Cambridgeshire PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
Cambridgeshire Constabulary has impressive and well-established joint working arrangements with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary. The force has bold ambitions to extend this collaboration even further into its IT arrangements. The force is well placed to be able to continue to provide an effective service to the public while reducing its costs further.
Cambridgeshire is on track to achieve its required savings of £19.8m over this spending review period, and to meet its further financial challenge in 2015/16. The force is already planning how it can achieve savings beyond the next financial year.
The force understands the issues facing it, and has change programmes in place that will lead to increased collaboration with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Through the tri-force IT change programme known as Metis, the forces plan to make further savings and protect frontline posts as new technology and streamlined processes improve appreciably the productivity of police officers and staff.
The force is working to improve understanding of the demand it faces, and plans to manage this demand through the collaboration of its control room, custody and criminal justice functions (operational support), and its human resources, finance and IT functions (organisational support), supported by the work of Programme Metis.
The force is achieving the savings required and is planning sensibly for the future, while continuing to reduce crime and retaining high levels of victim satisfaction.
To what extent is the force efficient?
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is working to develop a greater understanding of demand, and has plans to manage future demand in collaboration with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary.
Performance has improved, with reductions in crime and a higher number of victims satisfied with the service they received than for England and Wales as a whole.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
The force has a strong track record of achieving savings and adding these to reserves for specific purposes or to assist with future budget gaps.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary has clear plans in place to achieve a balanced budget for 2014/15 and is refining plans for 2015/16.
A joint medium-term financial plan developed with Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire is a clear signal of the commitment to future collaboration and the desire to achieve savings across the three forces. Future plans are being made and are based on prudent and realistic assumptions.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
Extensive collaborative arrangements are in place and are aimed at improving efficiency and realising further savings. Programme Metis plans to improve IT services. It is being led by Cambridgeshire on behalf of the three forces. The force has piloted the use of 154 tablets for mobile working which has freed up each officer’s time by up to an hour each day.
There is a clear drive to reduce non-pay costs. Savings in this area, along with those made through collaboration and procurement, have contributed to the overall savings requirement.
Senior leadership in the force is effective, highly visible, and, with good use of communications, is helping to improve its culture.