Monday, 2 July 2012

Cheshire Police's financial planning scrutinised

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has carried out a review of all 43 police forces in England and Wales to see how each of the forces was managing and planning to manage the 20% reduction in central funding between 2011-15.

HMIC is very satisfied with the changes that Cheshire police are making.  It believes that all the savings that need to be made will be made by 2015 and that an increasing proportion of police officers and staff will be carrying out front line activities.  There is even some suggestion that the Cheshire police may be able to exceed the savings target.

Cheshire police is more successful than the England and Wales average at driving down crime rates - and the reported 'customer satisfaction' rate of 86% shows that more victims are satisfied by Cheshire police's performance than is the case nationwide.

The HMIC report also makes the point that notwithstanding the cuts that have been made there appears to be no demonstrable effect on the work the police is carrying out in Cheshire.

That is quite a stunning assessment - and also perhaps an indictment of the attitude of the former Labour Government whose first approach was to pour more money into the public services rather than expect them to operate more efficiently and effectively.  Just think about the money that could, and indeed should have been saved throughout the 2000s - if all our public servants could have been at least 20% more efficient!   The black whole in the public finances wouldn't have been as bad as it is.