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  1. Policing in Austerity • Zoë Billingham • HM Inspector of Constabulary • 17 September 2013

  2. HMIC Policing in Austerity - key findings Response to the challenge has been good • HMIC recognises the hard work that has contributed to this success Most forces have plans to balance their books • Forces need to save £2.42bn and have plans in place for £2.31bn (95%) Quality of service is being maintained • Nationally crime has fallen by 13% since 2010/11 and victim satisfaction is rising The frontline is being protected but not preserved • Proportion on the frontline is increasing even though total numbers are decreasing A risk that neighbourhood policing may be eroded • Some neighbourhood teams now have response and investigative responsibilities

  3. Impact on the workforce • Planned workforce reductions are broadly in line with last year • Overall the workforce is planned to reduce by 31,600 people (13%) by 2015 • Forces are striving to protect the workforce • 27% of savings are planned from non-pay, despite it being only 20% of the cost base • 73% of savings are planned to come from pay (down from 76% last year)

  4. Police officers on the frontline The percentage of officers forces plan to have on the frontline by March 2015 ranges from 88% to 97%

  5. Impact on the public Crime is falling and victim satisfaction is rising • Crime has fallen by 13% since 2010/11 • Victim satisfaction increased from 82.2% to 84.6% in the same period How the public access services is changing • 461 front counters and 219 police stations (with no public access) to close to reduce costs and modernise • 108 front counters in shared locations (libraries and shopping centres) to open • Alternative access to communities through ‘shop fronts’; surgery times; mobile police stations Early warning signs on response times • Noticeable decline in forces meeting their own response times for emergency and priority calls

  6. Impact on neighbourhood policing Neighbourhood responsibilities are expanding • Increasingly neighbourhood teams investigate volume crime and respond to emergency and non-emergency calls • PCSOs and special constables are the foundation for neighbourhood policing in some areas Neighbourhood policing, based in the community and focused on prevention, builds public confidence and reduces crime • This work may be crowded out at the expense of reactive policing Risk that the neighbourhood model of policing could be eroded • HMIC and College of Policing to review in autumn

  7. Partnership working • Joint working remains essential • Concerns about ‘collateral demand’ and ‘service of last resort’ • Impact on policing examples given include: • Ambulance Service • Mental Health • one force estimated 25% of officer time on mental health issues • people suffering from mental health issues more likely to be victims of crime • a third of cases where mentally ill people are detained for their own safety, the place of safety is not a hospital but a police cell • joint response units – police and nurses responding to mental health incidents eg Sussex, Devon & Cornwall, Leicestershire

  8. Keeping the public safe • Hidden and under-reported crimes • Cyber crime • Child sexual exploitation • Domestic abuse • Planned HMIC inspections • Planned multi-agency inspections • Vital role of Police and Crime Commissioners

  9. Summary • Response by police forces to the challenge has been good • Most forces have plans to balance their books • Quality of service is being maintained but concerns for future • The frontline is being protected but not preserved • A risk that neighbourhood policing may be eroded • Partnership working is ever more important with budgets reducing