Cleveland Police Authority extends Steria shared services deal and saves £10m

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Cleveland Police Authority extends Steria shared services deal and saves £10m

Karl Flinders

Cleveland Police Authority is set to save almost £10m on top of £50m already identified through an extension of Cleveland Police's ten-year £175m share service deal with Steria.

In June last year Cleveland became the first police body to use Steria to share services such as finance, HR, payroll, commissioning and fleet management in Steria's dedicated datacentres.

The service has centralised the Cleveland Police Authority's four crime management units. The move puts uniformed officers back in the front line by replacing them with civilians in a merged Risk and Operational Planning unit.

As with other police authorities, Cleveland Police has uniformed police doing back office jobs. The savings combined with moving uniformed staff back to the front line will help Cleveland fill gaps in its policing.

"There are job vacancies at Cleveland for police officers but the authority cannot afford to fill them. Bringing in civilians to the back office will mean uniformed officers can be redeployed," said John Torrie, CEO at Steria.

The savings come from merging the back offices of the different districts Cleveland Authority covers, said John Torrie: "Before they were combined, processes were replicated four times."

Steria's service is open to any number of police authorities. Torrie says now the proof of concept is there, the next step is bringing in other police authorities: "We could replicate what we are doing at Cleveland over and over again, but this is a suboptimal solution compared to multiple authorities sharing a service."

The CEO of the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA), Peter Neyroud, said in July last year that better use of technology will help the police save £200m by 2015. Peter Neyroud wants police forces to share back-office functions to achieve savings.

But if a report from the Audit Commission about police back-office savings is anything to go by, there remain challenges in convincing authorities to change.

The report, entitled Sustaining Value for Money in the Police Service, said a lack of ambition for back-office savings in police authorities could hold back value for money.

The Audit Commission report found only a quarter of chief constables think there is potential to achieve back-office savings.


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