Examining the UK National Policing Improvement Agency's Workforce Resilience
Project Overview | Research Team | Final Report
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
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
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.
This study clarifies key concepts in policing workforce management and by employing an innovative and novel econometric approach, quantifies the relationship between police force human resource levels and composition and demand for policing.