Posted: Monday 15th September 2014
No-one will pretend that change born out of financial struggle is easy. It’s not. We would much rather be redesigning a police force with access to an unlimited pot of funds rather than one with access to very little. But what makes any organisation a successful one is adaptability and how focused it remains when challenges arise. It is also about realism and the ability to face difficult times with realistic solutions. These are Nottinghamshire’s strengths and in the face of growing adversity I believe we have identified a very clear route to help keep the public safe.
This week I unveiled Delivering the Future, a strategy which outlines how policing will be shaped in the coming years according to the funding and resources available to us. Our experts have designed a new model of policing which will help us to achieve a balanced budget over the next six years (2014-2020) despite an anticipated shortfall in Government funding of more than £30m. The next Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) will not be announced until later next year but clearly we have to act now to safeguard our performance and that means change.
On a very basic level, the new model aims to make more effective use of our time and resources to achieve a better output. The relationships we’ve fostered with our partners will only strengthen as we continue to solve problems together. As well nurturing a shared ethos, we’ll also look to share physical space to provide residents with a one-stop shop to their problems and concerns. Many of our partners routinely deal with the same people and issues so by working together we can find permanent solutions.
Crucially, we are not taking policing services away from our communities, we are enhancing them. If you require a police officer, you will be able to access one. There will be police staff, volunteers and officers in frontline roles. The opportunities to report crime will expand and residents will have a number of different ways available to them by which they can seek help. But responding to the symptoms of crime will never deliver long-term improvement. Our new model recognises the value in developing a preventative approach to offending and we’re progressing a package of measures to do this including education in schools, training for frontline workers and procedures for sharing knowledge, data and best practice with our partners.
I mentioned earlier realism and the need to take stock of our current and future situation. None of us knows what the final figures will be but burying our heads is simply not an option. We need to respond now to deliver sensible and effective police services that meet public need.
Change is not only necessary but it is the only path to progression.