Durham PEEL 2018
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Durham Constabulary remains outstanding in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
The constabulary assesses future demand well, using a sophisticated approach. It strives to understand what the public expects, and to manage their expectations. Its future workforce plans are strong and recruitment tightly managed. The constabulary’s financial plans are sound, realistic and aligned with its priorities. It looks for continuous improvement rather than transformation.
The constabulary’s ICT strategy is impressive and comprehensive. This seeks to develop products and services that meet identified needs.
The constabulary has refined its approach to leadership over the last four years. This includes a talent development programme as well as examining organisational attitudes and behaviours.
Its medium-term financial plan is based on credible assumptions. These include:
- a summary of expected funding; and
- its use of reserves aligned against workforce budgeted posts for the number of police officers, staff and PCSOs.
In 2017 we assessed the constabulary as outstanding for meeting current demand and using its resources.
How well does the force use its resources to meet the demand it faces?
This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2016 efficiency inspection has been carried over.
How well does the force plan for the future?
Durham Constabulary assesses its demand profile and the likely demand for its services as part of its annual planning cycle. This examines and reviews all demand for the constabulary in the previous 12 months. It recognises the threats and opportunities posed by changing technology. It is investing heavily in improving information technology and the skills of its workforce so they are all digitally aware and competent. This includes a digital leadership programme to help officers and staff exploit data and technology opportunities in the investigation of crime.
The constabulary’s strategic planning framework ensures that its financial resources and workforce plan are aligned with its understanding of demand. The constabulary has undertaken consultation and engagement to understand:
- what the public want; and
- how expectations are changing.
We found a clear link between the constabulary’s public consultation and its planning and resource allocation.
The constabulary’s workforce planning is comprehensive. Training is prioritised against the constabulary’s most important priorities. Career pathways and succession planning are in place. The constabulary advertises all senior posts externally, which ensures it constantly brings in new perspectives, approaches and ideas.
The constabulary’s financial plans are based on sound planning assumptions. It has subjected them to extensive scenario planning to test their validity. It has a clear vision for the future alongside a comprehensive understanding of current and future demand.Detailed findings for question 2