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Navigating the Perfect Storm: Cleveland Police’s Response Policing Journey


In a compelling presentation on the second day of the Process Evolution Client Conference, Allan Fox from Cleveland Police shed light on the challenges and intricacies of Response Policing, delving into what he aptly termed the ‘perfect storm’ facing police forces in England and Wales.

The focus of the presentation revolved around the convergence of three critical elements:

  1. Increasing Volume and Complexity of Demand:
    • Total incident volumes in 2022 rose by 6.5%
    • Recorded crime volumes increased by 17% in 2022
    • Crimes as a percentage of incidents surged from 27.8% in 2018 to 35.2% in 2022.
  2. Impact of Demand Increases on Resourcing:
    • The last review of budgeted resourcing for Response Policing was conducted in late 2020 by Process Evolution, using data from the 2019/20 financial year.
  3. Complications of Required Resourcing:
    • The influx of student officers due to the Police Uplift Programme posed challenges in achieving ‘fully-functional’ resourcing.

Fully-Functional Resourcing:

A detailed Response Profiler was created to determine the ‘fully-functional’ PC resourcing required. This was defined as officers who had passed their Occupational Competence Portfolio, completed initial learning programs, and were not involved in tutoring.

Student Officer Impact:

The introduction of student officers through various entry routes presented challenges in achieving the desired ‘fully-functional’ resource. Different categories and constant shifts in the distribution of Response PCs added complexity.

Sergeant Impact:

The increased presence of student officers had a significant knock-on effect on Response Sergeants. New requirements, such as Tripartite Reviews, added to their workload, necessitating a reconsideration of the historically based ratios to direct reports.

Scenario Considerations:

Given budget constraints, several areas for demand reduction were presented for discussion. Considerations included realigning crime investigations and optimising entry routes to reduce officer requirements.

Shift Pattern Changes:

Cleveland Police made significant changes to the Response shift pattern, shifting from a 5-team to a 4-team pattern. This change was driven by a more aligned demand, reduced Sergeant demand for handovers, and an Inspector-led team model. The changes were modelled and scenario tested using the Response Profiler and Ximes software tools.

HMIC Recognition:

The work conducted by Cleveland Police was recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), contributing to the force’s exit from enhanced monitoring. This underscored the importance of evidence-based principles in strategic planning.

In navigating the ‘perfect storm,’ Cleveland Police showcased a commitment to data-driven decision-making, adaptation to evolving demands, and a holistic approach to resourcing in Response Policing. This journey reflects a proactive response to the challenges faced by modern law enforcement agencies.

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