Dyfed-Powys PEEL 2015
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The force says...
Dyfed-Powys Police safeguards people living, working and visiting the Counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. The four counties have a vibrant tourist industry drawing large numbers of tourists. The population swells during these months in key towns such as Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Newtown and Brecon, which brings its own implications for crime, traffic and roads policing.
The force is geographically the largest in England and Wales covering a vast 4,188 square miles including 350 miles of coastline. The geography presents significant challenges; there are many remote rural communities along with a number of relatively small centres of population stretched from St David’s in the West across to Crickhowell in the East, up to Welshpool in the North, Pembroke Dock provides a potential criminal pathway between UK mainland and Ireland and the mountainous area inhibits communication networks.
Dyfed-Powys Police has a resident population of 515,114 or 221,858 households whom are predominately white with 2.02% of our population from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups. Our ability to attract BME group recruits is inhibited by under-representation within our communities.
The Welsh language is spoken by 31% of people compared with the national average of 19% and we need to provide bilingual service to our Welsh speakers. Our workforce consists of 1,176 police officers, 502 police staff, 147 community support officers and 157 special constables. They include visible frontline assets as well as specialist and support functions dealing with volume, major and complex investigations. The challenge is to ensure our visible workforce is in the right place at the right time to prevent crime and identify and bring offenders to justice. To support them in this aim, we have invested in technology including strategically placed automatic number plate readers.
Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Dyfed-Powys Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.
Dyfed-Powys Police provides policing services to the areas of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. The police force area covers 4,230 square miles with approximately 350 miles of coastline in the south west of Wales. Although there are some more affluent areas, Dyfed-Powys has a high level of poverty. Around 0.5 million people live in a predominantly rural setting. The area has distinct, small urban areas including the towns of Carmarthen, Llanelli, Milford Haven, and Aberystwyth. The resident population is increased by university students and the very large numbers who visit or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes a major sea port.
England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.
There are 1,695 OAs in Dyfed-Powys with an average size of 647 hectares which is much bigger than the national average of 87. While a minority (23 percent) of OAs in Dyfed-Powys are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a larger proportion (45 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the predominantly rural nature of the area. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Carmarthen, Llanelli, Milford Haven, and Aberystwyth with the largest spread across the extensive more sparsely populated rural and mountainous areas.
The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.
HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. Dyfed-Powys has a median house price of £169,586 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£254,549). Excluding the least expensive ten percent and the most expensive ten percent house prices, there is a 61 percent difference between lowest and highest prices within the force area, suggesting the relative poverty of Dyfed-Powys.
The predicted number of incidents for each OA varies considerably. In Dyfed-Powys, one percent of the OAs account for 11 percent of the predicted demands for police services – this is 0.1 percent of the total force area.
A concentration of predicted demands in a small number of OAs is a feature of every police force. We have designated these OAs (approximately 1,800 throughout England and Wales) as very-high challenge to police. These areas of very high challenge are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.
- the proportion of OAs that are a very-high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is lower than the national level of one percent;
- the proportion of OAs that are a very-high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is broadly in line with the national level of one percent; and
- the proportion of OAs that are very-high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance is lower than the national level of one percent.
As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Dyfed-Powys we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 4,230 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds and give indicators of the size of the area and the quality of its road network.
Dyfed-Powys has 805 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 38 miles (longest 103 miles and shortest 0.6 miles) and the average travel time of 68 minutes are considerably higher than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size and complexity of Dyfed-Powys and the nature of its roads.
While the concentration of demands in a small number of locations (covering a very small area) may be helpful in focusing resources, it is not the totality of demand. The provision of services extends beyond those areas that are a very high challenge to police and includes the least challenging and most remote areas. The challenge of providing services throughout Dyfed-Powys is a function of many things including the size and topography of the area, the road network and how congested the road network is. These considerations influence how police resources are organised and managed, for example where police officers are based and their working patterns.