Staffordshire Police has been rated as 'good' for efficiency for a third year running.
Each year the independent police watchdog assess the force's performance, this time they looked at efficiency following a rigorous inspection in spring 2017.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said: “Staffordshire Police is good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has maintained its strong performance over the past year.
“The force has effective methods of understanding the current level of demand on its services and likely changes to demand. However, the basis of evidence from which it draws this understanding is only partially complete. As some calls from the public go unanswered, it cannot reliably quantify the complete demand for its services. Mapping of the main business processes is providing a firm foundation for the force’s proposed new operating model. This will help Staffordshire Police make changes and operate more efficiently.
“The force is developing its knowledge of the skills and capabilities of both the workforce and its leaders. It has changed promotion processes, for example, to gear them more precisely toward those skills that the force requires. However, Staffordshire Police could do more to develop talent and open up career opportunities. The force has taken into account both national and local policing priorities in allocating resources intelligently to different areas. It continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to joint work with public and private-sector partners. It is also open to collaborating with other police forces where the benefits of this are clear.
“While Staffordshire Police has made significant progress in developing its plans, further work is required. Its plans to secure those savings required by budgetary constraints are not developed fully. The force must make sure that its plans for the future are underpinned by a more accurate understanding of the demands it is likely to face.”
Deputy Chief Constable Nick Baker said: "Demand is increasing year on year, at a time where we continue to have to make savings. It is a credit to our staff that once again HMICFRS has recognised the excellent work that takes place across our force to maintain our efficiency.
"Our work sharing data with other organisations to identify patterns of offending has helped us to understand and serve our communities better. This was recognised by Inspectors and validates the time and investment we have made into digital technology, to test new initiatives and respond to innovation from within our own workforce.
"We have also worked hard to develop our current and future skills and capabilities internally and amongst partners – something Inspectors praised our efforts for. Our introduction of a new leadership passport to develop the leaders of the future, and our collaborative approach with public and private sector partners will ensure we continue to improve our service in the years to come.
"As part of this inspection, HMICFRS said we needed to improve in 'planning for the future'. They commented that a small proportion of calls are either abandoned or take too long to answer. To address this we have invested in our Contact Centre and recruited more staff to ensure we answer non-emergency calls in a timely way.
"Additionally, we have launched a major transformation programme that will position us well to meet growing demand on our services and continuing pressure on policing budgets. This programme will significantly improve the way we currently respond to incidents, enabling us to respond better and more efficiently. This, along with our innovative digital drive and the implementation of one of the biggest IT refreshes we have ever undergone, will help ensure that we're fit for the future."
Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, Matthew Ellis, said: ‘Well done to Staffordshire Police for maintaining a good standard of service in difficult times.
"Despite an environment of tight finances, evolving crime types and ever more complex challenges in keeping individuals safe, they are doing well.
‘My thanks go to all involved in policing as our work continues with the force to modernise technology, improve joint working between forces regionally and nationally, whilst ensuring communities across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are safe."