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The force says...

Nottinghamshire Police serves more than a million people, with a third living in the busy city of Nottingham.

Crime reduced in Nottinghamshire by 11.9% between 2010/11 – 2014/15. Over the last year there have been significant rises in sexual offences, hate crime, domestic abuse and violence against the person resulting from increased victim confidence, greater compliance with national crime recording standards. Emerging crime threats (including child sexual exploitation and cyber) place further complex investigative and safeguarding demands on the force.

Despite featuring an award-winning night-time economy, two popular universities and several major global companies, there are also rural areas and places of rural intense social deprivation including former coal fields and wards, meaning Nottingham is ranked England’s eighth most deprived local district.

The force has saved around £43 million since 2010, requiring a significant redesign of how it works, adapting to demand changes, fully collaborating with neighbouring forces, sharing some services, and in other areas totally integrating with partners, including the Community Protection service, in conjunction with Nottingham City Council.

With around 80% of budgets spent on salaries, there will be fewer buildings and fewer people in the future. The workforce is 20% smaller than in 2010 and will continue to reduce by 2019.

To maintain a high-quality service and deliver the priorities set by the Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner, within these significant financial constraints, the force is collaborating extensively, working ever more closely with partners and introducing transformational changes across the force including enhanced digital services for the public and staff and looking at the potential for a strategic alliance with neighbouring forces.

The force has around 2,026.26 full-time equivalent police officers and 1,420.29 full-time equivalent police staff, including police community support officers and a team of dedicated volunteers that includes over 225 special constables and around 54 police cadets.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Nottinghamshire Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.

HMIC says...

Nottinghamshire Police provides policing services to the county of Nottinghamshire. The police force area covers 834 square miles in the east midlands of England. Although there are some more affluent areas, Nottinghamshire has a high level of poverty. Around 1.1 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the city of Nottingham, as well as the towns of Mansfield and Newark-on-Trent. The population is ethnically diverse, with 11 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by university students and the large number who visit, socialise in, or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes major rail stations.

England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.

There are 3,596 OAs in Nottinghamshire with an average size of 60 hectares which is smaller than the national average of 87 hectares. While the majority (67 percent) of OAs in Nottinghamshire are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a smaller proportion (9 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the mixture of urban and rural localities. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Nottingham and the towns of Nottinghamshire with the largest spread across the more sparsely populated rural areas.

The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.

HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. Nottinghamshire has a median house price of £135,574 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£254,549). Excluding the least expensive ten percent and the most expensive ten percent of house prices, there is a 96 percent difference between low and high prices within the force area, suggesting that there are some areas of affluence as well as poverty.

The predicted number of incidents for each OA varies considerably. In Nottinghamshire, one percent of the OAs accounts for 11 percent of the predicted demands for police services – this is 0.6 percent of the total force area.

A concentration of predicted demands in a small number of OAs is a feature of every police force. We have designated these OAs (approximately 1,800 throughout England and Wales) as a very high challenge to police. These areas of very high challenge are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.

Within Nottinghamshire:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is broadly in line with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is broadly in line with the national level of one percent; and
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance is broadly in line with the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Nottinghamshire we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 3,596 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds, and indicate the size of the area and the quality of its road network.

Nottinghamshire has 243 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 9.5 miles (longest 39 miles and shortest 0.9 miles) and the average travel time of 19 minutes are lower than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size complexity of Nottinghamshire and the nature of its roads.

While the concentration of demands in a small number of locations (covering a very small area) may be helpful in focusing resources, it is not the totality of demand. The provision of services extends beyond those areas that are a very high challenge to police and includes the least challenging and most remote areas. The challenge of providing services throughout Nottinghamshire is a function of many things including the size and topography of the area, the road network and how congested the roads are. These considerations influence how police resources are organised and managed – for example, where police officers are based and their working patterns.