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Devon and Cornwall PEEL 2018


How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?

Last updated 20/01/2020

Devon and Cornwall Police is good in terms of its efficiency and sustainability.

It has detailed plans for the future. These are based on analysis from a range of data. There is a culture of continuous improvement, which senior leaders actively support.

The force works with many organisations to help safeguard vulnerable people. These include the emergency services, local authorities and universities.

The force has a balanced budget for the 2019/20 financial year. Its financial plans are realistic and have been subject to external review. It has a good track record of making savings. This is supported by a change programme, shared with Dorset Police.

Questions for Efficiency


How well does the force use its resources to meet the demand it faces?


Devon and Cornwall Police is good at assessing current demand. Regular data analysis helps achieve this.

It also uses business intelligence technology. A chief officer leads a demand management board. And demand modelling helps the force allocate resources. But there are vacancies in investigative teams.

The force works with other organisations to help manage demand. These include health, social care, education, public sector and other emergency services. Tri-service safety officers work with local fire, ambulance and other police forces. They make sure tri-service demand is managed efficiently.

IRCs offer the extra capacity needed to investigate and manage lower-tier criminal allegations. Investigations are done by phone. The force is assessing the difference this is making to the quality of investigations and the service to victims.

The force continues to face performance pressures in its non-emergency call-handling teams. It is improving in this area to make sure that it offers a good service.

Areas for improvement

  • The force needs to improve its call-handling performance to ensure that service quality remains at acceptable levels.

Detailed findings for question 1


How well does the force plan for the future?


The force understands the demand it is likely to face in the future. It uses recognised techniques to analyse demand and the FMS to make plans.

The force has a long-standing change programme with Dorset Police. Both forces see change as a priority. They use feedback from the public when considering changes. These are tracked to make sure benefits are realised.

The force is excellent at working collaboratively to improve services. This is impressive when taking into account the complex local authority structures. Partnership working, strategically and locally, is safeguarding people at risk of harm.

Comprehensive workforce planning is in place. A chief officer oversees this. Plans include skills audits, detailed financial plans and workforce development opportunities. This means the force is more likely to have a workforce that can meet future demand.

The FMS is a self-assessment tool. It helps forces identify current, and predict future, demand. It then helps them plan how they intend to meet those demands. The force uses FMS well to support business planning.

The joint change programme with Dorset Police has plans to improve services in nine main areas. Investment in IT and improved demand management capability are priorities. This will make sure the forces can meet demand in the future.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the force’s performance in this area.

Detailed findings for question 2