KPMG land top management consultancy award with Bedfordshire Police
KPMG’s policing team continues to show its winning credentials, landing the 2016 Management Consultancy Association Award (MCA) for Performance Improvement in the Public Sector Award with Bedfordshire Police.
Bedfordshire Police is a unique force. It receives one of the lowest levels of funding per officer per head of the population but has the issues and complexities of a large urban area. In autumn 2014, the force was struggling to identify budget savings, and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) had serious concerns regarding its performance, the understanding of demand and the longer term financial viability. The force decided to seek outside support to help it redesign local policing, to both improve performance and reduce costs.
Working with the Force Quality Improvement Programme (FQIP), KPMG were given the challenge of redesigning and implementing the new local policing model within six months. In five weeks the team had developed a comprehensive understanding of policing demand, how it was currently managed and how this could potentially change in the future. It made stark reading for the Command Team but as Deputy Chief Constable Mark Collins said, “the style and personality of the KPMG team guaranteed we could work well together. When they put different ideas on the table they did so carefully and sensitively. They came in with a genuine desire to deliver a better police service.”
The joint team subsequently set about co-designing a future model of policing that addressed the issues raised by the frontline, but also delivered on the Command Team’s desire for a stronger “Team Bedfordshire”. A style of policing that removed functional silos, built omni-competence and had more officers and staff embedded in communities were key design requirements. The design process itself was critical in building support and ultimately ensuring a successful implementation. The Chief Superintendents and Heads of Department who led each business area were intimately involved in designing the future.
Wholesale changes were made to processes, structures and resourcing. A new response-base was established to improve service in the middle of the county, volume crime was owned by bigger community teams, functional silos were removed and targeted training provided to support omni-competence. The principles of focusing on threat, harm and risk and resourcing to demand underpinned all aspects of the model.
The FQIP and KPMG team implemented the revised model in June 2015, providing face to face support to impacted teams in the first few weeks of embedding. A revised performance and benefits framework was developed to help the force understand the impact or issues with the changes. “We now have a far better understanding of data and can analyse trends to make informed insights, which help us make practical operational changes. Performance reporting and monitoring has improved hugely, helping us to hold our nerve over results rather than making ‘knee jerk’ instant decisions, as we’re more confident in the sustainability of our ideas,” said Paul Cook, a Chief Inspector on the programme.
The tangible improvements are clear. Response times have improved, investigation outcomes are better and victim satisfaction is increasing. Bedfordshire’s Chief Constable, Jon Boutcher observed, “The impact of the project has been huge in terms of how it has changed the way Bedfordshire Police delivers its front-line services. The model is working and we are seeing improvements in key performance areas. The challenges Bedfordshire Police face remain significant, however we have made a strong start to our change programme and KPMG have been a significant partner in the process so far.
”Andy Lea, KPMG’s lead for policing in the UK commented “We are immensely proud to receive the MCA Award for our work with Bedfordshire Police. It builds on past MCA Awards with PSNI (2015), West Midlands (2013) and Olympic Security (2012) and further enhances our focus on quality and delivering better public services. The joint Bedfordshire Police and KPMG team really deserve the recognition for the way they achieved buy in to the design of the local policing model and the tangible impact this has had on services.”