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Cleveland PEEL 2018

Efficiency

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

Last updated 27/09/2019
Inadequate

Cleveland Police has a poor understanding of its demand. It doesn’t sufficiently prioritise between different types of demand and it shows a limited understanding of the factors that affect this. Its lack of understanding means that it isn’t efficiently adapting the services it provides and, as a result, it can’t provide them as promptly as it should be able to.

The force isn’t making the best use of the resources it has. It has changed some processes to manage its functions better, but in doing so has created risks. It has considered more efficient ways of working, such as working with others, but it doesn’t properly understand how effective its joint working is.

The force’s financial management is good and it manages its budget tightly. However, it bases its plans on its poor understanding of demand. It also hasn’t aligned its financial and workforce strategies, and there is no accurate plan to fill the skills or training gaps it has.

The force recognises that it needs to improve and has commenced a programme of change. However, the future operating model is uncertain, and the force doesn’t sufficiently understand what the public of Cleveland expects.

The force has dropped two grades in the efficiency pillar since our last efficiency inspection in 2017, which is a significant deterioration.

Questions for Efficiency

1

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

Inadequate

Cleveland Police doesn’t understand its demand adequately to inform the services it provides. The understanding that it does have isn’t sufficiently applied to its operating model and it doesn’t always use the most accurate data and information. Senior leaders don’t have a sufficient knowledge of the demand within their own areas, and the force doesn’t give them enough information and support in this respect.

The force’s understanding of the factors that affect demand is poor. It hasn’t fully implemented its operating model and doesn’t assess its processes well enough to make sure that they are efficient and effective. Through changing its processes, the force has created risks that it hasn’t identified or managed, and it is suppressing demand. It doesn’t adequately prioritise different types of demand or use its resources in the most efficient way, which means it isn’t able to provide its services as quickly as it should be able to.

The force actively considers more efficient ways of working with partner organisations and private providers. However, it doesn’t sufficiently understand the effectiveness of this joint working.

The force has a good understanding of some of its workforce training and accreditation needs, but not the skills and capabilities of the whole workforce. It doesn’t have an accurate plan to fill the skills gaps it has. Its people strategy and its annual workforce plan aren’t aligned to the financial plan. There isn’t a good enough understanding of current or future demand to inform the workforce plan, and there is no costed training plan.

The force is making improvements in how it uses technology to fight crime and manage offenders.

Cause of concern

Cleveland Police doesn’t adequately understand the demand it faces. A thorough understanding of demand is required to underpin all strategic planning. This failure means it doesn’t have coherent workforce and financial plans to meet demand and deliver the necessary outcomes.

To address this cause of concern, the force should immediately:

  • Carry out a comprehensive assessment of current and potential future demand across all operational areas to inform the force’s operating model. This should include latent demand, and the demand generated by internal processes.
  • Provide senior leaders with the relevant information, support and skills to inform their understanding of demand.
  • Develop coordinated financial and workforce plans based on demand, which should be integrated into the force’s strategic planning cycle.

Areas for improvement

The following AFIs are still outstanding from our previous inspections:

  • 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. (Efficiency 2017)
  • The force should conduct a leadership skills audit that will allow it to understand leadership capacity and capability. (Efficiency 2017)

Detailed findings for question 1

2

How well does the force plan for the future?

Inadequate

The force doesn’t adequately assess the future demand for its services. It has no basis on which to do this given the position with its current operating model. The force’s future model remains uncertain. Its strategic financial and workforce plans aren’t based on a sufficient understanding of demand. It also doesn’t understand what the public expects from its services.

The force needs to improve how it plans its future workforce needs. It hasn’t completed a full review and assessment of future workforce requirements. Its workforce plans (including recruitment, training and development) don’t take proper account of skills and capability gaps, the need to tackle inequalities and the lack of diversity through all workforce ranks and grades. It has restarted its recruitment to fill vacancies, but it will take time to get the capacity and capability it needs.

The force’s financial management is good. It manages its budget tightly. It is making good use of reserves and has made solid assumptions when planning its finances. This includes factors such as the increase in employers’ contributions to police officers’ pensions and an increase in precept payments. However, its financial planning isn’t based on an understanding of an interim or future operating model that aligns with a good understanding of demand, force priorities and future workforce requirements.

The force recognises that it needs to improve and it has begun a programme of change: Transforming Cleveland Police. However, its plans are uncertain, and they aren’t ambitious or innovative. The force doesn’t have enough capacity and capability to achieve the pace and scale of change required.

Cause of concern

Cleveland Police doesn’t adequately understand the demand it faces. A thorough understanding of demand is required to underpin all strategic planning. This failure means it doesn’t have coherent workforce and financial plans to meet demand and deliver the necessary outcomes.

To address this cause of concern, the force should immediately:

  • Carry out a comprehensive assessment of current and potential future demand across all operational areas to inform the force’s operating model. This should include latent demand, and the demand generated by internal processes.
  • Provide senior leaders with the relevant information, support and skills to inform their understanding of demand.
  • Develop coordinated financial and workforce plans based on demand, which should be integrated into the force’s strategic planning cycle.

Areas for improvement

The following AFIs are still outstanding from our previous inspections:

  • 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. (Efficiency 2017)
  • The force should conduct a leadership skills audit that will allow it to understand leadership capacity and capability. (Efficiency 2017)

Detailed findings for question 2