Helping Nottinghamshire Police make the most of the Police Uplift Programme
It has been really impactful to put science behind the decisions we take around deployments, to check that our professional judgement is taking us in the right direction where we can have the biggest positive impact."
Deputy Chief Constable
Poliscope modelling identified parts of Nottinghamshire Police most in need of additional capability and capacity from the uplift programme in order to meet increasingly complex demand.
In 2019, Nottinghamshire Police (like many forces in England and Wales) faced a perfect storm of increasing demand and declining outcomes. Previous analysis we conducted for the force had identified it needed an additional 260 officers to handle its current workload. But Nottinghamshire needed to understand in more detail where demand was rising the fastest and explore its options to better manage this deficit. Finding the time and space to translate data into knowledge necessary to work out how best to balance calls to service and officer hours was hard. And with the prospect of more officers being recruited through the uplift, senior operational managers were keen to know where best in future to deploy them, how best to use them and what skills they should have to make the biggest impact.
Crest and Justice Episteme recommended the force take the learning from our initial Poliscope work and use it to build a new, enhanced workload and performance model which could answer these and other questions. This model would have a new capability: analysis and forecast of proactive demand on top of reactive demand generated by calls for service from the public. This would give the force a more comprehensive and granular understanding of what it needed to plan for and what the likely result of their decisions would be. Over the first 12 months, we worked closely with Nottinghamshire to make sure the tools we gave them met their specific requirements, and made use of the expertise and knowledge already gained. In consultation with their Demand and Improvement Team, we chose to securely host online the new model in R Shiny so they could access it 24/7 and respond to requests for operational insights from senior officers. We liaised with the chief officer team to share emerging insights which could assist with the day to day challenges facing them through the Covid-19 pandemic. And we delivered training to support analysts. We helped the force identify and use insights from the tool in the earliest phase of development, which also provided a constant feedback loop to ensure we built the model to the right specification for Nottinghamshire. In particular, we automated key processes to free up their analysts’ time to focus on problem-solving, and we prioritised making the model accessible and intuitive to use.
Senior officers believed that the force’s public protection teams were coming under significant pressure. So, together, we used our new model to test this out. A deep dive into Nottinghamshire data using the new Poliscope model proved that the biggest deficit between the demands on and the supply of policing was indeed in public protection - and that workload was likely to rise fastest in this part of the force too in future. With robust numbers to back professional judgement, we recommended the force upskill more officers with the capability to effectively manage vulnerable adult and child investigations, as the evidence showed victims were more likely to support cases where public protection officers were involved. Our new model has helped in other ways too. Because key elements of the model are automated, the force has been able to make time-savings on its Force Management Statements and use more time solving problems. And it has identified smarter and more efficient ways of working generally, producing efficiencies and improving the effectiveness of officer deployments.
“Traditionally, policing has relied on instinct around deploying officers and resources, it’s subjective and has been based on professional judgement alone. It has been really impactful to put science behind the decisions we take around deployments, to check that our professional judgement is taking us in the right direction where we can have the biggest positive impact. Poliscope has given us reports we can really trust.
“The modelling allows you to ask questions about what is happening and why, and to question what factors beyond additional resources may make a difference - such as better processes or use of technology. It lets us test out scenarios, consider the impact of taking resources from one area and putting them into another and then see the results of our decision and evaluate our decisions.”