Failing police collaborations cost forces money, time and effort
Collaboration between police forces when done well can save money, reduce bureaucracy and improve efficiency and effectiveness. However, too many police collaborations are failing, or not giving the results they should. This is costing forces money, time and effort, we said in a report published today.
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The report looks specifically at how forces collaborate in order to provide better, more efficient services to the public. The Hard Yards: Police to Police Collaboration is based on findings from HMICFRS’s Integrated PEEL Assessments (IPA) inspections for 2018/19.
Inspectors found that:
- too many collaborations do not have a clear purpose or objective that is understood by all involved;
- some forces are not tracking the benefits of collaboration and fail to think beyond financial savings;
- complicated and bureaucratic decision-making undermines the effectiveness of many collaborations; and
- some forces are failing to put people with the right skills in their collaborations and are not effectively sharing learning.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said:
“Nationally forces are spending over a quarter of a billion pounds on collaboration every year. Collaboration done well can save money, reduce bureaucracy and improve efficiency and effectiveness. It also allows forces to club together to provide specialist services that they couldn’t provide individually, and they help forces to learn from best practice. Ultimately, collaborations can improve the service that forces give to the public.
“But too many police collaborations are failing, or not giving the results they should, costing forces money, time and effort. In this report we make recommendations about what forces can do to collaborate successfully and productively. We have also made recommendations to national organisations to improve the support given to police forces as they collaborate.
“We urge forces and the national organisations that support their vital work to reflect on these recommendations and put them into action to improve police efficiency and effectiveness.”
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- In March 2020 we suspended our inspection activity to enable forces and fire and rescue services to focus on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We deferred this report’s publication as part of this suspension. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor comments in detail on this as part of his annual assessment of policing, published on 2 July 2020. Our findings in this report are based upon evidence we collected before the pandemic was declared. Care should be taken if seeking to make links between our findings and police performance during the lockdown.
- For further information, HMICFRS’s press office can be contacted from 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.