about the PCC, can be found on their website.