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West Yorkshire PEEL 2017

Efficiency

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

Last updated 09/11/2017
Good

West Yorkshire Police is judged to be good 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 is judged to be good for its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is assessed to be good; and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.

West Yorkshire Police has a comprehensive strategic planning framework, centred on understanding demand for its services. The force conducts a yearly strategic assessment, taking into consideration many sources of information. Its programme of change has reviewed inefficient internal processes, resulting in greater efficiency for the force. The force has a strong approach to change management and has identified many areas for review and transformation. It has a good understanding of its workforce skills and capabilities. Its strategic workforce planning group reviews workforce data each month, analysing capacity and operational capability for vacancies, budgeted posts and training gaps, informing and shaping workforce and training plans. The force is recruiting new officers to fill existing gaps and increase capacity. Further consideration of how the force can develop its understanding of its workforce’s leadership skills and capabilities in the medium and long term is now needed. This should go beyond the ‘hard’ police leadership skills of command and control and encompass the qualities and values of what it means to be a leader in West Yorkshire Police.

The force has engaged in several collaborative ventures, including the Yorkshire and the Humber police collaborations. West Yorkshire Police is continually exploring new ways of working with partner agencies in order to reduce demand further, reduce resource requirements and improve service outcomes.

The strategic planning framework ensures that financial resources and the workforce plan are aligned with the force’s understanding of demand. The force has a comprehensive ICT strategy, aligned with the workforce and service plans. Its medium-term financial and workforce plans are based on credible and sensible assumptions. It has a clear understanding of the savings required over the next three years; these are based on prudent assumptions. The force has opted to achieve these savings through fundamental, organisation-wide change while maintaining recruitment.

Questions for Efficiency

1

How well does the force understand demand?

West Yorkshire Police has a comprehensive strategic planning framework, centred on the understanding of demand for its services. The force conducts a yearly strategic assessment that takes into consideration many sources of information, such as environmental scanning, various national reports, local authority priorities and plans, and changes in crime types and patterns. At a more tactical level, performance for incident types, response categories and crime types is reviewed on a weekly basis; this analysis is completed at both a force and district level. The threat assessments reviewed as part of HMICFRS’ 2016 effectiveness inspection demonstrated that the force is trying to uncover and understand new and emerging crime which is less likely to be reported, such as modern slavery, child sexual exploitation, abusive images and so-called honour-based abuse.

The customer contact centre has a comprehensive understanding of the calls it receives; we were impressed with the knowledge and understanding of demand by staff in the centre. The force has a strong approach to change management. The ethos of change is being addressed in a positive, optimistic and creative way, with considerable support from partner agencies and professional contractors. During the course of our inspection, we were provided with several examples of where the programme of change has reviewed and assessed inefficient internal processes, and where reviews and process mapping had resulted in greater efficiency for the force. These changes and the approach to change are led by the chief constable and the senior team, receiving widespread support from throughout the workforce. Through the change programme, the force has identified many matters that need resolving, and has clear and widely understood plans to address these.

Good
2

How well does the force use its resources?

West Yorkshire Police has a good understanding of its workforce skills and capabilities. The strategic workforce planning group reviews workforce data on a monthly basis for capacity and operational capability in vacancies, budgeted posts and training gaps. This information is used to inform and shape the workforce and training plans.

The force is in the process of recruiting new officers to fill existing gaps and increase capacity within the organisation. This process is continuing and has been designed in such a way as to stagger the intakes. There are still areas within the force, such as neighbourhood policing and investigations, that are struggling with workload and capacity problems. The knock-on effects of a high influx of student officers were evident during the course of the inspection, with relatively high numbers of inexperienced officers deployed and training opportunities for the rest of the force restricted while the new student officers are being trained. These changes will take time to reach the front line, and the force could do more to communicate with frontline staff what these changes are, the timescales involved and how capacity and capability on the front line will be improved in the medium term. How the force is developing its understanding of its workforce’s leadership skills and capabilities in the medium and long term needs some consideration. This understanding is broader than the tangible skills of command and control for police leadership, and needs to encompass the qualities and values of what it means to be a leader in West Yorkshire Police.

The force has engaged in a number of collaborative ventures, including the Yorkshire and the Humber police collaborations. The force is exploring further opportunities to collaborate with fire and rescue services and neighbouring forces, including both the Yorkshire and the Humber forces and the North East region forces. It has mature collaboration in place with local authorities regarding safeguarding and vulnerability. West Yorkshire Police is continually exploring new ways of working with other organisations in order to reduce demand further, reduce resource requirements and improve service outcomes.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • West Yorkshire Police should conduct a leadership skills audit that will allow it to understand leadership capacity and capability.
3

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

West Yorkshire Police’s strategic planning framework ensures that its financial resources and workforce plan are aligned to its understanding of demand. The force has a comprehensive ICT strategy that is aligned with the workforce and service plans. There is a culture in the force that encourages leaders to consider how digitalisation and ICT could improve service standards or drive efficiencies. Invest to save initiatives are encouraged as part of the programme of change. West Yorkshire Police is supported by a professional and forward-thinking IT department, which seeks to develop products and services that meet identified needs. It has an ambitious digitalisation plan, supported through the force’s IT strategy.

Under the force’s medium-term financial strategy, its budget is set until 2020/21. The force’s medium-term financial and workforce plans are based on credible and sensible assumptions. These include a summary of potential high-level savings, anticipated funding and use of reserves, aligned against workforce budgeted posts for the number of police officers, staff and PSCOs. The force has a clear understanding of the savings required over the next three years; these are based on prudent assumptions. The force has opted to achieve these savings through fundamental, organisation-wide change while maintaining recruitment. The force is fortunately able to freeze recruitment and use its reserves if the programme of change does not achieve the required savings in the set period. The force’s prudent approach to financial management and strong approach to change management will set the force in good stead to meet the challenges of the future.

Good