Emergency Services Come Together at 2019 Client Conference
Would the number of people who say their religion is Jedi fill Wembley Stadium? That was one of the quiz questions that teased attendees at our annual conference last week in Worcester.
Representing police forces and fire and rescue services from across the UK, more than 50 delegates had a chance to test their statistical instincts, network with their peers, and share ideas about how they’ve been optimizing their performance using our software.
The first day of the event was for analysts, who work hands-on with tools such as Workload Profiler and Incident Analyser. This year, we wanted to share some of the techniques we use in our consultancy work, beyond what happens on-screen. We offered some tips on running effective workshops, advice on validating models, and guidance on how to pick the right statistical distribution to use in the models. There was advice on data visualisation, tips for creating shift patterns, and a talk about common pitfalls in analysing incidents.
The second day, we were joined by a number of guest speakers. Northamptonshire Police gave us an insight into the resources required to recruit the additional officers and staff promised by the Uplift programme, and told us how they’re going about prioritising their resources. Three speakers from Gwent Police told us about their work with Response Profiler, and how they’ve used Workload Profiler to help optimise the anti-corruption and driver training units. Martin Ward-White from the National Fire Chiefs Council gave an insight into the evidence-based toolkit that is being developed to help fire and rescue services create consistent risk assessments.
The conference also saw the grand unveiling of our new tool, Workforce Planner. The aim is to enable police forces to better align their workforce with forecast demand, taking into account how their workforce will change in the coming years. You enter a demand projection, current workforce profile, and proposed workforce policies and the tool simulates the effect of the proposed policies on the workforce over time. It can help you to plan for a large number of officers reaching retirement, a shortfall at a particular rank as a result of attrition and promotion, and changing skills requirements. The tool is now being piloted with police forces and we’re offering a generous discount for orders before the end of March 2020. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch.
The fire and police representatives split into two special interest groups for an afternoon session on the second day. An anonymous survey in the police special interest group showed that there are still some barriers to overcome if police forces are to get the full value from the uplift. Only a third of forces surveyed were able to say they are using an evidence-based approach to allocate new resources, suggesting there is still work to be done there. The fire service special interest group saw a demonstration of Response Halo, which helps emergency services to understand the area each resource can reach within the target response time. There was much discussion about how response times are decided upon, given the conclusion of HMICFRS that response times and standards vary greatly. The fire group also discussed the challenges of resourcing on-call appliances.
One attendee who was joining us for the first time said: “There’s a great atmosphere here, a lovely feeling of community. It’s nice to see emergency services professionals coming together to share their ideas for better serving their communities.”
The event wasn’t all work. After the first day, we went out for a Thai meal, and on to a pub for some keenly fought games of pool and table football. We ended with the answers to the quiz, which asked multiple choice questions based on public data and our own unique data sets. If you’re still wondering, by the way – the answer is yes: According to the census, there are 176,000 people of the Jedi faith in the UK, and the force is strongest in Sussex.
Thank you to everyone who made the day a success, especially the attendees who travelled from all over England and Wales to share the day with us.
We’ll be writing about some of the key lessons from the event on this blog, but if you missed out and want to dig into the details, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to send you the slide deck.