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#034/2010 – Gloucestershire Police Authority is ‘performing adequately’

Gloucestershire Police Authority is ‘performing adequately’, according to an independent new report released today by the Audit Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

On a scale from one to four the joint inspection team assessed the Authority’s performance as ‘two’, which represents adequate performance.

Inspectors found that Gloucestershire Police Authority has improved the performance of policing in Gloucestershire over the past two years. It has set the newly appointed Chief Constable a clear remit to improve local policing performance, and there are strong plans to do this. The Authority has recently been laying the foundations for effective challenge. It now receives the same good quality performance information as senior managers in the Constabulary. It has been active in setting challenging targets through the Policing Plan.

The Authority needs to satisfy itself that the Constabulary is ready to meet future financial challenges. In some areas, like workforce management, progress is not quick enough, and there are many different shift patterns operating in the Constabulary, which hampers efficiency. The Authority knows it needs to ensure that the Constabulary makes the most effective use of its properties.

Gloucestershire Police Authority comprises 17 members (9 county councillors and 8 independent members), and is responsible for securing an efficient and effective police force for Gloucestershire and holding the Chief Constable to account.

The Audit Commission’s Melanie Watson, spokesperson for the joint inspection team, said: ‘The Chair and members of the Police Authority, and the staff it employs, are highly capable. The Authority has been influential in setting challenging targets for the Constabulary to achieve. With a tough financial climate ahead, it is vital the Constabulary achieves the best possible value for money, while continuing to provide the services local people need. The Authority needs to make sure this happens.’

Strengths include:

  • the new Chair of the Authority, new full-time Chief Executive and new Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Police are driving organisational change;
  • the Authority has thorough financial plans to restructure the Constabulary and improve value for money;
  • innovative work with young people has led to training of police officers on effective approaches to young people; and
  • local people are more confident about police performance.

Areas for improvement include:

  • tackling the need to improve systems and staff satisfaction within the Constabulary;
  • ensuring that costs are reduced while continuing to improve service delivery;
  • making sure that the Constabulary’s buildings are used effectively; and
  • learning from consultation with the public. This is currently patchy.

Following today’s report Gloucestershire Police Authority will plan what it needs to do to improve its services to meet the changing needs of its communities.

Copies of the report are available from Gloucestershire Police Authority or from the Audit Commission website at and the HMIC website /Inspections/Pages/PoliceAuthorityInspections.aspx.


Notes to editors

  1. Gloucestershire Police Authority is an independent body responsible for overseeing Gloucestershire Constabulary. It represents the community and, in partnership with the Chief Constable, ensures that an efficient and effective policing service is provided to the people of Gloucestershire.
  2. Police authority inspection provides a simple report in a straightforward way about how well each police authority is performing. It encourages police authorities to focus on continuous improvement and provides a robust independent challenge to stimulate positive change. Ultimately it is about working to improve the quality of services police authorities provide to local people.
  3. The Audit Commission is an independent watchdog, driving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in local public services to deliver better outcomes for everyone.
  4. Our work across local government, health, housing, community safety and fire and rescue services means that we have a unique perspective. We promote value for money for taxpayers.
  5. On 13 August 2010 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced that he plans to disband the Audit Commission. His intention is to have new arrangements in place for auditing England’s public bodies by 2012/13.
  6. For more details about the role of the Audit Commission visit
  7. HMIC is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest and rigorously examines the effectiveness of police forces and authorities to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence. For further information about HMIC:
  8. For more information, or for an embargoed copy of the full report, contact Callum Collins at the Audit Commission on 0844 798 8844 or