Suffolk PEEL 2018
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Suffolk Constabulary operates efficiently and we are satisfied that the 2017 area for improvement, relating to meeting current demands and using resources, has been addressed.
However, the force needs a clear, detailed future plan if it is to fulfil its vision of making Suffolk a safer place to live, work, travel and invest.
The force doesn’t have detailed enough recruitment and training plans to meet its future needs and it should build on its current plans to successfully make significant long-term improvements to its 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.
However, Suffolk Constabulary had an area for improvement in our 2017 inspection: it needed to put in place better processes and governance to understand its response to, and allocation of, crime, and how this affected its ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently.
The force has introduced ways to address the initial allocation and finalisation of crimes. It has significantly reduced the number of crimes awaiting initial review and allocation within its investigations management unit. In most cases, supervisors can now complete crime finalisation. The force has given supervisors training and guidance for finalising crimes. Managers oversee the unit’s performance daily. We are satisfied that this area for improvement has been addressed.
How well does the force plan for the future?
Suffolk Constabulary works to understand future demand for its services, including hidden demand. It has embraced technology to meet its needs.
The force assesses future demand, but it could do more to test its assumptions. Its FMS needs to translate into a detailed plan for the future. And its workforce needs to know about future plans and direction.
The force has a good understanding of the public’s expectations and keeps in touch with the public in several ways. However, it lacks an overarching communications plan and has yet to find out what the public thinks of changes to the local policing structure.
The force needs to be clearer about its workforce capacity and capability. It also needs to plan for its future workforce needs.
The force is working to make significant savings. However, it needs to develop a clearer plan about what it is going to do to improve and adapt to changing demands in the future.
Areas for improvement
- The force should develop clearer longer-term plans which are shared with the workforce and take into account projected future demand, resourcing requirements and changing public expectations.
- The force should undertake appropriate activities to understand fully its workforce’s capacity and capability in order to identify any gaps in meeting future requirements, put plans in place to address these, and carry these out.