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Cambridgeshire PEEL 2018

Efficiency

How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?

Last updated 20/01/2020
Good

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is good at operating efficiently and providing a sustainable service to the public.

The force has a clear understanding of the demand for its services. It doesn’t suppress demand. It listens to both the public and its workforce, and acts on feedback. It understands what influences demand. Its new policing model gives priority to the types of demand that represent the greatest risk to the public. Its simplified force structure helps it establish and allocate demand more clearly. It has also invested in technology to improve its efficiency.

The force is able to consider a range of likely scenarios to guide future predictions of demand. It works closely with a range of partner organisations and experts to get a clear understanding of the effect of that demand on public services. It consults the public using a variety of methods. It has carefully designed its policing model, and its workforce plans are in line with force priorities. It continues to recruit to meet the number of officers and staff it needs. But it should make sure it has enough people working in human resources (HR) to support its plans.

The force understands the costs of its services. It has a good track record for financial planning and is on target to achieve the necessary savings. Its collaboration with neighbouring forces helps it provide a more cost-effective service.

Questions for Efficiency

1

How well does the force use its resources to meet the demand it faces?

Good

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has a clear understanding of the demand for its services. It takes a ‘right first time’ approach and doesn’t suppress demand. A new demand hub, with better processes and governance, helps it understand and prioritise calls for service. It listens to the public to find out what matters most to communities. And it listens to its own workforce and acts on its feedback. It also supports them in finding better ways of working. This has led to academic work that has influenced national best practice in tackling serious street violence and the exploitation of adult sex workers.

The force understands what influences demand. Consultants have analysed this and it has used the results to shape its new policing model and align its resources more efficiently. It now gives priority to the types of demand that represent the greatest risk to the public. It had already identified a need to have more people working on business and demand analysis. This is now being addressed.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary works closely with other police forces, emergency services and organisations. It does this through existing joint working arrangements as well as through sharing ideas and good practice. This helps it to be more efficient and provide the best service for the public. It understands the costs of its services and its collaboration with neighbouring forces helps it to be still more cost-effective.

Its simplified force structure helps it establish and allocate demand more clearly. As part of designing the new model, the force completed an audit of workforce skills. This means it can allocate resources more efficiently and knows what current skills gaps it needs to fill.

The force invests in technology to help it operate more efficiently. This also helps it improve its ability to investigate crimes.

Detailed findings for question 1

2

How well does the force plan for the future?

Good

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has a good understanding of potential future demand. This understanding is detailed and up to date. It is able to consider a range of likely scenarios to guide future predictions. It does this by using demand analysis software and its own analysis tools, which it has developed with healthcare partner organisations.

The PCC chairs the county-wide community safety strategic board. This board has introduced a system-wide public health approach to reducing crime, which is positive practice. The force works closely with public sector partner organisations and a social research expert to gain a clear understanding of the effect of demand on public services.

A detailed plan for community engagement helps the force understand public expectations. There is still a strong and visible local police presence. The force consults the public using a variety of methods – it makes good use of social media and research to reassure and gather their views about what matters to them.

The force has carefully designed its policing model. Its workforce plans are in line with its priorities. It continues to recruit to meet the number of officers and staff it needs. But it needs to make sure it has enough people working in its HR department to support the plans.

There is now a range of routes into Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Officers and staff are generally positive about the development opportunities available to them. To develop future leadership capacity, the force works with the University of Cambridge to prepare talented officers for senior leadership positions. It now has a better understanding of leadership skills and development.

The force has a good track record for financial planning. It has based its plans on sensible assumptions. It is on track to achieve the necessary savings. Its alliance with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary provides significant savings while also improving resilience in the three forces.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should make sure that future recruitment and staff development are supported by a functional and adequately resourced human resources team.
  • The force should develop a comprehensive skills strategy to identify what future capabilities its workforce will need.
Detailed findings for question 2