Greater Manchester PEEL 2018
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Greater Manchester Police requires improvement in the efficiency of its operation and the sustainability of its services.
It should improve how it analyses data about the demand for its services. This would help it to meet demand now and in future. It should also be better at sharing data with other agencies. Sharing data in a more strategic way would help the force to better analyse demand.
When the force regrades an incident, it doesn’t collect data about the context. Contextual information would help the force know if it is suppressing demand by downgrading incidents.
The force requires improvement in the way it plans for the future. It has a limited understanding of how demand for its services will change and of the skills its workforce will need to meet that future demand.
The force has lots of change programmes to improve its service, and it challenges and audits these. It also collaborates with other forces and agencies to improve service.
How well does the force use its resources to meet the demand it faces?
Areas for improvement
- The force should further improve its analysis and understanding of crime-related demand.
- The force should improve data sharing arrangements with partner organisations.
- The force should ensure that changes to the grade of responses within its operational communications branch are appropriate and do not suppress demand.
Greater Manchester Police should improve how it meets demand and uses resources. It understands demand for its services and strives to improve this understanding. But the way it analyses the data it collects doesn’t help it to meet demand. It shares data with other agencies on a case-by-case basis, but not on a strategic basis.
The force collects data about the regrading of incidents, but not their context. We found evidence of incidents being downgraded inappropriately. Without this context, the force cannot tell if it is suppressing demand by downgrading incidents.
The force experienced an increase in recorded crime since 2017. It told us this was caused by changes to how it records crime. It has now determined baseline figures for five threat areas. It has plans to ensure it attends all these crime types.
The force agreed with the mayor extra funding to tackle and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. It plans to use this to recruit 50 more neighbourhood officers. It uses a citizens’ contract to explain how it will work with the public and other agencies to manage its resources and demand.
Greater Manchester Police has invested to help it manage demand. It has processes to support meeting short-term future demand and moves resources accordingly. This has resulted in a more consistent and proactive service.
But the force doesn’t have processes for understanding the financial impact of varying service provision. Poor IT infrastructure and the present level of demand hamper its ability to plan for meeting demand beyond the short term.
The force recognises rising threat levels from criminal use of technology. It has reviewed its digital investigation unit, and understands its IT infrastructure is not fit for purpose. The force’s improvements to this infrastructure should give it access to accurate data, to help it decide how to allocate resources and analyse what future skills it needs.
Greater Manchester Police doesn’t fully understand what skills and capabilities it will need in future. It is working to increase staffing in some areas, but its plans are undeveloped in others.
Positively, the force has a clear rationale for its work with other agencies. The force understands the benefits it gets and the contributions of others. It has strong links with other agencies and works with them to manage demand better. Though many of these collaborations are in preliminary stages, some are very promising.Detailed findings for question 1
How well does the force plan for the future?
Areas for improvement
- The force should work to fully understand its workforce capabilities, and put plans in place to address gaps.
Greater Manchester Police should improve its future planning. Its understanding of how demand for its services will change is limited, which hinders its planning. The force is working to better understand changing demand, though all its programmes are at an early stage.
The force strives to understand what the public expects from it. It has consulted the public and has plans to get views from groups which don’t normally engage with the police. The force is working on various projects to give the public easier access to police services, while reducing demand on call handlers. Examples include online crime recording and self-service schemes.
The force is clear about its priorities:
- keeping people safe;
- reducing harm and offending; and
- strengthening communities and places.
It developed these priorities with other agencies in Greater Manchester. It also collaborates with other forces and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to improve its services in line with these priorities.
Greater Manchester Police has a limited understanding of what skills it needs to meet future demand. It bases training requirements on predictable gaps in the current skills – for example, staff leaving. It doesn’t take into account demand for new skills. It has a programme to better identify skills gaps, but this is at an early stage. Improving its understanding of this will help the force meet current and future demand. Many of its senior leaders are due to retire at the same time. The force needs to address this so it can plan for the future. It has reviewed its promotion process, but the new process only applies to officers, not staff. The force has a new performance review process, but senior leaders describe it as ‘clunky’. Without an effective personal development process, the force can’t properly manage performance and development, and staff may feel undervalued.Detailed findings for question 2