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Sharing insights from our police demand roundtable

Ellie Covell, Strategy and Insight Manager

Wednesday 9 October 2019

At Crest, we are always keen to share our insights with people and organisations who help to build a safer and more secure society. Doing this tests our thinking, gives us helpful feedback and new ideas, and introduces us to new partners in criminal justice.

Last week, Harvey, Ellie and Savas presented at a police demand roundtable hosted by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, drawing on our recent work for his force.

Representatives from each of the East Midlands Police Forces, the Home Office, Cabinet Office, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services, the College of Policing and the Police Foundation all attended to discuss the challenges facing police forces in meeting and planning for demand. Paul Lander from Police Professional also joined us to report on the issues raised.

We kicked off by presenting our findings from the modelling we had done in Nottinghamshire, setting out the scale and type of demand faced by police, before opening up a discussion on approaches to quantifying demand. A huge number of important issues were raised, from communicating decision-making and trade-offs to the public, to working collaboratively to meet demand, and from evidencing the impact of prevention work to the difference between need and demand.

Discussion was lively and, as is often the case with such events, really brought home the importance of getting our work right, and the value we can add to public services.

Rick Muir introduced some work the Police Foundation are carrying out on understanding public priorities for policing, which sparked an interesting debate about how police forces could make better use of demand data to open up dialogue with the public that they serve – HMICFRS provided feedback on force management statements, which sparked further discussion around the quantification of demand in terms of workload. And East Midlands Police colleagues gave us a clear steer about the need for a scientific approach to help forces to quantify the impact of prevention and early intervention work on demand. All of this was really helpful food for thought as we develop the next phase of our work.

Policing currently faces numerous challenges, with thousands of officers working all hours to respond to the public and investigate crimes. Demand is ever-increasing, both in terms of the volume of incidents phoned in, and the workload associated with investigations. Doubtless the 20,000 uplift will help, with forces now knowing how many extra officers they should recruit in 2020/2021. But big questions remain. For example, what is coming down the tracks at them? What skills and capabilities will make the biggest difference? In fact, will 20,000 be enough? (This is a question we’ve tried to answer in a recent blog).

We are now looking forward to the next phase of our work with renewed focus, to support more forces to be able to answer these questions and so plan for and manage their demand.

You can find out more about the demand modelling work we’ve done for Nottinghamshire Police on our Demand page, where you can read case studies, slide packs and our most recent blogs.


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