Hertfordshire PEEL 2018
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Hertfordshire Constabulary is good at operating efficiently and providing a sustainable service to the public.
The force has a thorough understanding of demand, including growth in youth-related and cyber-based crime. It uses innovative models, drawing on a range of data, to identify current and emerging demand.
It has a demand management strategy and action plan to 2025 and has worked to understand the county’s current and future demographics. Its swift response to the rise in county lines criminality is noteworthy.
The change team carries out analysis to make improvements within the force. A recent change to shift patterns in the control room will ensure good response times during times of peak demand.
The force keeps a strong and visible local police presence and is active in community safety partnerships. A forthcoming IT project will see it gathering the public’s views about what matters to them.
Hertfordshire Constabulary continues to recruit to meet the optimum numbers of personnel for its policing model. Significant investments include the recruitment of 75 officers to local policing roles. These will include county lines, cyber crime and specialist safeguarding officers.
The force’s financial plans are based on prudent assumptions. Its tri-force strategic alliance with Bedfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary results in significant savings and adds resilience to each force.
In 2017, we identified understanding of leadership skills and leadership development as areas for improvement. The force now has a plan for these. It has also shown a willingness to adopt new approaches to developing its workforce.
In 2017, we judged Hertfordshire Constabulary as good at meeting current demands and using 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 2017 efficiency inspection has been carried over.
How well does the force plan for the future?
Hertfordshire Constabulary has a sophisticated understanding of demand and is well placed to assess and predict likely future changes in demand. Its ability to predict and respond quickly to the rise in county lines criminality exemplifies its ability to tackle emerging demand.
It has worked hard to keep a strong and visible local policing presence. Despite financial challenges, it has managed to keep neighbourhood teams in each of its ten local policing areas. Good IT investment has also contributed to officers being able to spend more time being visible and accessible to communities.
The force’s new Echo IT project should help it establish what matters to the public. It can then consider how best to respond to the issues the public raises.
Hertfordshire Constabulary is investing significantly in recruitment. It shares its human resources (HR) function with Bedfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary as part of their tri-force collaboration. But it needs to assure itself that the HR team can provide an appropriate service to meet current and future demands, and that there is a comprehensive future-skills strategy in place.
The force’s medium-term financial plans are prudent and it has a strong understanding of its future position.
In 2017, we identified understanding of leadership skills and leadership development as areas for improvement. The force has made some progress to date.
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.