Gloucestershire PEEL 2016
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Gloucestershire Constabulary has been assessed as good in respect of how efficient it is in keeping people safe and reducing crime. HMIC found that the constabulary is very well prepared to face its future financial challenges. It has a good understanding of current and future demand for its services, and the force is keen to develop technical opportunities to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
Gloucestershire Constabulary has a good understanding of current and future demand for the services it provides. This is based on a wide range of management information. The constabulary understands its current workforce capabilities and gaps. It has strong performance management arrangements in place and it is developing new methods of working to improve services and manage demand more efficiently. This is encouraging and builds on HMIC’s inspection of efficiency in 2015 when the constabulary was also judged to be good.
The constabulary adopts a flexible approach to the management of resources, which are aligned with areas of the greatest threat, risk and harm. Financial and workforce planning arrangements complement this approach; additionally, they focus directly on high and emerging areas of demand.
HMIC found that Gloucestershire Constabulary is very well prepared to face its future financial challenges. The constabulary is keen to develop technological opportunities to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Over the course of the past year, it has made considerable investment in its information and communication technology (ICT); this investment has been made with the dual objective of digitising policing services and facilitating wider collaboration with neighbouring police forces.
How well does the force understand the current and likely future demand?
Gloucestershire Constabulary has a good understanding of the current, and likely future, demand for the services it provides. A new operating model has been introduced that will enable the force to handle future changes in demand and make sure that the service it provides is in line with operational requirements. The constabulary has a continuing programme to find new ways of working and eliminate wastage and inefficiencies in business processes.
The constabulary uses a number of methods to identify and assess new and emerging demands on its services. These take account of the constabulary’s obligations to national policing and the more globalised nature of offending, particularly crime which is committed through use of the internet.
The force understands the potential impact that the budgetary restraints faced by its operational partners may have on its own services. These are managed through a risk register; contingency plans are in place should the constabulary have to adjust how it operates as a consequence of a reduction in the services provided by partner organisations.
How well does the force use its resources to manage current demand?
Gloucestershire Constabulary is good at using its resources to manage current demand. It has a good knowledge of the capability within its workforce and much has been done to ensure that the right skills are available to meet demand. The constabulary adopts a flexible approach to the management of resources to address areas of threat, risk and harm; it adjusts and prioritises resourcing levels in response to the changing operational environment.
The constabulary understands its current workforce capabilities and gaps using a range of information. It has completed a skills audit of its officers to identify shortfalls in the capability of the workforce. This information has been used to develop the constabulary’s future training curriculum.
The constabulary tracks the impact of change and the demand on resources. It uses this information to define how it will operate in the future. The constabulary is well advanced in establishing its cyber-crime capabilities; it aims to be a centre of excellence nationally.
The constabulary is constantly striving to strengthen its services through increased collaboration with other forces and emergency services. It is developing new methods of working to improve its policing services and is keen to develop technological opportunities to improve effectiveness. Over the course of the past year, the constabulary has made considerable investment in ICT to introduce digitally enabled business transformation.
Areas for improvement
- Gloucestershire Constabulary should develop a better understanding of how the benefits of investing in and using ICT affect the force’s ability to meet current and likely future demand efficiently, with a view to updating its ICT strategy.
How well is the force planning for demand in the future?
Gloucestershire Constabulary is good at planning for demand in the future. It has plans to save more than it needs to balance its budget during the three years to 2019/20. The surplus will provide the investment needed to increase officer numbers, expand the special constabulary and invest in new ICT programmes. It intends to recruit a substantial number of new police officers and to increase the officer establishment to 1,100 (FTE) by 2020. This includes the recruitment of new officers and officers transferring from other forces.
The constabulary’s plans include a focus on the digitalisation of policing services, and it has an ambitious transformation programme aimed at the modernisation of services. Over the next year, the constabulary intends to make the next step change in digital transformation and it has commissioned an external company to provide expert advice and support. The constabulary has also increased investment in technology to support effective collaborative work in the southwest.