When it started in 2010 the strategic partnership between Sopra Steria and Cleveland Police was the first of its kind in the UK, providing the widest range of services outsourced by a police force, covering call handling, criminal justice, ICT and business support functions.
Since then the force has been challenged by a period of sustained austerity and to enable it to work effectively and deliver responsive and flexible policing services to its local communities, it needed to examine every aspect of the way it worked. A key element of this was working with Sopra Steria to ensure it was able to continue to provide more efficient services at a reduced cost. Five years into the ten year contract the operational policing environment had also changed significantly with different demands from citizens and new performance requirements. It was clear to both parties that changes were necessary and everything needed to be considered; scope of services, ways of working and how performance was to be measured.
- Flexible trusted partnership working with commitment to continuous improvement and innovation
- Move from Key Performance Indicators to Quality Outcomes
- Joint approach to management
- Further savings of £2m per annum
With a common objective to ensure that the right services continue to be delivered to Cleveland citizens, and at an affordable level, Cleveland Police and Sopra Steria jointly instigated a review which focussed on the force’s new operational requirements and outcomes. A combined working party was established across all services, with the aim of doing things differently. The team evaluated and discussed new process options which provided a balance between requirements and funding and were based around the following criteria:
- Removing duplication to deliver joint management of functions and true joint team working
- Establishing new quality outcomes and management information to replace volumetric based Key Performance Indicators
- Technology to deliver better ways of working
- Services aligned to affordability
With such far reaching changes being proposed and the significance of the work undertaken, it was important that both parties involved senior stakeholders at all levels before final go ahead was secured to move to the new operating model.
Following the review it was decided that the vast majority of services would continue to be operated by Sopra Steria with new joint management structures where appropriate, different reporting mechanisms and intelligent client side governance based on a trusted working relationship.
Sopra Steria continues to work closely with Cleveland Police to deliver:
- Operational Services: Including Control Room (call taking and despatch), criminal justice, crime recording, police station front desks, finance, payroll, HR, Learning and Development, estates, , occupational health and business support services
- ICT: a full range of services including 24x7 support for critical systems, service desk, infrastructure and network management, radio support and application support and development
Procurement, fleet services and resilience and operational planning services were returned to the Force after the review, along with strategic elements of HR and Learning and Development services.
How we work together
So how does the partnership now work together?
Sopra Steria is an integral part of the force senior management structure and with duplicated roles removed, true joint teams have been established. The new ‘Business as Usual’ services are co-ordinated through service delivery leads and delivery is underpinned by outcomes and measures.
Management reporting is of particular importance. The outcomes for each business area are assessed at regular performance meetings, with follow-ups and remedial action plans identified and issues actioned by either party. The governance structure is underpinned by contract reviews with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland.
Innovation and futures planning
The force also recognises that to deliver modern and effective policing it needs to continue to invest in new technology and infrastructure. To address new opportunities to save and improve, a shared approach to delivering future innovation and transformation is now operating, including:
- Continuous improvement reviews
- Innovation and futures planning
Several areas have already been addressed:
- To support the Force in moving to a new Community Safety Hub and to deliver greater flexibility, the move of Force applications from an onsite data centre to a secure, resilient hosted service
- In conjunction with the Force, Sopra Steria has developed iMap, a customised webmapping application that that provides officers with quick and easy access to a wide range of information about their local neighbourhoods enabling them to deliver more effective problem solving
- To support strategic planning Sopra Steria has also developed PrediKt® an application that is being used to simulate potential changes to operational resources and services and identify the impact of the change.
Results and benefits
Police a further £2m savings is now being generated, supporting the force in its commitment to investing in a new neighbourhood policing model that is focused on giving officers and PCSOs time to engage with communities and undertake crime prevention and problem solving activities.
“Sopra Steria has been a strong partner, helping to turn our contract to one which is outcome and quality focussed, concentrating on the impact of the services they provide for us and to our communities. They have delivered some huge improvements in the way we work. I can’t see anything that we now do that Sopra Steria haven’t had a part in helping us shape and improve. Without them I wouldn’t have seen the recent incremental rises in public satisfaction or us being as effective in the Criminal Justice Process.” Iain Spittal, Chief Constable