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Where Are All The Police? – An Analysis of Police Resources


REFORMS FOR DISCUSSION 1. GOVERNANCE. The Governance model of policing must be sorted once and for all.


• The tripartite model of Home Office, Police Authority & Chief Constable is at best opaque with a mass confusion over roles and responsibilities. The professional governance of the police service (the whole HMIC / ACPO / APA / HO / NPIA / HMIC / SOCA / 43CC / IPCC etc) is a confused mess and needs a shake up. The phasing out of the NPIA and the changes to the SOCA model are an indication that the Coalition are treating the challenges seriously. There are far too many quangos and bureaucratic empires and fiefdoms. The expertise and skills contained within the multitude of departments need identifying and consolidating, applying the value for money formulas for individuals and areas.


• The status of ACPO, together with its 349 members needs to be remodeled and repositioned so that its accountability is increased and transparent. For confidence to return, it must start from the top, with a governance structure that makes it accountable to those who fund it, rather than the self perpetuating oligarchy that pervades at present.


• Is there a need for 43 different separately governed forces within England and Wales? Is this really the most efficient and fiscally cost effective way to run the service?


• Make collaboration and mergers really work this time. Beyond a few notable projects - many of which were bank rolled by the Home Office - most of the rest are stuck in quagmire of details.


2. COSTS & CUTS. After years of growth the service is under increasing pressure to demonstrate they are more financially efficient.


• Shared service and shared procurement are becoming more essential. Many of the proposed cuts and savings could be effectively delivered by smarter volume central purchasing arrangements and sharing of resources. HR is an example. Why do 43 forces have 43 HR departments when massive savings could be achieved with one central HR function?


• The same principle should be applied for all areas of procurement. Equipment and services sourced centrally would deliver millions in savings. HMIC predict that £5billion could be saved by better procurement over a ten year period. The challenge is demonstrating that as a public service the police are strong on value and low on waste. Inspection bodies such as the HMIC and Audit Commission are creating more scrutiny on Forces and the Authorities that govern them.


• STOP paying interim ICT consultants vast sums of money for doing maintenance work or else assembling cases for next piece of spend.


3. RESOURCES. The most effective application of human resources. From the top down, forces must look at the roles occupied by senior officers right down to the management of the front line.


• Of 143,000 warranted officers, only 11% (BEST CASE) are at any one time visibly policing the streets.


• How can ACPO justify 349 ACC ranks and above, when only 220 are engaged directly in force duties. A critical analysis of the rank structure is well overdue. It has been suggested that the Chief Superintendent and Chief Inspector ranks are superfluous to operational needs. Why are there so many supervisory, rather than 'doing' ranks within the service? How many ACPO officers are really needed?


• Civilianisation running at 82,000, costing £2.7billion (£62 million in non forecast overtime) people has clearly escalated out of kilter. Box ticking, flow chart creating departments and individuals, many of whom impede the delivery of common sense policing rather than support it, must be justified as truly necessary or not.


• Assuming that 40'ish% of warranted officers (allowing for shift patterns and rest days) are assigned to front line roles, this raises the question, "What are the other 85,000 officers doing?" Accepted that some back office functions require a warranted officer, surely there are many thousands that should be redeployed back to directly policing and serving the community. This


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