Forces come together to ‘Understand Police Demand’


Senior officers and partners from across the country will come together at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters tomorrow (Tuesday 19th May) to discuss and better understand the changing nature of demand affecting the police.

The ‘Understanding Police Demand’ Workshop will feature presentations and workshops and will be opened by Lancashire’s Chief Constable Steve Finnigan who is also National Policing Lead for Performance Management, alongside speakers from the College of Policing, HMIC and the London School of Economics.

Representatives from the HMIC, Home Office, fire service, health, ambulance service, national offender management and local authorities will also be at the event.

Those attending will seek to determine through collaborative working how they can share knowledge and best practice and continue to develop approaches to deal with demand, protect the most vulnerable members of society and add public value.

Chief Constable Steve Finnigan said: “As a police service we are facing diminishing budgets and other resourcing pressures, at a time when statistics show that crime is falling and yet we feel busier than ever before.  We are therefore all looking to develop our approaches to service delivery, whilst at the same time being cognisant of the changing context in which we operate. Critical to this debate is our understanding of ‘demand.’

“Our ability to both measure and model our response to demand is a critical part of our business, and one that we need to address if we are to be able to provide a properly resourced and funded service locally, regionally and nationally. This has never been more relevant than at a time when demands for our services are rising and our partners face similar challenges.

“The challenges now are to consider emerging crime types, the increased complexity of crimes and investigations and the need for early intervention as an investment in preventing harm and reducing vulnerability.”

The first national picture of the breadth and complexity of the work undertaken by the police was published by the College of Policing in January 2015.

The analysis showed the incoming and on-going work of the police and suggested that an increasing amount of police time is directed towards public protection work such as managing high-risk offenders and protecting victims who are at risk and often vulnerable.

The analysis showed that in the past five years the number of police officers has fallen by 11 per cent. On a typical day in a typical force there is approximately one officer on duty for every 1,753 people living in a force area.

The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) Performance Management Co-ordination Committee and the College of Policing are continuing their work to develop a true understanding of demand in order to improve Police performance in keeping communities safe. 

The College of Policing analysis indicates there are emerging pressures on police resilience – namely decreased levels of police visibility and increasing requests for mutual aid. It also shows that incidents involving people with mental health issues appear to be increasing.

In some forces, public safety and concern for welfare incidents now represent the largest category of recorded incidents.

College of Policing chief executive officer Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: “The demand evidence we have completed so far presents a clear picture of what the police are doing on a daily basis in local communities. In every force decisions have to be made about priorities and where to place resources. The analysis assists in that decision making.

“The evidence shows that while the number of crimes may have fallen, the level of demand on police resources has not reduced in the same way. The changing mix of crime means that over the past 10 years, investigating and preventing crime has become more complex, and the costs of crime for the police have not fallen as much as overall numbers of crimes. Complex crimes such as child abuse and domestic violence are also understandably taking up more police time.

“The work completed so far seeks to measure demand at a national level and the College will build on this early evidence base by working with forces to develop consistent approaches to map demand and to help inform policy decisions.”

Lancashire Police @LancsPolice will be tweeting live from the event using the hashtag #PoliceDemand. They will also be tweeting about incidents they are attending throughout the day. 

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