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The force says...

Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county, covering 1,979 square kilometres comprising 226,000 households. In 2012 the population was 546,600 with a 7% ethnic background. The largest towns are Nuneaton, Rugby, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Bedworth and Stratford-upon-Avon, with the majority of population in the north.

The Quality of Life Report 2015/16 shows north Warwickshire fares less well across a range of indicators. Three major motorways run through Warwickshire and provide good access for travelling criminals.

In 2011 Warwickshire Police entered into a strategic alliance with West Mercia Police, which has enabled both organisations to achieve budget reductions by operating more efficiently.

Warwickshire Police achieved savings of £28.2m over the last spending review period and further savings of £2.2m in 2015/16 and £3.5m in 2016/17. It has set a balanced budget, finding further savings of £4.7m in 2017/18, and has to find further savings of £11.6m by 2020/21.

In March 2016 Warwickshire Police had 836 police officers, 87 police community support officers and 586 police staff.

Recorded crime in Warwickshire saw a continued rise in 2016. This is linked to increases in sexual and violent crime which reflect national trends.

The chief constable works closely with counterparts in West Mercia Police, and the forces have developed a shared vision and set of values, with the ambition of being ‘great at protecting the most vulnerable.’ 2016 has seen embedding of a joint transformational change programme – Vision 2020 – to predict and respond to changing demand, improve partnership working, staff skills and bring significant development of ICT infrastructure and equipment. Changes include a new investigative model, new Operations Communications Centres in both forces, development of a single command and control system, an upgrade of the ICT operating platform, mobile and agile working pilots and plans to introduce body-worn video to frontline staff.

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

HMIC says...

Warwickshire Police provides policing services to the county of Warwickshire. Warwickshire is generally affluent. The police force area covers 763 square miles in the west midlands of England. Around 0.6 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the towns of Warwick, Nuneaton and Rugby. The resident population is increased by university students and the large numbers who visit 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 1,817 OAs in Warwickshire with an average size of 108 hectares which is bigger than the national average of 87 hectares. While the majority (54 percent) of OAs in Warwickshire are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a smaller proportion (17 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the mixture of urban and rural localities. The smallest OAs are concentrated in numerous towns of Warwickshire 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. Warwickshire has a median house price, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £227,625 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Warwickshire has 2.7 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 21.5 percent of OAs are within the top 10 percent of house prices nationally (and 6.7 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are areas of affluence and high house prices, with a small proportion of lower value housing and deprivation.

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 0.8 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Warwickshire. The highest-challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 6.4 percent of Warwickshire’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 1.5 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Warwickshire:

  • 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 Warwickshire we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 1,817 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.

Warwickshire has 147 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 14 miles (longest 39 miles and shortest 1 mile) and the average travel time of 23 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 of Warwickshire 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 Warwickshire 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.