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£280 Million Untapped Savings

18 October 2010

Data shows that if all 43 police forces applied Lanner's PRISM model, as have Cambridgeshire Constabulary, to core areas including call handling, incident response, forensics and custody management, they could reap substantial efficiency gains through refined processes and better informed decision-making.   

According to new research, the police service could save a minimum of £280 million[1] this year through business process improvement, minimising the impact of Wednesday’s proposed budget cuts on front line policing. 

The data, compiled by process simulation specialist Lanner Group, shows that if all 43 police forces in England and Wales applied its PRISM model, as adopted by Cambridgeshire Constabulary, to core areas including call handling, incident response, forensics and custody management, they could reap substantial efficiency gains through refined processes and better informed decision-making.   

Through using PRISM as part of its internal efficiency improvement programme, Cambridgeshire Constabulary recently identified cashable savings in excess of £2.5 million, and productivity savings of £4 million, with further savings earmarked across other areas of the force. 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s aim was to review its contact centre operations, to look at how high service delivery standards could be maintained in a more efficient way.  Using PRISM, the force was able to map all processes and variables to identify surplus capacity and process duplication, and align resources precisely with demand, delivering substantial benefits.   

 “As we face of a period of economic constraint and predicted deep budgetary cuts, PRISM is extremely valuable for any Constabulary, as it facilitates informed decisions around changes to service delivery,” comments Sarah Dennett, Programme Manager, Citizen Experience at Cambridgeshire Constabulary.  “We used the software as part of a programme to look at both our process refinement, and staffing resource model recommendations within our contact centres, and were able to successfully illustrate cashable savings in excess of £2.5 million. 

“During that same phase we also used the software to build an enhanced appointments solution and evidenced £4 million of productivity savings, and we are currently using the software for CJU and Custody to equal impact.” 

While efficiency-led initiatives have become intrinsic to police culture, the stringency of the proposed cuts, estimated to be in the region of 25-35%, demand drastic action.  Front line policing is unlikely to emerge unscathed, but predictions of 35,000 jobs being lost could be significantly offset through smarter working, a strategy endorsed by numerous industry bodies including the CBI, ACPO, Audit Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Wales Audit Office.     

“In the past, process refinement has been synonymous with expensive consulting projects, but our simulation approach is designed to model and identify savings quickly, and with minimal investment, crucially eliminating the need for capital expenditure,” comments David Jones, CEO, Lanner Group.  “£280 million is a modest indication of the savings which could be exploited through smarter use of simulation.  In fact our insight shows that the real figure could be closer to £1 billion.  As the extent of cuts unfolds, and forces prepare for budgetary battle, few can afford the luxury of ignoring what are relatively easy, rich pickings of this scale.”   



[1] £280 million is based on all 43 police forces in England and Wales replicating the approach taken by Cambridgeshire Police, which resulted in £2.5 million cashable savings and £4 million confirmed productivity savings  

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