Humberside PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
While progress is being made, Humberside Police still faces a significant challenge. It is important that the force moves ahead quickly with its plans to change the way it provides policing in 2015 in order to achieve a secure financial position and provide better value for money.
HMIC is concerned that Humberside has not yet done enough to achieve a secure financial position for the future. Reserves will be used to make up the shortfall in the savings requirement each year. This means that the required recurring savings have not yet been found, and this position is not sustainable. However, progress is being made, and plans for a new affordable structure are well under way. A new leadership style has been introduced and the culture of the organisation is now more able to support the level of change resulting from a reduction in the workforce. The establishment of new structures is being informed by a thorough understanding of the nature of demands on the force. It is essential that the plans for the new way of providing policing are put in place and begin producing savings as timetabled. Since the inspection, the force has provided HMIC with a high level update on their savings plans. The force must ensure that there is no slippage that could, in turn, have an impact on the performance of the force.
To what extent is the force efficient?
Humberside Police has a good understanding of its demand. It has carried out a detailed analysis that has shown that there is significant scope to reduce unnecessary demands on police time, and it is now working with others to find more appropriate ways of dealing with this. The force applies its understanding of demand and risks well, allocating its resources to areas of greatest need and high risk, keeping these under review. The force has plans to ensure that police resources are deployed to incidents more efficiently and effectively. Once the detail of the new policing structure has been decided, the force needs to develop a new estates strategy so that its buildings are used efficiently and meet public access needs.
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
HMIC is concerned that Humberside Police has not yet done enough to achieve a secure financial position for the future. Reserves will be used to make up the shortfall in savings each year and to buy time to implement the change programme. This does mean though that the required recurring savings have not yet been found, and this position is not sustainable. The challenging savings requirement for 2015/16 will be met by changing the way the force provides policing, allowing a reduction in police officers and staff. However, these plans are not yet complete. The plans need to be in place quickly to provide assurance that the savings can be achieved without any risk of impact on service provision to the public.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
Humberside Police has a range of arrangements with other forces in the region to provide specialist policing services. So far, these mainly have brought about more effective services rather than achieving savings. The force plans to operate with fewer police officers and staff to bring about the necessary savings. Since 2010, the force will have seen one of the largest reductions in its police officer strength, with plans for 24 percent fewer officers by 2015, although the proportion working on the front line will have increased. The chief constable’s leadership style, the creation of a force leadership team, and the communication with staff are strong indicators that the organisational culture is improving.