Chapter 2

Lifting the admin burden

Expanding on the theme, an example of how administration can adversely affect productivity was noted by Janette McCormick QPM, Former Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary and NPCC Programme Manager for the Strategic Workforce Uplift Programme. Speaking in the podcast, she explained that more than a quarter of a million applications had been processed during the programme. Of the 43 forces involved, 26 were using the same system to manage the task. Yet each one of them had a different workflow. This lack of standardisation leads to the creation of silos – in effect, more work as barriers to access hinder effective collaboration between teams.

At present, processes are constrained. There is no holistic overview of the business needs. Seamless integration would enable staff to carry out necessary tasks more quickly and with greater efficiency, allowing new officers to be onboarded and deployed in a timely manner, ultimately answering public calls for more police on the
beat. In 2022, preceding the Chancellor’s wider public sector review, the Home Secretary asked the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) to lead another review into effectiveness and productivity in policing. Announcing its formation, Martin Hewitt QPM (then) NPCC Chair, said: “We want to provide the best possible
policing to the public. This review, commissioned by the Home Office and led by the NPCC, will make recommendations on how to improve effectiveness and productivity in policing, identifying the barriers and the most efficient operating models.” (5)

The need to eradicate duplication is likely to form a key recommendation of the report. It is estimated by the NPCC that 443,000 officer hours are spent dealing with administrative tasks, a figure that equates to the attendance of 270,000 burglaries, 220,000 domestic abuse incidents or almost 740,000 incidents of antisocial behaviour (6) a blight on communities across the country. Released from this burden, the benefit in terms of
putting officers back on the streets is very clear.

HMICFRS Annual Policing Review 2022

The police need to focus on doing what matters most to benefit the communities they serve; these actions need to be highly visible. Not only do they need to show they are committed to taking action today, tomorrow and next week but also that they will act in the long term too.” (7)