Examining the UK National Policing Improvement Agency's Workforce Resilience

Project Overview

25 July 2011 — To help ensure the adequacy and modernisation of the British police workforce, the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) requested that RAND Europe investigate the relationship between the demand for policing services, the risk that the demand will not be met, and the resources required to ensure that the demand is met. The RAND Europe project team examined police force labour economic issues and where gaps may exist, with a goal to assisting the NPIA in its workforce planning efforts.

The NPIA's National Workforce Modernisation Programme initially constructed an outline hypothesis linking the concepts of demand for policing services (implying demand for a mix of skilled HR), risk (the extent to which the State and the Service require to be confident that demand will be met) and resource (the mix of means to meet demand).

The required output from RAND Europe's research was a paper that will help to educate the Police Service about the complexities surrounding these concepts, the challenges involved in definition and measurement and the implications of these complexities and challenges for policy making and management strategy in general and the Insight programme in particular. This paper forms an adjunct to and supports police workforce planning in the next stage of its development within NPIA.

The motivation to complete this study lay in the relationship between the Workforce Modernisation team's working hypothesis about resilience and the Police Service's perennial queries about workforce plans.

The queries were:

  • What is the number below which officer (sworn officer) numbers should not fall? and
  • What is the tipping point? (i.e., the ratio of police officers to police staff)

The main activities of this project were to:

  • Describe the key labour economic issues as they relate to the issues facing the police force (their demand, resources, and risks)
  • Identify available data to calculate the level and ratio of workforce and where there are gaps, identify what the NPIA should collect and why
  • Carry out a workshop with NPIA representatives to test the feasibility and gaps in findings.

Research Team

Final Report