Skip to content

North Wales PEEL 2016

Efficiency

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

Last updated 03/11/2016
Good

North Wales Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. It recognises the importance of having a better understanding of current demand for its services so that its resources can be used efficiently to prioritise and respond to demand. The force has identified the need to focus on new emerging areas of demand and has been successful in addressing gaps in its workforce for most grades and specialist roles. The force has a positive track record of achieving savings for the future, and its plans are built on sound assumptions.

Os hoffech chi ddarllen hwn trwy’r Gymraeg

North Wales Police continues to recognise the importance of having a better understanding of current demand to make sure that resources can be used efficiently to prioritise and respond to demand. The force is good at identifying future demand for its services and the effect of reduced resources in the organisations it works alongside, and how this might change public expectations. The force has been successful in addressing gaps in its workforce in specialist areas of work, such as criminal investigations and protecting vulnerable people. It has also recognised the need for closer co-operation with other blue light organisations to lessen the effect of reduced resources.

North Wales Police is good at using its resources to manage current demand and has recognised the need to focus on emerging areas of demand. It is also reducing costs through workforce modernisation. However, the force does not have a detailed analysis of the benefits of information and communication technology (ICT), to help it to develop its understanding of how technology can be used better to support its response to both current and future demand across all areas of work.

North Wales Police works with others to improve how it manages demand for its services, but it does not yet have a complete understanding of the effectiveness of its current or planned investment. The force has good organisational governance in respect of managing projects and is good at planning for demand in the future. The force matches projected workforce numbers and planned use of resources to demand, organisational priorities and financial requirements. The force has introduced new technology in its control room and it has plans to provide operational officers with mobile data technology. The force is beginning to focus on mobile data provision, and needs to ensure that these more flexible and adaptable working practices produce benefits before the end of 2017.

North Wales Police has a positive track record of achieving savings for the future, and its plans are built on sound assumptions. The force is also seeking to improve efficiency and cut costs to help it to balance its budget and has sustainable plans to use its reserves in the future. It is working with other organisations, using mixed workforce teams that may be answerable to managers outside the force, to improve efficiency.

Questions for Efficiency

1

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

North Wales Police is good at understanding current and likely future demand for its services. The force continues to recognise the importance of having a better understanding of current demand in order to ensure that resources can be used efficiently to prioritise and respond to demand. It has invested significant time and effort in developing this understanding by undertaking a comprehensive review of all of its business areas and has been able to identify further efficiencies.

North Wales Police is good at identifying future demand for its services, the effect that reduced resources in other organisations may have on its operations and how this might change public expectations. It has recognised the need to work more closely with other blue light organisations to lessen the effect of reduced resources. This means that North Wales Police is well placed to react efficiently to changes in demand for its services.

Good
2

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

North Wales Police requires improvement in how it uses its resources to manage current demand. It has identified the need to focus on new and emerging areas of demand. It is reducing costs through workforce modernisation and it has been successful in addressing gaps in its workforce in specialist areas such as criminal investigations and protecting vulnerable people.

However, the force is still in the process of fully understanding costs, productivity and outputs across all areas of police activity. In addition, although an ‘as is’ study of its local policing and protecting vulnerable people’s current skills and capabilities was to be completed by the end of July 2016, the same review for the rest of the workforce has not yet been completed. Therefore, the force did not have a comprehensive understanding of its workforce’s capabilities and the gaps across all grades and roles at the time of our inspection.

North Wales Police recognises the need to work with others to improve how it manages demand for its services. It has successfully considered the benefits of collaborative arrangements and can demonstrate that existing collaborations are reducing costs and improving services. It is also working well with other emergency and public sector services. While the force is currently improving its ability to understand the consequences of change on its service provision, it is not fully evaluating whether it uses investment to best effect. As a result, it does not have a complete understanding of the effectiveness of its current or planned investment.

Requires improvement

Areas for improvement

  • North Wales Police should continue to audit its workforce’s capabilities and then demonstrate that it has made use of this work to identify any gaps in skills 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.
3

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

North Wales Police is good at planning for demand in the future. The force matches projected workforce numbers and resources to demand, organisational priorities and financial requirements. It has undertaken work to develop future budget requirements, based on a broad range of financial priorities and pressures, and as a consequence is well placed to plan for demand in the future. However, as noted in HMIC’s 2015 efficiency report, the force continues to be slow in developing an approach to investing in new technology to maximise efficiency, for example through providing access to mobile data for frontline staff. This is a potential barrier to the force managing potential workforce reductions with minimal impact on service provision.

North Wales Police has a positive track record of achieving savings and continues to demonstrate that its plans are built on sound assumptions. These plans will change how it operates and provides services. The force is also seeking to improve efficiency and cut costs to help it to balance its budget and has sustainable plans to use its reserves in the future, which take into account risk. North Wales Police is working in different ways in collaboration with other agencies in teams which share operating practices and management structures.

Good