Nottinghamshire PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
Nottinghamshire Police is implementing its plans for a new and affordable operating model for policing the county and the city. If Nottinghamshire does not implement its plans without slippage, it will not be able to achieve future savings. This may have an adverse effect on the service the force provides to the public.
Nottinghamshire is on track to achieve its required savings of £47.0m over this spending review period. After the first three years of the spending review the force has identified £34.3m of the savings required. It has achieved this through restructuring policing and support functions and by collaborating with other forces. It has also made savings from estates, procurement and by not replacing staff as they leave the force.
The force has plans to meet the £12.7m savings requirement in 2014/15. A further £8.2m of savings are required in 2015/16 and Nottinghamshire has outline plans to achieve this.
The value for money inspection commented that the force must urgently implement an operating model to provide the people of Nottinghamshire with an effective and affordable service as the way the force was configured to provide policing was becoming unaffordable and would have been unsustainable in 2015/16 and beyond. The force had recognised this for some time.
HMIC re-inspected the force in October and found that the force now has a clear plan for how an affordable and sustainable model of policing can be provided and some initial changes have already been implemented. The force now needs to implement the full model without slippage and carefully manage the changes in the force.
To what extent is the force efficient?
The force has developed a good understanding of the demand on it, including the demand coming from other agencies who are reducing their own levels of service provision. The force is protecting important crime-fighting roles as it makes reductions in the workforce. The proportion of police officers remaining on the front line is projected to increase over the spending review period. Over the spending review the force has achieved a higher reduction in crime than other forces with broadly similar overall crime levels. Victim satisfaction is higher than the figure for England and Wales.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
The force has plans to meet the £12.7m savings needed in 2014/15 and a further £8.2m in 2015/16. In order to achieve the £8.2m savings in 2015/16 the force will have to redesign how policing is provided to the people of Nottinghamshire. The force recognises that it will have to provide local policing with significantly fewer officers. The redesign is a significant piece of work and HMIC is concerned that the force has not made earlier decisions about its longer-term structures.
HMIC has subsequently re-inspected the force and found that there is a clear plan developed on how the force will be reconfigured to both balance the budget and provide effective services to the public. The force now needs to implement the full model without slippage, and, carefully manage the changes in the force.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
Collaboration is an important factor within Nottinghamshire Police’s plans. Progress to date has been slow but there is now renewed energy to move forward in the region. The force’s scrutiny of non-pay and spend was positive, as was the projected increase in the proportion of its workforce allocated to frontline roles. The reduction in officer numbers necessary to achieve savings over the next three years means that the force’s existing structure is not sustainable. Delayed decisions and implementation of a new way of providing policing pose a significant risk to the force being able to achieve a balanced budget.
Following a re-visit to the force, HMIC has confidence that the force has developed a model for providing policing services which is affordable and sustainable and it has taken some initial steps to make the necessary changes. The force now needs to implement and manage a complex set of linked changes, without slippage, at both force and regional level. HMIC will test the impact of these changes in future inspections.