Avon and Somerset PEEL 2017
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Avon and Somerset Constabulary is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year. The force is judged to be outstanding in its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is judged to be good; and its planning for future demand is judged to be good.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of the current demand for its services, based on a wide range of management information. The force uses a data visualisation application called Qlik Sense, which gives it access to real-time management information, and its use has recently been extended to include partnership data. This should increase the effectiveness of early intervention and joint problem-solving activity. The force has sought funding from the Home Office Police Transformation Fund (a fund which is intended to transform policing through digitalisation), to expand the use of Qlik Sense across 20 partner agencies, including local authorities, health, fire and other police forces.
In our 2016 inspection, we reported on the force development of a ‘business intelligence system’ that provides an ‘at a glance’ view of current and predicted demand using predictive analytics. This provides a more sophisticated and precise way of looking at current and future demand, by drawing on information from a wide range of police and partnership data to map and predict current and future trends, and enables the force to identify the resources required to meet calls for service and to use those resources more effectively.
The force has a good understanding of the public’s expectations, and consequently has made a commitment to maintaining neighbourhood policing teams. It uses its resources well to manage demand and it collaborates with partner agencies to reduce demand and costs, including working with them to deal with and support the most frequent users of their services. The force recognises the potential future demand for its services and works well with partners collaboratively to manage demand effectively. The introduction of a new operating model allows the force to deploy officers and staff more effectively across a ‘borderless’ force area, which means the force is more likely to provide a service that meets public needs and expectations.
The force is working to understand its current workforce’s skills and capabilities better, to ensure that future policing needs are resourced effectively. It is making significant investment in ICT and has realistic plans in place to meet the technological challenges it may face in the future. It has a clear commitment to invest in leadership and workforce development through career pathways and development opportunities for both officers and staff.
How well does the force understand demand?
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of the demand for its services and of the specific types of crime that are prevalent but are less likely to be reported. It is involved in some very good joint initiatives with partner organisations to educate the public about modern slavery and female genital mutilation and to encourage reporting of these crimes, particularly for those people who may be less able or less confident to contact the police. The force is good at understanding the factors that influence the demand placed on its services and demonstrates a good commitment to manage and prioritise these well. The force has a culture of continuous improvement that is driven and encouraged by chief officers and leaders, and the workforce are widely consulted and involved in change.
How well does the force use its resources?
Avon and Somerset Constabulary uses and allocates its resources well to manage current demand. It has a good understanding of hidden demand and works effectively with partner organisations to protect people who may be exploited. The force has a good understanding of the cost and quality of current service levels and it prioritises resources to meet demand. Implementation of the new ‘borderless’ operating model, together with real-time analysis of demand, enables the force to move resources efficiently and effectively in response to calls for service.
The force makes considered investment decisions, and it is working well with others to manage demand for services. It continues to consider other options for further collaboration and is able to demonstrate that its collaborative working with others reduces cost and increases capacity to provide policing services in accordance with public needs and expectations.
The force is working to understand better its current workforce’s skills and capabilities, to ensure that future policing needs are resourced effectively. It would benefit from a more formal understanding of all the skills that the workforce possess, including skills held outside policing, and a better understanding of leadership skills.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of its current demand and makes innovative use of predictive analytics to forecast future and emerging service requirements. The force uses a range of consultation methods to ensure the service it provides meets public expectations. It can demonstrate clearly how collaboration and joint working are transforming results, reducing costs and improving the service it provides to the public. It is making significant investment in ICT and has realistic plans in place to meet the technological challenges it may face in the future. The force has a clear commitment to invest in leadership and workforce development through career pathways and development opportunities for both officers and staff. The development of a workforce people strategy, including mapped capabilities of the workforce, should enable the force to be confident that the skills of officers and staff are fully developed and used to meet both current and future demand for services.