Headlines: February 3rd, 2010

Senior figures in the police service have set out plans for reform and improvements to value for money. The joint report from a number of groups builds on the Policing White Paper and gives more details on how the service can deliver savings of at least 545 million pounds.

The recommendations have been drawn up by representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Police Authorities, the National Policing Improvement Agency, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Home Office. The report calls on chief constables to look at how they deliver services, including questioning the effectiveness of their basic command units.

The report sets out what the authors see as opportunities for forces and police authorities in England and Wales to improve their value for money. They include reforming shift patterns and cutting the bill for overtime and streamlining back office functions. It also suggests smarter procurement policies and more efficient systems and processes. HMIC is to launch an inspection of forces later this year focusing on value for money.

The ACPO lead on finance and resources, Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell, said the service had been highly creative in finding savings and would respond positively to the report’s recommendations. “Some forces have already begun a process of replacing their basic command unit structures whilst others are refining the BCU structure to deal with modern demands,” he said.

The National Policing Improvement Agency Chief Executive, Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, said the organisation would work with forces to streamline support services, achieve better procurement of goods and services, and to improve how IT supported frontline officers.