South Wales PEEL 2018
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
South Wales Police is good at operating efficiently and sustainably.
In 2017, we judged that the force’s approach to meeting current demand and using resources was good. We have carried over our judgment from the 2017 effectiveness inspection.
The force is good at planning for the future. It has used software to inform its Operation Morse change programme and managed demand accordingly. It is still developing its understanding of hidden and emerging demand.
The force is good at prioritising its use of resources, and at flexing resources to meet demand.
The force needs to improve its future workforce planning.
The force has a comprehensive medium-term financial plan, but this plan will not ensure a balanced budget through to 2023. The force will need to focus on value for money over the next four years if it is to sustain and improve operational effectiveness.
South Wales Police has good plans in place to improve the services it gives to the public. It is implementing several significant change programmes, from neighbourhood policing to the extension of mobile technology. These are likely to result in a more responsive, visible and accessible service.
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.
South Wales Police had three areas for improvement in 2017.
The force should put in place better processes and governance to understand and realise the benefits of collaborative work, and how they affect its ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently. This has been met.
The force should conduct a leadership skills audit that will allow it to understand leadership capacity and capability. This is in progress.
The force should ensure that it has sufficient resources available in the control room to fulfil its resourcing model, and so to meet its demand, while also taking into account the wellbeing of its workforce. This has been met.
How well does the force plan for the future?
South Wales Police is good at planning for the future.
It is good at assessing future demand for its services. For example, as a result of analysing incoming call demand, the force has changed staff shift patterns and made other arrangements to manage demand. It uses information and communications technology in an effective way to understand trends in demand.
The force is reviewing all aspects of neighbourhood policing, with a view to offering a consistent approach. The force is still developing its understanding of hidden and emerging demand.
The force needs to do more to understand public expectations, including incorporating public feedback into its plans.
The force needs to improve the ways in which it develops its prospective workforce needs. Without a formal skills gap analysis, for example, it lacks a clear understanding of what it will need from its workforce in the future.
While the force has a comprehensive medium-term financial plan, this is not enough to ensure a balanced budget throughout the period to 2023.
The force also needs to continue to improve leadership and workforce development.
Areas for improvement
- The force needs to ensure that public expectations form part of future planning.
- The force needs to better understand the changes in workforce capacity and capability that are required to meet future demand.
- The force needs to ensure that there are effective arrangements for leadership development and that opportunities are available to all officers and staff with leadership potential, at all levels in the organisation.