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Sussex 2016

Read more about Sussex 2016

This is HMIC’s third PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Sussex 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 Sussex’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

HMIC found that Sussex Police is good at working efficiently to keep people safe and reduce crime. The force has a good understanding of demand, which has been clearly reflected in the way it has designed its current and future operating model.

The force recognises that it needs to continue to improve its ability to seek out demand in relation to crimes that are less likely to be reported. HMIC is pleased to note that collaborative arrangements are planned which will enable the force to continue to direct resources towards reducing crime and to develop a greater understanding of this ‘hidden’ demand.

The force has reduced the numbers of officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) in its local policing programme over the last year, which has had a negative effect on the service the force provides.

While the overall assessment remains broadly consistent with last year’s finding of good, HMIC has identified some areas for improvement this year which the force will need to address.

Sussex Police has a robust and sophisticated operating model, supported by an understanding of demand. Collaborative arrangements are planned which will continue to direct resources towards reducing crime and developing a greater understanding of crime that is less likely to be reported.

The force has a detailed savings plan which predates the most recent spending review settlement. It still plans to make these savings, which are above those now required from 2016 to 2020. Although the level of savings may not change, the force still needs to revise the plan fully following the actual settlement. The force was able to demonstrate that it has some plans to invest these savings to improve its efficiency, but these had not yet been finalised at the time of inspection and will need significant further development over the next year.

HMIC’s PEEL inspection 2015 reported that Sussex had a current operating model that met the existing demands made of it, but that the force had embarked on an ambitious programme to reform how it would deliver local policing services. A fundamental aspect of this was the introduction of a ‘demand reduction’ programme and the roll-out of new mobile technology. The force recognised that future financial reductions would have an inevitable impact on workforce numbers. It carefully worked out numbers based on projected demand and using more efficient ways of working as part of the local policing programme.

Despite its detailed plans, the force has reduced the numbers of officers and PCSOs in its local policing programme over the last year to make savings. The inspection found evidence that the reduction of resources has had a negative effect on the service the force provides.

The effect of the reductions has been more severe than initial projections, as the force has high levels of vacancies compared with England and Wales averages. In addition, the force’s reduction in PCSOs (from 347 to 196 budgeted posts) led to more staff leaving the organisation on voluntary redundancy than was required and meant that the force now needs to recruit PCSOs to replace some of those who left. The force thus does not appear to have had sufficiently robust processes to control the level of resources in the local policing model or to enable it to understand fully the consequences of the changes to the local policing programme, in particular for effective crime prevention and problem-solving. The force has now realised that the resources for its local policing programme should be increased and is taking positive steps to do so.

The force has improved its understanding of internal inefficiencies and unnecessary demands on police time, such as officers responding to all calls for service when this was not necessary. This has led to the introduction of a resolution centre to reduce the times police officers are sent to incidents which do not require their attendance. The force has also introduced an investigation framework to ensure that decisions over whether investigations should continue or be concluded are consistent. The force has conducted initial surveys of members of the public who have had contact with the resolution centre and early indications are very positive.

The force has well-established arrangements to collaborate with other forces and agencies to maximise purchasing power, increase the ability to use each other’s technology and share systems and infrastructure.

Greater access to technology, including the use of online crime reporting, social media, track-my-crime, community messaging systems and police mobile devices, has increased efficiency, supported the force’s way of working and made improvements in the investigation of crime. The mobile devices currently used by frontline officers do not, however, have some functions, such as the ability to access all of the force’s investigative systems. This may be limiting increases in productivity.

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 constabulary’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 Sussex Police.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

1,460 square miles

Population

1.65m people 9% local 10 yr change

Workforce

76% frontline 78% national level
3.0 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
13% 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 National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

43p 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.