Gwent Police Maintains ‘Good Rating’ for Third Year in a Row
The Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Leadership report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) today has graded Gwent Police on its leadership, how it currently uses its resources and how it plans to do so in the future.
As part of the government’s objectives to cut public spending, central funding to the police service in Gwent has been reduced in real terms by nearly 40% since 2008. The Police Service across England and Wales has faced a difficult challenge in sustaining effective levels of policing in the face of significant budget cuts. HMICFRS considers a police service to be efficient if it operates in a way that makes the most of its available resources. It expects police services to understand what their demand is i.e. what work they can reasonably predict they will have on any given day and ensure that they have the resources they need, in the right places to meet that demand. To stay efficient, the police must have good, realistic and evidence-based plans for the future.
Following a recent inspection, Gwent Police received an overall rating of ‘Good’ (the second highest grade possible) in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
The report also highlights that Gwent Police has:
- Maintained a strong financial position with sound financial planning.
- Achieved improvements in efficiency through working in collaboration.
- Made significant savings since 2010/11 and many of these savings have been achieved ahead of schedule.
- Been proactive in seeking out new opportunities for service improvement, which has resulted in innovative and improved service to the public.
- Made good use of technology to achieve its understanding of demand.
- Good governance structures in place to identify waste and inefficiency.
- A good understanding of the skills and capabilities it needs now and in the future.
- An investment plan, in line with the Police and Crime Plan, which prioritises investment to deal with matters such as hidden crime, technology and developing its workforce.
HMICFRS concludes that Gwent Police is a good police service and has not identified any causes for concern.
Acknowledging the performance of Gwent Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “As Commissioner I am responsible for maintaining an efficient and effective police service for our communities. I am pleased to see that HMICFRS has highlighted a number of areas of good work by Gwent Police in achieving this. I am also aware of the difficulties faced in balancing the efficiency of the service with the demands of delivering policing services to our communities. In that respect, I sincerely hope that cuts to the policing service are not continued as we need to ensure that the service the public receives from Gwent Police is in no way reduced whilst we continue to seek ways to be more efficient. ”
Mr Cuthbert added: “I am confident that the areas for improvement identified, particularly in relation to understanding future demand on policing services, are already being addressed proactively by the Chief Constable and I will continue to monitor progress on this work.”
The Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Julian Williams said “To be rated “Good” for a third consecutive year against this critical metric is testament to our having a sound understanding of current demand for our services and an ability to plan accordingly. HMICFRS has also seen that Gwent Police has good governance structures in place to identify waste and inefficiency, that it encourages staff feedback and turns it into operational improvement, and that it is prepared to innovate and make good use of emerging technologies. We want to keep improving and we welcome HMICFRS’ constructive feedback, for example in relation to modelling future demand. In maintaining and improving the Force’s performance, my priority is to ensure we have officers on the ground to respond to and reassure communities across Gwent and to protect the most vulnerable in society.”
For further information and to access the full report visit the HMICFRS website http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/