21 Jul 2020
Today sees the publication of the HMICFRS PEEL Spotlight Report ‘The Hard Yards’.
Chair of the Welsh Chief Officer’s Group, North Wales Police Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: ‘I welcome today’s HMICFRS report on collaboration between police forces.
‘Whilst it identifies several areas where the police can improve the effectiveness of the partnership concept, I am encouraged that the all Wales group received particular praise for identifying a clear purpose for collaborations, our work towards reducing bureaucracy, and improving efficiency.’
He continued: ‘At the heart of all our collaborations is the desire to improve policing for the whole of Wales, and it was pleasing to see this recognised in the report.
‘Through close working between senior officers and Police and Crime Commissioners, we have been able to effect a positive change in three key areas: the streamlining of IT services, recruitment and HR, as well as a better alignment of cross-force policies and procedures.
‘These improvements will allow us to deliver on our primary objective, which is to provide the best possible service to the people of Wales, and we will seek to implement the recommendations of this report to ensure our success in this regard.’
Rt. Hon Alun Michael, Chair of the Wales Policing Group and Police & Crime Commissioner for South Wales said: ‘The report is a welcome endorsement of the way we have worked in recent years.
‘It recognises that cooperation, or collaboration requires good planning, clear objectives and a shared set of objectives and is not a magic wand. So it is very satisfying that the report states that the way we have worked together as four Commissioners and four Chief Constables in Wales has been highly effective.
‘It states explicitly that we “recognised that having a clear purpose for collaboration was important and invested time and effort in getting this right.” It is clear that this contributed to creating momentum.
‘It also recognises the benefits from the way we have managed our meetings so that leadership by Chief Constables and Commissioners are complementary and support each other. This has not happened by accident, and while this report is specifically about police-to-police collaboration, it is connected to the way in which we have sought to work with both devolved and non-devolved bodies and agencies that work across Wales in order to develop deliver the best possible criminal justice system for the public we serve.’
Dyfed-Powys Police has been at the heart of collaboration successes, and the desire to improve policing for the whole of Wales. Notable examples include the Joint Firearms Unit, and the award nominated All Wales Recruitment Process.
The Joint Firearms Unit (JFU) was established in 2012 as a collaboration between the three Southern Wales police services – Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police, and South Wales Police. The new structure has seen firearms officers based at a number of locations across the Region, ready for deployment to incidents across the three force areas involved. The driving force behind this firearms collaboration programme (which includes the provision of joint training) was a desire to improve service delivery by sharing resources in order to enhance capability and capacity. Working in this way has meant that firearms officers are far more interoperable, in that they do things the same way across the board, including how they are deployed to incidents. A consistent and extensive training programme is delivered to firearms officers and Commanders throughout Dyfed-Powys, Gwent, and South Wales. The JFU provides increased access to resources whilst creating savings through training delivery and shared equipment costs.
And the World Class Policing Awards nominated All Wales Recruitment Process introduced one innovative, bilingual e-recruitment platform for all Welsh Police forces, that has vastly improved the service potential candidates experience. The design gives a consistent, streamlined and collaborative approach that enables each of the forces in Wales to work together for the benefit of anyone applying to any police service in Wales. It has reduced the application time, streamlined the process, and reduced bureaucracy – and is user friendly for the candidates and recruiters alike. It is a true collaboration between the Welsh police forces.