West Mercia PEEL 2014
How well the force delivers value for money
HMIC commends West Mercia Police for making excellent progress in achieving what has been a challenging savings target. Through the innovative and ambitious alliance with Warwickshire Police, the force has demonstrated some excellent efficiency savings at the same time as continuing to provide good performance in policing the West Mercia area.
West Mercia Police has already achieved the savings required for the spending review ahead of schedule and is now developing plans for the future. A clear focus on value for money is demonstrated through the alliance with Warwickshire that has the opportunity to achieve further significant savings over a number of years. The force is extremely well placed to face future financial challenges.
The force has made good progress with developing and implementing the alliance; the phased approach to managing this unprecedented organisational change has been effective and well led. The alliance is providing the force with significant opportunities for cost savings and, importantly, is providing the people of West Mercia with a better-equipped and more effective police service.
The force understands its demand and is ensuring that police time is used to best effect. The shared resources of both forces are deployed in a ‘borderless’ way to ensure that the most appropriate response is provided regardless of who owns the resource. Despite major changes and the scale of the cuts in spending, recorded crime has continued to fall in West Mercia and has fallen at a faster rate over the last year than the rate for England and Wales.
To what extent is the force efficient?
The force carried out an analysis of demand and risks when devising the structure and set up teams equipped to deal with the identified risks and needs.
The crime bureau is able to deal with much of the force’s low level crime, resolving a high proportion at the first point of contact without needing a police officer to attend, freeing up police time to deal with more serious issues.
The shared resources of both West Mercia and Warwickshire Police forces can be deployed in a ‘borderless’ way to ensure that the most appropriate response is provided to emergency calls.
Recorded crime has continued to fall over the spending review period at a faster rate than the rate for England and
To what extent is the force taking steps to ensure a secure financial position for the short and long term?
West Mercia Police has entered into an ambitious and innovative alliance with Warwickshire Police that is enabling both forces to make significant savings through collaboration.
As a result of the alliance the force will overachieve on savings during the spending review and will also balance its budget for 2015/16.
Finances are well managed, with sound future plans shared across both organisations. Further significant savings are expected from the alliance. The force is extremely well placed to face future financial challenges.
To what extent has the force got an affordable way of providing policing?
Collaboration is a key strength, demonstrated by the alliance, and unequalled by any other force in the country. It is providing the force with significant opportunities for cost savings and is providing the people of West Mercia with a better-equipped and more effective police service.
So far most of the savings have been made from reducing staffing numbers. As the new staff structures are now in place, the alliance is set to increase the savings in non-pay areas.
The force will have lost a slightly higher percentage of its police officer strength than other forces but has protected frontline policing from cuts and the projected proportion of officers on the front line by 2015 will be higher than the figure for England and Wales.