North Wales PEEL 2018
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
North Wales Police is good at operating efficiently and sustainably.
The force is good at planning for the future. It realises that more spending will be needed in some areas. When demand increases, for example in organised crime drug dealing, the force has shown it can be flexible to meet the challenge.
The force’s new approach to budgeting aims to match the available money to the priorities that have been set for policing. As this work continues, the force should seek to improve the data that it uses when analysing demand.
North Wales Police has ambitious plans to create better services while also cutting costs. It is important that the public’s views are heard in planning for the future. The force should consult widely with the public and take on board the messages it receives as it designs services.
In 2017, we judged the force’s approach to meeting current demand and using resources as good.
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?
North Wales Police is good at planning for the future. The force understands the demands it will face. It has ambitious plans for change that it believes will produce both savings and better services.
In planning its strategy to meet future demand, the force is using a new budgeting approach that seeks to match the available money to the priorities set for policing. There is a good grasp of the areas of crime that will need extra spending. The force has shown that it can be flexible by moving resources to address problems, for example in dealing with county lines drug offences.
In order to plan effectively, the force needs to understand how the public sector agencies it works alongside, such as local councils and health authorities, are preparing for the future. Accurate and comprehensive data shared by partner organisations can help with this task. This should be part of a bigger project for the force to use a wider range of data to analyse demand.
The force uses a variety of ways to engage with the public about its work. However, we would like to see a clearer link between the views that the public expresses and the services the force plans to provide to them.
The force appears to be stable financially, with good financial planning in place. Its bold plans for change will need strong governance if they are to produce the improvements and cost savings envisaged. There is limited time to introduce these plans, but they are achievable.
Areas for improvement
- The force needs to broaden the range of data sets it uses to inform its future demand analysis. Information from local partners and national sources should form part of this work.
- The force needs a co-ordinated, strategic approach to public consultation about its future change plans. The views of the public should inform the force view of the future and influence its design where appropriate.