Humberside PEEL 2016
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Humberside Police has been assessed as requires improvement in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
Although the force has improved its understanding of demand and the way in which it manages calls from the public since the last inspection, HMIC found that Humberside Police’s approach to managing demand is a cause of concern. It needs to make more effective use of its current resources and do more to improve the way it plans to meet future demand.
Humberside Police has some understanding of reactive demand based on recorded incidents and crime; it also has some understanding of preventative demand based on its analysis of demands from key crime types and its internal review of neighbourhood policing. This is an improvement in the force’s position since our last efficiency inspection in 2015. The force can do more to develop its understanding of current and likely future demand, particularly working with partners.
The force has taken some steps to match better its resources to demand, it now has improved its response to calls from the public and more officers are available to attend incidents because of the changes in the shift pattern and flexible working arrangements. However, the service to the public is inconsistent and can be poor on occasions because the workforce plan is still not properly aligned to the operating model. The rostered number of officers is below the minimum identified as necessary to meet uniform and detective responsibilities. On occasions priority incidents are attended late or unallocated, meaning services to the public are not consistently meeting the standards set by the force.
The force has a medium-term financial plan based on sound assumptions. It has identified workforce gaps that it is starting to fill and its properly funded ICT strategy is designed to deliver increased efficiencies and improved services for the public.
How well does the force understand the current and likely future demand?
Humberside Police has some understanding of its current demand, but has made limited progress in understanding preventative demand. The force has analysed its calls for service, with specialist support, the demands from priority crimes and carried out an internal review of demands on neighbourhood policing. It recognises the need to improve its understanding of demands it shares with partner organisations such as local authorities and other emergency services so that work can be co-ordinated to reduce demand. Work is continuing with partners into how to identify and direct individuals into the most appropriate service provision with the aim of reducing demand and making better use of partnership resources.
The force has completed a partial assessment of its potential future demand. However, it based the assessment mainly on professional judgment and did not take account, for example, changing socio-economic factors, crime trends or changing public expectations from policing.
Areas for improvement
- Humberside Police should ensure its understanding of the demand for its services, and the expectations of the public, are up to date by regularly reviewing its evidence base. This should be conducted alongside local authorities, other emergency services and partner organisations, to ensure that the force takes the necessary steps to meet current and likely future demand, including hidden demand.
- Humberside Police should do all that is reasonably practicable to understand the effect that deployment has on meeting its current and likely future demand and manage that appropriately.
How well does the force use its resources to manage current demand?
Humberside Police’s use of resources to manage current demand requires improvement. It has set standards for its services based on police and crime plan priorities and assessment of risk. However, the force does not always effectively match its resources to the identified risks, resulting in a poor service to some vulnerable people. The force has made improvements to its call-handling capability and capacity since HMIC’s last efficiency inspection, and it now understands more fully the demand from telephone calls from the public. The force has undertaken a review of each rank’s profile and skills requirement to assess the skills its workforce needs and any gaps that should be addressed. It has already begun to recruit police officers and staff to fill these gaps.
There is purposeful collaboration with forces to improve efficiency and manage demand, including the sharing of ongoing human resources and other back-office functions. The force also has ongoing blue light collaborations and has merged some of its operational policing functions with South Yorkshire Police.
Cause of concern
The absence of a comprehensive workforce plan and understanding of the workforce’s capacity and capability in Humberside Police is a cause of concern, because it compromises the force’s operating model and the force’s ability to match resources to demand.
To address the cause for concern HMIC recommends that within six months of publication of this report the force should develop a coherent workforce plan by:
- reviewing the capacity and capability of the HR shared service to deliver the support required at strategic and local levels;
- identifying and allocating posts in line with its operating model and priorities;
- analysing skills and capabilities of the workforce;
- addressing identified gaps in the workforce capability and capacity.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
The force has implemented a number of changes to match its resources to future demand. These include plans for further collaboration with South Yorkshire Police to make savings and improve services.
The force recognises the need to explore opportunities for further joint working and collaboration with its partners to make savings and work in a more flexible way as the estate is to be reduced. In collaboration with South Yorkshire Police, the force is planning substantial investment in ICT projects which are due to be implemented over the next two years.
Humberside Police has mature and effective processes for the review and governance of its budget against its plans for the future. The force has produced a medium-term resource strategy that is based on assumptions about future income as well as planned expenditure through to 2020. The force is currently assessing the feasibility of using a priority based-budgeting (PBB) approach in the future so that it can better identify areas where potential savings may be made or where future investment is needed in line with police priorities. Work on PBB is at an early stage, the force aims to use it in its future financial plans.
The force also recognises the value in working collaboratively with other blue light organisations. It is working jointly with the fire and rescue service (along with the local authority) in protecting vulnerable people and offender management. The force could, however, do more to explore the opportunities for increasing working with other partner organisations to improve services, drive efficiencies and reduce demand.
Areas for improvement
- Humberside Police should do more to explore opportunities for further collaboration with partner organisations to improve services, drive efficiencies and manage demand for its services better in the future.