Last year’s spending review reduced the policing budget for the first time in almost 70 years. This posed forces with a challenge: how to reduce costs whilst improving ways of fighting crime. In this article, originally published in The Times, Nicholas Fox, KPMG’s lead partner for Home Affairs, argues that not only is it possible for forces to both, but the best leaders in the service are already showing the way.
- Police budgets can be reformed without hitting the frontline
While the strategy for reducing cost and improving efficiency in the Criminal Justice sector remains the subject of speculation in Whitehall and at the front line, two inescapable facts remain: The budget deficit will require unparalleled cuts; There will be no let up in public or political expectation for improvement. Our experience across the sector gives us an unprecedented understanding of where the opportunities for savings and improvement lie and how to deliver them.
While spending cuts dominate the headlines and police chiefs contemplate radical overhaul of policing services, it is tempting to think that continuous improvement is merely ‘nice to have’.
However, there is overwhelming evidence from police forces, criminal justice agencies and law enforcement organisations that QUEST can deliver both performance improvement and cost reduction. QUEST has helped organisations generate more than £100m per annum of operational efficiency savings, whilst simultaneously transforming the productivity and performance of frontline services. The average return on investment to date has been 10.1 across the 17 organisations with which we have worked.
QUEST achieves extraordinary results through a fast-paced, evidence-based, ‘bottom-up’ approach which supports a genuine step-change in the way organisations think and operate. This approach can be tailored to meet the individual challenges and characteristics of any organisation.