Greater Manchester PEEL 2015
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
HMIC found that Greater Manchester Police is adequately prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has a good understanding of the demand for its service and is developing this further. It has a good track record of achieving savings and has set a balanced budget for 2015/16. However, plans to develop a new workforce model are in the early stages and the force needs to agree a model that will meet demand beyond 2016 within its available budget. In last year’s valuing the police inspection programme, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Greater Manchester Police was judged to be good.
HMIC judges Greater Manchester Police to be good. The force has a good understanding of the demand it currently faces and has commissioned academic research to provide an even more comprehensive understanding of demand. This work will inform a new force operating model to make the most efficient use of reducing resources.
The force has embarked on a wide-ranging transformation programme, with public service reform (PSR) at its heart. The Greater Manchester region is at the forefront of regional devolution. In June 2015 the police and crime commissioner (PCC) was appointed as the interim mayor. The PCC continues to have responsibility for policing, while taking on the role of coordinating all local authority and public sector services in preparation for the first mayoral elections in May 2017. This places the force at the centre of the changes and new ways of working.
The current workforce model is matched to the force’s current demand, organisational and financial requirements. The force has a good understanding of the skills it needs to develop its current workforce.
However, based on current plans, the force’s projected workforce model is not sustainable or affordable beyond 2015/16. Despite a reduction in the number of police officers and staff the force still has a considerable predicted savings gap in 2016/17. The force has developed four options for a workforce model beyond 2016, all of which are at an early stage their design.
The force has a good history of achieving or exceeding savings requirements and has set a balanced budget for 2015/16 with robust and effective financial controls in place. It has secured additional funding to support its work with vulnerable people and for specialist policing. The force’s financial plans are aligned to and support the objectives set out in the PCC’s police and crime plan and, in particular, support the PSR agenda.
How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand?
The force has a good understanding of the complexity and level of demand for its services that it currently faces and has commissioned work from a university to provide a more detailed insight into its demand. This work will inform a new force operating model aimed at making the most efficient use of reducing resources.
The force is currently able to meet demand with the resources available although the present focus on protecting vulnerable people is putting strain on those resources.
The force has established a number of initiatives to reduce demand, and identify and remove duplication of effort. It is committed to public service reform and plays an integral part in driving work with other local organisations, in support of the continuing move to increased devolution for Greater Manchester.
The force has robust arrangements to manage costs and is developing its approach to managing performance to better understand the link with outcomes for the public.
The force is developing new ways of working and is making good use of technology. It has plans to improve the use of technology to enable frontline officers to be more efficient and to improve interaction with the public.
How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
In the main the force’s current workforce model matches its demand, organisational and financial requirements.
The force’s review of demand has informed the development of a new local policing model. This is being piloted in the Salford division, along with a new shift system, and the force intends to roll this model out across the force from early 2016.
The force has embarked on a programme of major reform to ensure that it is “fit for the future.” This covers four principal areas: local policing; support services; specialist protective services and information technology.
However, based on current plans, the force’s projected workforce model is not sustainable or affordable beyond 2015/16. Despite a reduction in the number of police officers, through leavers and retirement, and a plan not to recruit further officers, the force still has a considerable predicted savings gap in 2016/17.
The force has presented four options for a workforce model beyond 2016, all of which are at an early stage of development. There is an immediate need for the force to agree a model that will meet demand beyond 2016 within its available budget.
Areas for improvement
- The force should develop a future workforce plan that is aligned to its overall demand and budget. The plan should include future resource allocations, the mix of skills required by the workforce and the behaviours expected of them.
- The force should undertake an appropriate evaluation of its operating model pilot in Salford before adopting the new model and shift system across the force.
How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?
The force has a good history of achieving or exceeding savings requirements and has set a balanced budget for 2015/16.
The force has secured additional income to support work with victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse, an extended offender management programme, and raising awareness of and preventing child sexual exploitation (CSE). The force has also submitted a £2m bid to the College of Policing’s Police Knowledge Fund to extend research on the complexity of demand in specialist policing areas, such as roads policing, firearms and public protection.
The force has robust and effective financial controls in place. Pay budgets are held centrally and expenditure, other than from minor delegated budgets, requires the approval of the assistant chief officer.
The force’s financial plans are aligned to and support the objectives set out in the PCC’s police and crime plan. The PCC is provided with timely and relevant financial information and the force and the office of the police and crime commissioner have a joint approach in financial planning.
The force has a good understanding of its future budget requirements. At the time of the inspection, the force had identified predicted shortfalls from 2016/17 onwards, and plans to bridge this gap are at a very early stage of development.