Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2017
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Dyfed-Powys Police is judged to require improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year. The force’s understanding of demand is judged to be good; it is assessed to require improvement for its use of resources to manage demand; and its planning for future demand is judged to require improvement.
Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the overall efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime, although there are some aspects of the force’s work that are managed well, such as its understanding of demand. The force has well-established processes and systems that allow it to monitor and understand current demand, including demand that might go unreported. It uses this understanding to move resources to where they are needed most. The force’s leaders are also good at promoting innovative thinking to reduce demand, and use continuous improvement techniques to good effect, identifying wasteful and inefficient practices.
Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the way it uses its resources. The force has not undertaken a skills audit to understand the capacity and capability of all of its people. Such an audit would help the force inform its recruitment, selection and promotion processes in order to identify the best people for the job and to develop people in their roles. The force also needs to improve the way it plans for the future. For example, the force needs to make better use of national recruitment and development schemes, external recruitment, and other recruitment opportunities to ensure it is able to recruit, promote and develop people with the skills it needs. The force also needs to develop an integrated vision of the future that takes into account public expectation, changing technology, interoperability with other emergency services and the reduced resources available to its partners. On a more positive note, the force has made good progress in developing a more strategic approach to partnership working. It has also invested well in ICT, which has resulted in significant savings and a reduction in demand across a number of areas.
How well does the force understand demand?
Dyfed-Powys Police has a good understanding of the demand for its services. The force has well-established processes and systems that allow it to monitor and understand current demand, and uses this understanding to change the way that it deploys its people and resources. It is taking steps to reduce demand by working more innovatively, for example by recognising that not all calls for service require police attendance. This is a considerable improvement on our previous findings that questioned the sustainability of attending all reports of crime. The force has a good understanding of demand that might otherwise go unreported, and works with communities who have less trust in the police to ensure that victims receive the support they need. The force takes seriously the need to reduce inefficiency and has good structures and processes in place to ensure that bureaucracy and waste are eliminated. In doing so, it is careful to avoid suppressing demand. It is encouraging to see that leaders take an active role in promoting new ways of working, and inspire those around them to do likewise. This is making Dyfed-Powys Police more efficient in the way it manages current demand.
How well does the force use its resources?
Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the way it uses its resources. The force does not have a comprehensive understanding of the skills and capabilities it has within its workforce. This limits the force’s ability to understand the development needs and leadership potential of its workforce, and whether people are in the right roles. It is also preventing the force from undertaking recruitment, selection and promotion exercises that take account of the workforce’s current skills, and the skills needed for the future. The force recognises it needs to improve its understanding of current skills and has started to make progress in this respect. The force has only a partial understanding of its leadership needs. It has mapped the skills of chief inspector grades and above, and has plans to do so for other ranks and grades over the next two years.
The force uses well-structured processes to prioritise policing activity and understands the risks and benefits of making changes in the way it provides services. Dyfed-Powys Police is good at prioritising its investments and understanding the return on those investments. It is also good at working with others and can articulate the benefits of doing so. Leaders in the force can demonstrate they are willing to experiment with new ideas and approaches to speed up the pace of change.
Areas for improvement
- The force should undertake appropriate activities to understand its workforce’s capabilities, in order to identify any gaps and put plans in place to address them. This will enable the force to be confident in its ability to be efficient in meeting current and likely future demand.
- The force should complete a leadership skills audit that will allow it to understand leadership capacity and capability across all ranks and roles.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
Dyfed-Powys Police needs to improve the way it plans for the future. We did not find evidence of well-established or systematic succession planning that would include linking opportunities for individual career development to the workforce plan. Activity is limited to the force’s talent management scheme, which is not closely enough aligned to organisational priorities and the number of participants is too small to be having a significant impact on succession planning.
On a positive note, career development is now incorporated within the performance development review process. However, since this was only re-introduced in April 2017 the benefits have yet to be evaluated. The force has not yet undertaken a skills audit of the whole workforce that would allow it to understand capacity and capability. This is limiting the force’s ability to understand its leadership potential, to develop leaders into roles and to plan for gaps in leadership capability. To date, the force has made limited use of external recruitment and development schemes such as direct entry, Police Now and fast track to inspector.
Dyfed-Powys Police’s plans for the future are realistic but not transformative; evidence of innovation within the organisation is comparatively weak when compared to other forces, although it has used IT to good effect. The force has not worked with others to develop a vision of the future which takes into account public expectations, changing technology, interoperability with other emergency services or reduced partnership resources. The force would benefit from adopting a more holistic approach to developing its vision of the future to bring all of these elements together. The force is, however, good at making savings; this means that it is able to invest in infrastructure to make further savings in the future.
Areas for improvement
- The force should do more to explore opportunities for further collaboration with partner organisations to improve services, drive efficiencies and better manage demand for its services in the future.
- The force should develop individual career pathways linked to succession planning.
- The force should consider a wider range of sources for the identification of talent.