More about this area

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The force says...

Northumbria Police area includes two cities, four universities, three heavily-populated urban areas, many large retail areas, leisure facilities, a vibrant night-time economy and extensive rural landscapes; it includes areas amongst the most deprived in the country and high levels of unemployment.

Some 18% of the population is aged over 65. Some 29% of families (181,208) have someone with a long-term health problem or disability.

There are 3,231 police officers, 1,454 police staff and 164 police community support officers – supported by volunteers, including special constables and police cadets.

Last year, the force received 978,146 calls to 999 and 101, dealt with 428,929 incidents and investigated 94,002 crimes. Northumbria is committed to delivering victim-oriented service and this includes engaging victims in the way offenders are dealt with.

A dedicated Safeguarding Department sits at the heart of Northumbria’s clear aspiration to be outstanding in the delivery of services and protecting the public, especially regarding those who are vulnerable; with a joined-up approach that includes partners as well as the public.

Cyber-crime and anti-terrorism capabilities are increasing.  The Force is part of the National Armed Uplift Programme, resulting in additional armed officers on patrol to reassure members of the public and deter terrorism and/or criminality.

Northumbria continues to achieve consistently high levels of victim satisfaction, which is an on-going priority. People living in the force area feel safe, with perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour falling year-on-year.

Northumbria has the lowest precept of all forces in England and Wales, with over 86% of total funding from central government. Consequently the force has lost more funding, since 2010, than any other force, through Government Grant cuts.

Since 2010/11 savings of £123.4 million have been achieved, with further savings of £23.2 million planned over the next three years to 2019/20.

The budget for 2016/17 is £266.84 million.

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

HMIC says...

Northumbria Police provides policing services to the counties of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. The police force area covers 2,144 square miles with approximately 140 miles of coastline in the north east England. Although there are some affluent areas, Northumbria has a high level of poverty. Around 1.4 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the cities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sunderland, as well as a number of smaller towns on the coast. The resident population is increased by university students and the large numbers who visit, socialise in, or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes major rail stations and air and sea ports.

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 4,879 OAs in Northumbria with an average size of 114 hectares which is bigger than the national average of 87 hectares. While the majority (71 percent) of OAs in Northumbria are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a smaller proportion (six percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the mixture of urban and rural localities. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sunderland 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. Northumbria has a median house price, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £123,367 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Northumbria has 31.7 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 4.5 percent of OAs are within the top 10 percent of house prices nationally (and 1.5 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are large areas of lower value housing and deprivation, with a small proportion of acute affluence and high house prices.

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 2.0 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Northumbria. The highest challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 6.9 percent of Northumbria’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 1.0 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Northumbria:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of incidents 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 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;
  • 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 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 at crimes 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 Northumbria we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 4,879 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.

Northumbria has 151 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 9 miles (longest 67 miles and shortest 0.1 miles) and the average travel time of 18 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 and complexity of Northumbria 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 Northumbria 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.