North Yorkshire PEEL 2017
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
North Yorkshire Police is judged to require improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This is not consistent with last year’s assessment, when the force was assessed as good for efficiency overall. The force’s understanding of demand is judged to require improvement; it is judged to require improvement for its use of resources to manage demand; and it is assessed to require improvement for its planning for future demand.
North Yorkshire Police is judged to require improvement in how it understands the demand for its services. The force has a good understanding of current demand, gathering and analysing data from a variety of sources. It is enhancing this through a review of its response services to provide a more sophisticated understanding of how best to allocate its workforce according to demand. While the force is increasing its understanding of future demand, it could do more to understand its growing communities, such as eastern European communities, and how it needs to develop its policing services and skills for the future. It also needs to do more work to understand and reduce inefficient processes.
North Yorkshire Police has a good understanding of the skills and capability of its workforce and the skills and experience that it needs to maintain a skilled workforce. The force has plans to recruit and fill identified workforce gaps in the future. While it is seeking to enhance the way it works with other organisations, it does need to address the problem of the negative impact that working with some other organisations, such as the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, is having. This is increasing demand on police time. It also needs to improve how it implements its plans for the introduction of new technology as it has experienced significant delays in providing frontline staff with new ICT. Because of such delays, the force’s plans are not as advanced or innovative as in some other police forces. The force’s financial plans are aligned with its workforce plans and it has change plans designed to meet future public expectations. Despite having a good record of making savings, the force still has a significant financial challenge ahead to meet the predicted shortfall in its budget from 2019/20.
How well does the force understand demand?
North Yorkshire Police requires improvement in how it understands demand. The force has a good understanding of its current demand and has gathered and analysed data from a variety of sources. It is developing its understanding of the time it takes its response officers to deal with this demand and how they deal with it, and it will be seeking to use this understanding to improve the deployment of its response officers in the future.
The force needs to improve its understanding of the extent to which inefficient processes affect the demand on the force. Its approach to risk and its prioritisation of demand have improved, with the force now using a risk-based approach to individual needs when assessing and responding to demand. The force has internal processes in place to understand the benefits and unintended consequences of changes it makes to the service it provides to the public.
Previously, the force recognised that it did not have a means of obtaining ideas from its workforce and, since our inspection, a new ideas and suggestion scheme has been launched.
Areas for improvement
- The force should develop its understanding of demand, ensuring that it has analysed appropriate information and intelligence from wider sources, including strategic, local and third party data, including demographic analysis.
How well does the force use its resources?
North Yorkshire Police is judged to require improvement for how well the force uses its resources. The force has a good understanding of the capability of its workforce and the skills they need to perform their role.
The force understands the capabilities of its leaders and encourages managers to assess their leadership skills to understand better how they can develop as leaders. Through the force workforce plan, it has identified skills gaps, projected leavers and vacancies and, where possible, has succession plans for the future. The force seeks skills and new talent from a broad pool of candidates, advertising externally when appropriate. However, although it has decided on its priorities and where to allocate its workforce, it only has a broad understanding of how this affects other areas across the force, rather than a detailed understanding.
The force has longstanding joint ventures and collaboration with regional police forces and its partner organisations but it should do more to work with other organisations whose resources are decreasing and which are causing an increase in demand on the force. It has suffered significant delays with its plans to implement new technology and is yet to equip its frontline police officers with modern equipment to increase officer visibility and improve efficiency, with officers able to complete tasks while on patrol rather than being required to return to a police station.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that it understands the level of service that can be provided at different levels of costs, so it can identify the optimum level of service provision.
- The force should ensure it has processes in place to review and mitigate the impact that its partner organisations have on demand for its services.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
North Yorkshire Police is judged to require improvement in the way that it is planning for the future. The force has a developing understanding of future demand. It has assessed the risks for the community and priorities for the force. It has further developed its understanding of the extent of its predicted demand through analytical assessments and policing operations. However, it could do more to understand how its communities are changing and likely to develop in the future to understand better the future policing services and skills needed.
North Yorkshire Police has been slower than other forces to innovate and embrace the opportunities offered by new technology to improve its efficiency. The force has a number of continuing ICT projects to equip its officers better with modern technology. The projects have suffered delays which mean that the technology to improve officer efficiency will not be available until at least 2018.
The force has aligned its financial plans with workforce plans and has prepared plans to develop and change the infrastructure and workforce so it operates to meet the expectations of the public in the future. Although the force has a good track record to date of making the required savings, it is still facing a significant financial challenge ahead. Despite further planned savings over the next four years, it is predicting a shortfall in its budget from 2019/20 onwards, and it has yet to identify additional savings to address this.
Areas for improvement
- The force should develop a better understanding of how the benefits of investing and using ICT affect its ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently, with a view to updating its ICT strategy.