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Performance and Measurement

Devon & Cornwall

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Devon & Cornwall is most similar to:

Police Authority Chair: John Smith

Authority Website: www.dcpa.police.uk

Chief Constable: Stephen Otter

Force Website: www.devon-cornwall.police.uk

Staff Numbers:

  • Police Officers: 3,529
  • Police Staff: 2,147
  • Community Support Officers: 354
  • Other Staff: 37
  • Special Constables: 505

Budget 2007/08: £256.8 million


The force serves Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and is the largest territorial police force in England, presenting many challenges, with the needs of both rural and urban communities at the forefront of the Force’s approach to tackling crime. Devon and Cornwall remains a safe place to live where crime is reducing, detections are increasing and satisfaction continues to improve. 2007/8 saw a period of unprecedented change, including a review of the force structure, moving from four basic command units to three, to improve efficiency in its processes.

The HMIC Major Crime inspection 2008 found that the force “Meets the Standard” and no significant development needs were identified following the serious and organised crime inspection. The Constabulary achieved 11 of its 16 targets set within its policing priorities for 2007/08. It delivered an outstanding overall reduction in British Crime Survey comparable recorded crime of 10.7% against a target of 5%. Overall victim satisfaction increased to 83.4% and the satisfaction of victims of racist incidents increased to 84.4%. Reductions were also achieved in the number of British Crime Survey respondents who were worried about burglary, car crime and violent crime.

The four local priority targets set by the Police Authority were exceeded. 63.5% of uniformed operational officers time was spent on visible policing activity (target 62%). Violent crime in a public place decreased by 6.9% (target was a 3% reduction). Criminal damage was reduced by 12.1% (target was a 2% reduction). The Constabulary aimed to increase the percentage of the population who agree that ‘the Police are tackling things that matter in this community’ by at least 3 percentage points, and achieved a 5.5 percentage point increase.

Key areas identified for improvement in the 2007 HMIC inspections included ensuring the whole Constabulary understood and was supporting the delivery of neighbourhood policing. The force has reviewed working practices to ensure neighbourhood policing is central to everyone’s business and has improved arrangements for working together with partners. The Constabulary has developed and delivered a new Missing Persons training package.

The Constabulary achieved a 5.9% increase in user satisfaction levels in 2007/08 compared to 2006/07. This is due in part to the introduction of neighbourhood policing teams to each of the 210 neighbourhoods, and a reduced demand for the non-emergency number by over 93,000 calls, achieved through effective marketing to reduce non-police calls. Public confidence in the force is above the national average (53%) and continued to increase to 56% in 2007/8.

The Constabulary’s vision is to be a top performing force by 2012. The Strategic Themes within this vision are: “our customers - delivering services to meet the needs of our citizens whilst meeting national policing standards, our people - empowering and valuing our staff, leading people and embracing equality and diversity, our performance - transforming our business to be more effective and efficient, our communications - telling people what they need to know, in the way they want it and in a language they understand”.

A programme of change is underway, which underpins delivery of the Constabulary’s strategic aims and mission to become a top performing force. In addition to approximately 60 enabling projects and initiatives, the programme focuses on several large pieces of work including replacing the existing command and control and crime and intelligence systems, maximising the use of resource management, and a contact management strategy to fulfil the Quality of Service Commitment and meeting National Call Handling Standards. Work is underway on a capacity release project to move officers back to frontline duties and establish a people strategy including an updated pay and grading structure.

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