Wiltshire PEEL 2017
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Wiltshire 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 continues to have a good understanding of demand; how it uses its resources to manage demand is judged to be good and how the force plans for future demand is also judged to be good.
Wiltshire Police is good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force regularly assesses a wide range of information to understand the demand for its services. It then uses this information as the basis for how the force conducts its day-to-day business. A culture of continuous improvement is in place throughout the force, resulting in better services for the public.
Wiltshire Police uses and allocates its resources well. It has implemented a new way of working that redirects its resources to deal with potential problems. However, in times of high demand, there are sometimes delays in answering non-emergency calls to the force control room. The force invests well, working with other organisations to manage demand for services. The force has a good understanding of its workforce’s current operational skills and capabilities, and future requirements are understood and resourced appropriately.
Wiltshire Police is good at planning to ensure that the right people are recruited, trained and in place to meet the changing needs for how it operates. Leadership development continues to be an area of strength. Comprehensive development programmes are provided for officers and staff to meet the current and future leadership requirements of the force. The force has a good record in achieving cost savings; strong governance procedures have served it well in ensuring that project managers are held to account for savings and other service improvements.
How well does the force understand demand?
Wiltshire Police has a good understanding of the different types of demand for its service and the level of service it provides to the public. The force understands how demand is affected and demonstrates a good commitment to managing and prioritising demand well. It filters demand and prioritises carefully; however, at times of peak demand, there are occasions when the force is unable to answer all non-emergency 101 calls. The force’s continuous improvement programme is subject to firm governance procedures to gather and evaluate the benefits from its change projects. In the force’s culture of continuous improvement, the workforce is involved in change and encouraged to make suggestions. Leaders are visible and accessible, and responsive to suggestions and feedback from officers and staff.
Areas for improvement
- The force should implement its plan to improve its response to non-emergency calls for services through the 101 telephony system.
How well does the force use its resources?
Wiltshire Police is good in how it uses its resources. It provides comprehensive, inclusive leadership development at all levels of the service to make a reality of the force vision of strong and consistent leadership. This development improves self-awareness and includes coaching, personality profiling and secondments to external organisations, which are providing different perspectives to leadership development. The workforce is engaged and is encouraged to shape the future of force. Examples of suggestions taken forward include the establishment of menopause, cancer and mental health peer support groups to support the force’s wellbeing programme. The force has confronted the rigours of financial restraint successfully. A good example is the introduction of civilian investigators into local policing, which is both cost efficient and supports the service to victims of crime.
The force is involved in successful collaborative working arrangements with other forces in the region. This encompasses both frontline operational policing and scientific and procurement services; it is an area where HMICFRS has already reported positively. Recognising that budgetary constraint will bring continual pressures to bear, the force is seeking to extend the benefits of joint working to a more local level. This will include more sharing of premises with other service providers and the integration of certain functions.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
Wiltshire Police is good at planning for what the future may bring. Its understanding of how the demand of future years may affect the service it provides is developing well. The force has deepened its engagement with communities to find out what really matters to them. To sustain its services in the face of increasing demand, the force is making improved use of modern technology. For example, investigators now have instant access to digital evidence, including recorded interviews with detainees; this removes some time-consuming and inefficient processes from the investigation process.
The force also recognises that it needs to get the very best out of its leaders in the years to come. This requirement reflects its commitment to reduce the number of senior officers; through careful selection of its senior leaders and programmes to make the most of the potential of aspiring individuals, the force can be confident that it will select the best candidates. Like all police forces, Wiltshire Police faces financial pressures; line-by-line savings have been identified and strong processes are in place to hold individuals to account in realising these savings.