Undertake independent review of the OPCC
On starting his term of office, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) committed to undertaking an independent review of his office, to ensure the team is supporting the commissioner and is correctly aligned to the Police and Crime Plan.
The role of PCCs has changed considerably since they were first introduced in 2012.
Additional responsibilities have been handed to local policing bodies and, as a result, the offices that support PCCs have changed significantly. Further, offices vary from force area to force area – which is entirely appropriate, given that PCCs are expected to prioritise those issues that matter most to the people they represent.
Upon his re-election in 2016, the Dorset PCC committed to undertake a review of the staff that support his work.
To do this, he commissioned an independent organisation to compare the structure and size of his office with other agencies around England and Wales, as well as to make suggestions that would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the office’s activities.
The review concluded that the staffing in Dorset compared favourably with those offices in the most similar forces and that the budget for the PCC’s office was appropriate to meet his ambitions over the coming term. Nevertheless, a few changes were recommended, which included a reduction in administrative staff; improvements to the Commissioning function and the introduction of more policy development personnel.
The benefits of these changes have been numerous. For example, the Commissioning team has been able to fund a greater array of initiatives for the benefit of Dorset residents, maintaining closer monitoring of these initiatives to ensure better value for money, and return on investment.
Further, the office has been able to flex according to the requirements of the business, including delivering significant additional workstreams such as developing the business case for merger, and the development of the Cadets and Bobby Van schemes from the Force, without additional resource, thereby freeing up police officers and staff to focus even greater efforts on operational activity. The office has also engaged with more members of the public over this term than in the previous term, with figures that put Dorset among the very highest of performers in this area.
The PCC, supported by his senior management team, continue to review the staffing in the office and regularly monitor the resources available. Feedback from the staff working in the office, our colleagues in Dorset Police, and members of the Police and Crime Panel has been positive.
Most importantly, the office has been able to deliver approximately 100 commitments aligned to the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan during this term. This work is of demonstrable benefit to Dorset’s communities and is detailed on the PCC’s website.