Local Information in Support of the Crime Comparator

Description of the Policing Environment

Leicestershire Police provides policing services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – protecting our communities by reducing and detecting crime and anti-social behaviour.

Leicestershire has a population of around one million, a third living in the city of Leicester. The county stretches from former coalfield areas in the north to more rural areas in the east, including the County of Rutland and covers an area of approximately 2084 square kilometres (804 square miles).

The city of Leicester is one of the most diverse in the UK. More than a quarter of Leicester’s population is of Asian/British Asian origin, the largest such community in England and Wales.

There are also three large universities in the Force area, with a busy night time economy. Leicestershire has one of the UK’s major high-security jails at HMP Gartree, with two further prisons in Leicester and Rutland and a Young Offenders’ Centre.

Leicester holds the largest Diwali celebrations outside India and also hosts an annual Caribbean Carnival. Donington Park hosts large open-air concerts and motor racing events and there are a number of other sporting and entertainment venues within Leicester and Leicestershire, including a championship football club, and successful Rugby and cricket teams.

East Midlands Airport handles more than 4 million passengers annually and is the second busiest airport in the country for freight flights.

Leicestershire also has a number of large towns including Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Coalville, Hinckley and Market Harborough; Rutland has unitary status and has two towns; Oakham and Uppingham.

Leicester is ranked in the bottom 10% of the Index of Local Deprivation. By contrast, Rutland has a large number of very small settlements with low population density and a high standard of living.

Leicestershire has mixed rural and urban economies. Manufacturing and wholesale or retail trade accounts for about 40% of employment. In Leicester unemployment is higher than the regional and national average, while the county has lower than average levels.

Description of the Force

Local policing is delivered through local neighbourhood policing teams which work within local communities. These teams are managed through 15 local policing units each headed by an inspector whose responsibility is to ensure that their area receives a 24-hour policing service. To help them provide this service they are supported by specialist resources including amongst other, detectives, firearms officers, child abuse investigation unit, roads policing unit, forensic investigation, air support unit,

Over the years we have formed close working relationships with local communities, other organisations and agencies and we continue to develop and strengthen these partnerships, working together to fight crime and improve the quality of life for everyone by reducing the levels of anti-social behaviour. Increasingly the Force is working on planned operations, both as a Force, and in partnership with other regional Forces as well as with other agencies and local residents. This pro-active, intelligence led policing, with targeted operations against known problems and criminals, has proved to be very successful.

We continue to make the best use of the budget available to build a resilient and efficient police service that is able to meet demand at a local, regional, national and international level. In common with other public sector agencies the Force is faced with difficult choices in order to achieve the necessary savings of £34 million by 2015 (16% reduction).

Savings of £15 million have already been achieved, and the Force is firmly on course to achieve a further £6 million during the year 2011-12 through careful management of resources and staff.

To achieve these savings the Force is undergoing substantial reorganisation, working with regional Forces to deliver many specialist functions. However, the Force has had to reduce police establishment by 120 officers and 228 support staff. To ensure that there is minimal impact on visible policing many of the posts have been taken away from support functions or through sharing services.

We aim to make Leicestershire Police an organisation that reflects the diversity of the communities and cultures within which we operate, ensuring that in our organisational structures, decision-making processes, our ways of working, communicating and managing, diversity is welcomed and embraced.

The Force is at the forefront of new technology and processes and has led the way nationally on the implementation of mobile data terminals for all operational officers, management of resources using satellite technology (iR3) and restorative justice outcomes which all have led to reducing bureaucracy.

In 2010/2011, with the agreement of the victim, the restorative justice programme resolved approximately 3528 crimes by this method and reduced the time for frontline officers to complete each investigation by 7 hours; it also significantly reduced re-offending rates.

The Force Vision:

"To provide a service embedded within our communities through Neighbourhood Management where resources are effectively deployed to meet threat and risk, targeting those who cause most harm, ensuring the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are protected from crime and anti-social behaviour.

We will make the best use of the budget available to build a resilient and efficient police service that is able to meet demand at a local, national and international level."

This is supported by the Force Standard which is:

"Protecting our communities by reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

We will do this by focusing on:

Regardless of the challenges we face in the future, by keeping our standard at the heart of everything we do, we will deliver the level of service demanded by the diverse communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland."

Summary of Performance

While the Force keeps to a minimum the number of management performance indicators, it is important that we are able to assess our performance locally and nationally across a wide range of policing activities to ensure we offer the best policing.

The Force is in general in the middle range of all forces in terms of the geographic size of the area policed and the population that live there. The budget allocated is similarly in the mid-range when compared with other Forces nationally.

The Force has seen significant reductions across most crime categories, with an overall reduction of 12.2% in total crime – this represents approximately 10,000 fewer victims of crime compared with the previous year. It is significant that this level of reduction has been achieved at a time of considerable budgetary pressure. The challenge for the immediate period is to sustain this performance.

In general the Force has performed well in terms of crime reduction. However increasing the level of solved crimes is more challenging and the Force is committed to taking this forward as a key priority and to build on the success of our crime reduction performance

The Force is in the top third of Forces as to the quality of service and satisfaction rate that victims have while their crimes are under investigation with over 86% victim satisfaction for the way all crimes are handled by police.

Whilst this performance is good, the Force recognises that it can do better and further effort will be placed to make sure the public, especially victims, receive the highest quality of service we can provide.

When considering the cost of policing per head population The Force’s financial profile and value for money data is very encouraging and demonstrates that our efficiency and use of resources is positive.

Leicestershire Police is 5th in its most similar group of forces, at £187.77 per head population, and midrange nationally. However, the Force will continue to exploit new and emerging opportunities to build up its current good financial management.

In terms of workforce numbers, as with financial management, our workforce structure within the range of all Forces is also positive. Leicestershire Police is placed 5th in its most similar group of forces, employing 3.59 people per 1,000 population. It has 2.2 officers per 1,000 population, the highest number in its most similar group of forces, and midrange nationally. Opportunities are continually exploited to ensure we improve – for example, in coming months we will be introducing more specialised civilian investigators to equalise the split between police and support staff in the investigation of crime. This approach allows more officers to remain in visible policing roles.

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