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The force says...

Derbyshire is an economically, culturally and ethnically diverse county, with a population over 1 million where 8% are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. The county ranges from the vibrant city of Derby to former mining communities and the moorlands of the Peak District National Park that attracts 10 million visitors each year.

Derby is a manufacturing base for worldwide brands and a centre for technology and innovation that attracts higher education establishments increasing the local population with 35,000 students.

Policing is becoming more complex, with threats from fraud, paedophilia, cyber-crime, organised crime and terrorism. Protecting the vulnerable is a key aim and includes those suffering child sexual abuse and domestic abuse (17,413 domestic incidents in 2015/16).

To deliver the police and crime commissioner’s priorities and provide a high quality policing service, the force works closely with partner agencies and collaborates with other regional forces. 2016 saw a newly built joint headquarters with the fire service that provides a more efficient and joined up service for our communities. We are committed to local policing through neighbourhood policing teams and strong community safety partnerships.

In 2015/16 the force dealt with 304,409 incidents resulting in 53,007 crimes – a 2.9% rise on the previous year, against a 8.0% rise nationally. Recorded crime in Derbyshire has reduced by 50% over the last ten years.

In the last seven years, the force has lost 371 police officer and 270 staff posts and employs 1,766 police officer posts and 1,340 staff. The force spends £160 per head of population, which is £40 below the national average. We continue to remain an efficient force with public confidence is at its highest level in years, with nearly 77% stating they have confidence in Derbyshire Constabulary. Our commitment is simple: To provide a high-quality service to everyone in Derbyshire.

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

HMIC says...

Derbyshire Constabulary provides policing services to the county of Derbyshire. The police force area covers 1,013 square miles in the east midlands of England. Although there are some areas of affluence, Derbyshire is generally poor. Around one million people live in a predominantly rural setting. Its numerous distinct urban areas include the city of Derby and the towns of Chesterfield and Matlock. The population is increased by university students and the very large numbers who visit, socialise in, or travel through the county.

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 3,348 OAs in Derbyshire with an average size of 78 hectares which is smaller than the national average of 87 hectares. While the majority (56 percent) of OAs in Derbyshire are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a smaller proportion (12 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the mixture of urban and rural localities. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Derby, Chesterfield and the numerous small towns 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. Derbyshire has a median house price, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £154,481 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Derbyshire has 11.3 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 6.5 percent of OAs are within the top 10 percent of house prices nationally (and 1.6 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are areas of lower value housing and deprivation, with some affluent areas of more expensive housing.

The demands for police services are not the same in every area of England and Wales.  Our analysis has revealed that the socio-demographic characteristics of an area influence the demands for police services in that area.

In every police force, there is a concentration of predicted demands in a small number of its OAs. Taking England and Wales as a whole the most challenging 1,811 (1 percent) of these account for 10.8 percent of all the predicted incidents.  We have designated these areas of very high challenge and found that they are characterised by a high concentration of people living, working, socialising or travelling in the area.  Features which both cause and/or indicated a concentration of people include the number of commercial premises, including licensed premises, fast food premises, public transport and social deprivation.  In some areas, these features are in combination.

Some 0.9 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Derbyshire. The highest-challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 5.7 percent of Derbyshire’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 0.4 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Derbyshire:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of incidents is lower than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is lower than 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 lower than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at incidents is lower than 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 at crimes is lower than the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Derbyshire we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 1,013 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.

Derbyshire has 91 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 16 miles (longest 47 miles and shortest 0.4 miles) and the average travel time of 28 minutes from the centre of the force to each OA are lower than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size, variety and complexity of Derbyshire.

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 Derbyshire 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.