Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has said he is confident robust plans are in place to protect Nottinghamshire Police’s financial future in response to severe cuts to its funding, despite being told it ‘must do better’.
The constabulary and Mr Tipping said they have also agreed on a new approach to delivering policing across Nottinghamshire which puts prevention at the heart of a strategy to reduce crime and keep people safe.
The assurance comes as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) published the findings of a recent inspection which said the force’s preparations to meet the financial challenge in the short and long-term required improvement.
Mr Tipping said: “This inspection took place a few months ago and we are already much further ahead in our preparations to meet future financial difficulties.
“Although some of the findings were fair at the time they were written, we reject the notion that we’ve been slow to implement change.
“The challenges we face are significant and require careful consideration. We’ve been determined not to make any rash decisions that we later regret.
“That said it’s an interesting report which recognises the achievements we’ve made thus far while also warning of some major challenges which could impact on police services and our ability to meet our savings targets if left unaddressed.
“Together, we have risen to those challenges and have identified a new operating model that gives us a clear direction moving forward.”
HMIC has said that Nottinghamshire Police was one of three forces in England and Wales which “must improve” how it operated with less funding and said there had been “disappointing progress” since last year.
But the inspectorate conceded that the force had already achieved 73 per cent (£34.3m) of the savings required over the spending review period - March 2011 to March 2015 - and had even exceeded its target in the 2013/14 financial year.
Deputy Chief Constable Sue Fish said: “We have made huge progress on developing plans which will fundamentally change the way we deliver policing.
“We have looked at every aspect of the service we provide to see where we can be more efficient and effective, not only because of the financial climate we are now operating in, but also because it is the right thing for us to do.