Surrey PEEL 2016
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Surrey Police has been assessed as good in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force is is taking steps to further its understanding of demand, particularly of emerging and so-called hidden crime. It has improved how it uses its resources to manage current demand since last year and is using them well. The force collaborates effectively with other forces and organisations in the region to improve efficiency. It has a good record of effective financial management and has sound financial plans for the future. In last year’s efficiency inspection, Surrey Police was judged to require improvement.
Surrey Police has improved the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime since HMIC’s 2015 inspection. It has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of some elements of current demand for its services, which it used to develop its new operating model. However, it does not yet have a complete understanding of all areas of demand and the changing scale and nature of future demand. It is undertaking further analysis of so-called hidden crime and emerging crime, such as child sexual exploitation, cyber-crime, hate crime and modern slavery. The force is also actively seeking to identify and address demands on police time from partner organisations, for example by having NHS mental health advisers in the police call centre to support police when dealing with incidents involving people with mental health concerns. The force is making a more rigorous risk assessment of the calls for police service that it receives in order to better prioritise its demands. However, because over 25 percent of non-emergency 101 calls were going unanswered as at April 2016, the force cannot be sure it has an adequate understanding of real demand.
The force is good in how it uses its resources to manage current demand, having improved since HMIC’s 2015 inspection. It has introduced a new operating model, which means it can allocate resources to each area based on known demand. The force has some understanding of workforce capabilities and gaps, but it remains under-strength in a number of departments, including the neighbourhoods and detective roles. It has a long record of successful collaboration with Sussex Police and other forces in the region in a range of policing and support operations, including operations command, specialist crime, HR, finance and IT support, which has improved efficiency and resilience. The force works well with partner organisations to improve how it manages demand for services, actively seeking to identify the source of demand and the most appropriate agency to respond. It has processes to regularly review its plans and the effects of any changes it makes.
The force is good at planning for future demand. It analyses resource allocation using demand data to assess changes and any likely impact on the resourcing model. The force has ambitious plans to improve its efficiency through collaboration with Sussex Police and other forces in the region, and recognises there are opportunities for further collaboration with other emergency services, the NHS and the local authority. It has a comprehensive IT strategy that it intends to implement jointly with other forces, which includes strengthening the IT infrastructure, body-worn video cameras and greater use of mobile data. It has effective financial controls and a good record of achieving planned savings and service improvements. Its financial plans are built on sound assumptions about income and expenditure, including inflationary trends. The force has rigorous procedures for assuring itself that its investments lead to the planned benefits and operational outcomes.
How well does the force understand the current and likely future demand?
Surrey Police has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of some elements of current demand for its services. This analysis was used to develop the new Policing in Your Neighbourhood (PIYN) operating model that has been in operation since April 2016. However, the force recognises that it does not yet have a complete understanding of all of the less obvious areas of demand. It is therefore undertaking further analysis of hidden and emerging crimes affecting the county. The force is also actively seeking to identify demands on police time coming from partner organisations. The force has made some progress in better understanding the changing scale and nature of future demands, but there is more work to do.
The unanticipated consequence of the extra time taken for more rigorous risk assessment of calls for police service is that the answering of 101 calls is being delayed or these calls are going unanswered. Many people will call back but some victims may not and the force cannot be confident that it is getting a full picture of demand for its services and more importantly that all callers receive the appropriate level of service.
Areas for improvement
- Surrey Police should develop its understanding of current and likely future demand, especially in respect of 101 calls, ensuring that it has analysed appropriate information and intelligence from wider sources.
How well does the force use its resources to manage current demand?
The force is using its resources better to manage current demand. The force has achieved this improvement through the introduction of the PIYN operating model and the allocation of resources to areas based on the known demand in each area. The force has some understanding of workforce capabilities and gaps but has more work to do.
The force remains under-strength and the staffing levels in the area policing teams are still below the levels set by the PIYN model. This is having a negative effect on workloads and service quality in local policing.
Surrey Police has a strong record of collaboration with Sussex Police in a range of policing and support operations. This has improved efficiency and resilience. The force works well with some local partner organisations to improve how it manages demand for services, and has a procedure for reviewing the effects of any changes it makes.
Areas for improvement
- Surrey Police should ensure that that it has sufficient resources available to fulfil its resourcing model, and so to meet its demand, while also taking into account the well-being of its staff.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
Surrey Police is good at planning for future demand. It intends to repeat its analysis of resource allocation using the demand data for 2015/16 and for future years to assess changes and any likely impact on its area resourcing model.
The force has effective financial controls and a good record of achieving planned savings and service improvements. Financial plans are robust and built on prudent assumptions about income and expenditure, including inflationary trends. The force has rigorous procedures for assuring itself that its investments lead to the planned benefits and operational outcomes.