Merseyside PEEL 2017
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Merseyside Police 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 good in its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is assessed to be good; and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.
Merseyside Police is a good and efficient force. It has strong leadership. Some senior officers have been appointed recently and they bring new experience, as well as providing stability and continued strength in leadership for the force. Its financial plans are based on sound assumptions and the force is on track to meet the savings required.
The force considers that leadership comes from its entire workforce. It invests in ‘one team’ events and is providing individual personality-profiling for the whole workforce. The force is developing its future leadership and has senior officers on externally-supported development schemes. We found that the force had carried out an analysis of skills, but that this did not include the entire workforce.
The force’s assessment of demand for the services it provides is up-to-date and comprehensive. Also, it has processes in place to uncover the sort of demand that would be less likely to be reported. Through its force-wide operating model, the force has become more flexible in its deployment of resources across Merseyside, in order to meet demand for service. Its planning of major events, in particular sporting events, continues to make good use of resources, meeting both public expectations and safety.
The force leadership welcomes workforce ideas and feedback and ensures there is a response to suggestions. However, at the time of our inspection this was not reflected in the opinions of some uniformed officers. The force is improving its recognition of innovative ideas. The force is part of a tri-force collaboration with Cheshire Constabulary and North Wales Police. This collaboration is investing in IT solutions that enable efficient information-sharing between these forces.
How well does the force understand demand?
Merseyside Police has a good understanding of the demand for its services. The force has a comprehensive, up-to-date demand assessment which considers the wider effect of demand for the services it provides. The force has also developed processes and workforce skills in order to identify more of the demand that is less likely to be reported. Through the use of IT solutions, the force has made improvements to officer efficiency and in the understanding and monitoring of the increasing threat from cyber-crime.
The force has clear governance arrangements for its change processes. Its prompt assessment of the ‘community first’ operating model demonstrates the benefits and results of achieving organisational change. However, the force may benefit from some independent examination of its change programme.
Force leaders welcome ideas and feedback from the workforce and suggestions are progressed, but at the time of our inspection this was not reflected in the opinions of some of its uniformed officers. The force is improving the recognition it provides for innovative ideas from its workforce.
How well does the force use its resources?
Merseyside Police is good in how it uses its resources to manage demand. The force is developing its future leadership skills and has senior officers on supported development schemes, with another nine graduates entering the force this year as part of the Police Now programme.
We found that the force reviews the benefits realised by the investments it makes and is prepared to trial and implement innovative ideas across the force, including partnership working. We found that a skills analysis had been undertaken in preparation for the ‘community first’ operating model, but that it did not extend across the workforce. The force can demonstrate a very accurate assessment of its capacity, but needs to extend this to its capability in preparation for future workforce planning. The force has become more flexible in deploying its resources through the new operating model which has no set boundaries, allowing it to move resources across Merseyside to meet demand. Its planning of major events, in particular sporting events, continues to make the best use of its resources and meet public expectations and safety.
Areas for improvement
- The force should undertake appropriate activities to fully understand its workforce’s capabilities, in order to identify any gaps and put plans in place to address them. This will enable the force to be confident in its ability to be efficient in meeting current and likely future demand.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
Merseyside Police is good at planning for the future. The force has assessed its future demand for its services and carries out assessments of the impact of change on demand as shown through the prompt review of the ‘community first’ operating model. The force has identified the advantages and threats from technology. It has responded by investing in mobile working to improve efficiency and by putting in place more robust processes for cyber-crime analysis. The force is part of an innovative tri-force collaboration and is investing in IT software and equipment to enable efficient information-sharing with these forces.
The force leadership has changed and new senior officers have been appointed. The Police Now scheme has progressed and nine graduates are due to enter the force this year. Merseyside Police considers that leadership is from its entire workforce not just the senior managers and the force is investing in ‘one team’ events with individual personality-profiling for all its employees.
The financial plans of the force are based on sound planning assumptions. The force has reserves of capital and these are replenished through its ongoing workforce vacancy underspends. The force is on track to meet expected savings.