The force is facing unprecedented financial challenge.
The government has indicated that public sector organisations need to expect cuts of between 25% and 40%. For Leicestershire Police, this means further savings of between £17m and £28m.
The exact figure will not be known until the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on 25 November. This is on top of savings of £36.1 million which the force made between 2010 and 2015.
Blueprint 2020 has been set up to look at how our future savings can be made and how the force will look, feel and operate in the coming years. Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said;
“Leicestershire Police has a strong tradition of innovation and good performance. Crime is low, it is currently 26% lower than it was five years ago. We want to continue to perform well and give a good service but that has to be done with a much smaller budget and that does mean that things will have to change. We will have to become smaller, more efficient and smarter in how we operate if the force is to be more cost effective.
“As with any significant transformational programme there will inevitably be some difficult decisions to be made, but change is not necessarily bad. This is also about doing things differently and improving the way we do things to offer a different service that is still responsive to the needs of local communities.
“We know how important neighbourhood policing is to people in our communities and we are determined to keep officers at the heart of their communities by sharing buildings with other organisations.
“We are exploring ‘agile working’ – how our staff can be based in a range of buildings but still have access to police systems. This might mean that we close those police buildings which are too big and expensive to run. We are also looking to develop our online presence to increase the ways in which people can contact the police. We have to operate in a modern way and be accessible in a way that people expect today.
“No decisions have yet been made. We will continue to talk with the Police and Crime Commissioner; our staff; the trade unions and staff associations; our partners and our communities to gather their thoughts, ideas and suggestions as that will help influence and shape our decision making.”
The Blueprint 2020 team is looking at a wide range of ways to save money including the equipment we use, the vehicles we drive and the buildings we are based in. However, with 83% of our budget spent on salaries the force will inevitably need to operate with fewer officers and staff.
The team is also looking at how the force can take advantage of technology which can be used by the public, such as encouraging victims and witnesses to report and track crime on line and contact officers through online services.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader said
“While I fully support the aims and ambitions of this programme, it’s the Chief Constable’s responsibility to design a force that will deliver my Police and Crime Plan notwithstanding the challenges posed by the budgetary situation.
“I am pleased to have been involved throughout the programme’s development and I feel certain that the force will inform and involve our partners throughout the future development and implementation phases.”
Five key themes
‘Blueprint’ has five key themes;
- Investing in people – getting the right people with the right skills, developing the right culture and defining the shape and size of the force for the future.
- Enabling the workforce – building a strong foundation for change. This work stream will look at agile working, police buildings, fleet and IT.
- Understanding demand – helping us understand and reduce our demand, provide alternative ways to interact with the force, enable victims and witnesses to use technology to ‘self-serve’ by giving them a choice on how to report and track crime.
- Partnerships and collaboration – working with partners to reduce demand in key areas, delivering more coherent shared services and better use shared data.
- Services, functions and processes – redesigning how we work to be faster, more informed, more efficient and use technology to reduce costs.
For the latest updates on Blueprint 2020 please see the leics. police website at www.leics.police.uk