WHEN police forces collaborate successfully, it can save money and increase their ability to serve their communities, but in too many cases working together is failing says HMICFRS.
And when they fail collaborations end up costing forces money, time and effort it says.
In the Hard Yards; Police to Police Collaboration report HMICFRS investigators found that in too many cases forces were working together without a clear objective or purpose and that they were ‘not thinking’ beyond the financial savings it can bring.
Decision making during collaborations was ‘too complicated and bureaucratic’, undermining their effectiveness, while forces were not choosing ‘the right people with the right skills’ to oversee them.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said more support needs to be given to forces to help them effectively work closer together.
“Nationally forces are spending over a quarter of a billion pounds on collaboration every year,” he said.
“Collaboration done well can save money, reduce bureaucracy and improve efficiency and effectiveness.
“It also allows forces to club together to provide specialist services that they couldn’t provide individually, and they help forces to learn from best practice. Ultimately, collaborations can improve the service that forces give to the public.
“But too many police collaborations are failing, or not giving the results they should, costing forces money, time and effort, Mr Parr added.
“In this report, we make recommendations about what forces can do to collaborate successfully and productively. We have also made recommendations to national organisations to improve the support given to police forces as they collaborate.
“We urge forces and the national organisations that support their vital work to reflect on these recommendations and put them into action to improve police efficiency and effectiveness.”