Skip to content

Kent PEEL 2016

Efficiency

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

Last updated 03/11/2016
Good

Kent Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force’s understanding of current demand for its services is outstanding, and it is doing considerable work to evaluate future demand. It is good at using its resources to manage current demand and works well with other forces in the region, particularly Essex Police, to improve efficiency and make savings. The force continues to manage its finances successfully and meet its saving requirements. Future investment plans are based on realistic and prudent assumptions and are designed to achieve greater efficiency and service improvement. In last year’s efficiency inspection, Kent Police was judged to be good.

Since HMIC’s 2015 inspection, Kent Police has continued to be efficient in how it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Its detailed understanding of current demand, local priorities, national requirements and public expectations is outstanding, and it is making good progress in evaluating future demand. It uses a comprehensive range of management information to understand current demand across geographical areas and time frames. It has held workshops with those who are less likely to report crime, including transgender, black and minority ethnic (BME) and women’s groups. The force has done work to help identify and improve understanding of demand that is under-reported, such as cyber-crime, crimes against vulnerable people, gang activity and child sexual exploitation, and has drawn up specific plans to guide improvements in service in these areas. The force is aligning its change programme to meet likely future demand and has identified a number of areas of growing demand, including counter terrorism, cyber-crime, people trafficking and vulnerability. It continues to improve its analytical capability to help it to understand emerging crime types and demographic changes.

Kent Police is good at using its resources to manage current demand. The force assesses thematic areas of the organisation in order to identify priorities based on risk and vulnerability. It has a development programme that draws together demand management with resourcing and service delivery, for example, which enables effective resource prioritisation. The force has worked hard to understand the costs of its services and to ensure services provide value for money. It has a comprehensive understanding of workforce skills and their effect on capacity and capability. Using an IT profiling tool, the force can identify workforce skills capabilities, gaps and potential gaps, such as from people retiring. It uses this information to plan training and recruitment. Good use is being made of technology such as body-worn cameras, and it has ambitious plans for mobile devices later in 2016. The force has a strong commitment to joint working to manage demand efficiently and it works well with other emergency services, particularly Kent Fire and Rescue Service. It has collaborated with Essex Police extensively for a number of years and is also part of the seven-force strategic collaboration programme.

The force is good at planning for future demand. It continues to manage its finances successfully and to meet its saving requirements. It is exploiting many opportunities to drive down costs and make savings so that it can invest in its change programmes. Future plans and investments are based on realistic and prudent assumptions about future income, costs and benefits and link directly to the workforce plan. The force has well-developed plans that identify future workforce capabilities aligned to current priorities. Ambitious plans to roll out mobile devices are well advanced. The use of technology to produce further efficiencies and meet the digital challenges is a fundamental part of the force’s plans, and should enable it to continue to improve the services it provides.

Questions for Efficiency

1

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

Kent Police is outstanding at understanding its current and likely future demand. It has a detailed understanding of the full extent of its current demand based on a comprehensive range of management information, which includes that relating to demand across both geographical areas and time frames. It has carried out work, including workshops with groups less likely to report crime, to help identify and better understand under-reported demand. It is making good progress in evaluating future demand and has a developing appreciation of the impact, scale and likelihood of future risk. The force is investing considerable effort in aligning its change programme to meet future demand predictions and has identified a number of areas of growing demand: counter terrorism, cyber-crime, people trafficking, and vulnerability. This means that the force has a detailed understanding of its current demand and is making good progress to gain an equally detailed understanding of its likely future demand.

Outstanding
2

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

Kent Police is good at matching resource to current demand. The force has an outstanding understanding of current demand, local priorities, national requirements and public expectations, and is making good progress in evaluating future demand. It has mature processes to assess and consider the cost of services in relation to the quality and level of outcomes. It is making good use of technology such as body-worn cameras, and has ambitious plans for the use of mobile devices by frontline officers later in 2016.

The force has a comprehensive understanding of workforce skills and the impact on capacity and capability. Kent Police has demonstrated a strong commitment to joint working over a number of years; the force’s collaboration with Essex Police is extensive, mature and expanding. Wider collaboration is evident through its membership of the seven-force strategic collaboration programme. The force is also working well with other blue light services, particularly with Kent Fire and Rescue Service. It is able to demonstrate that it works with partner agencies to ensure that demand from each other and the public is managed efficiently. This means that the force is well placed to match its resource to current and likely future demand, and to make the most of technological opportunities and efficiencies in the future.

Good
3

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

Kent Police is good at planning for future demand. The force continues to manage its finances successfully and meet its saving requirements. 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. These are rational plans, based upon sound information and understanding. The force is exploiting many opportunities to drive down costs and make savings in order to be able to make investments. It is planned to invest £44m from reserves over the four years to 2019/20 to support the change programme, including the provision of mobile devices and other innovations, as well as fit-for-purpose facilities and other equipment for the force. In order to close the 2014/15 accounts, an unanticipated £9.8m of reserves had to be used. This was because of an accounting error that had gone unnoticed over a number of years.

Kent Police has a strong track record of joint working, primarily with Essex Police but also as part of the wider seven-force strategic collaboration. This has provided both efficiency savings and resilience and means that the force is very well placed financially and that its plans are appropriate and affordable. The use of technology to produce further efficiencies and meet the digital challenges is a fundamental part of the force’s plans and should enable it to continue to provide improving services.

Good