Police Research Group
Police Research Series Paper 2
Effective Shift Systems For The Police Service
Richard Stone Tim Kemp Bernard Rix George Weldon
EFFECTIVE SHIFT SYSTEMS FOR THE POLICE SERVICE:
Richard Stone Tim Kemp Bernard Rix George Weldon
POLICE RESEARCH SERIES: PAPER NO. 2 LONDON: HOME OFFICE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Editor: Gloria Laycock Home Office Police Research Group 50, Queen Anne’s Gate London SW1H 9AT
© Crown Copyright 1993 First Published 1993
Police Research Group: Police Research Series The Home Office Police Research Group (PRG) was founded in 1992 to carry out and manage research relevant to the work of the police service. The terms of reference for the Group include the requirement to identify and disseminate good policing practice. The aim of the Police Research Series is to present results of externally funded studies, and those carried out by the Police Research Group, in a way that will inform policy and practice throughout the Police service. A parallel series of papers on crime prevention is also published by PRG, as is a periodical on policing research called ‘Focus’.
Police Shift Systems are of vital importance to the way in which policing is delivered. We need to balance the requirements of the organisation and the patterns of crime and incidents throughout the working days, with the welfare of the police officers – their social and psychological needs. This paper reports on a study which set out to compare the effects of the ‘Ottawa’ System which was being operated in some forces, with the more common ‘regulation’ pattern. Comparisons were made in relation to a number of areas including costs, crime issues, routine, operational demands and quality of service. Contrary to the expectation of some officers, there was little evidence that the Ottawa System was significantly better than the regulation pattern although, on a number of variables it was more popular with the staff in those forces where it was operating. The consultants, Touche Ross, made a number of recommendations on the basis of their work which are reported here and which were taken into account by the Police Negotiating Board in revising police regulations regarding shift patterns.
Fortunately, America’s law enforcement is not lagging behind in keeping up with these lawbreakers and has made the same strides in advancement so that for every dangerous criminal there is an officer who can stop him. Every day officers put their lives on the line to keep the general public safe from harm, and these law enforcement officers are permitted to use the degree of force that is ...
I M Burns Deputy Secretary of State May 1993
Touche Ross would like to acknowledge the assistance that has been provided throughout the study by the liaison officers of each of the twenty-four forces which took part. Their co-operation and support was greatly appreciated.
The authors are the consultants employed by Touche Ross Management Consultants, who conducted the research and produced the final reports upon which this publication is based. George Weldon is a Divisional Partner of Touche Ross and is the partner-in-charge of the Organisational and Human Resources consulting practice. Tim Kemp is the associate who leads the Touche Ross Human Resources consulting practice. Richard Stone is a managing consultant and a member of the Human Resources team who has been closely involved in developing Touche Ross’ methodology for conducting Police studies. Bernard Rix is a consultant and also a leading member of the human resources group. The contract with Touche Ross was managed by Mrs Rosemary Jupp of the Police Research Group. All enquiries should be addressed to her in the first instance. Mrs Jupp and Dr Judy Youell, also of the Police Research Group, prepared the Touche Ross reports for publication.
Page Foreword Acknowledgements List of figures List of Tables iii iv vii vii
1. Introduction The traditional system The impetus for change Trials of alternative shift patterns Aims of the current study Scope and format of the report 2. Study Methodology Selection of participating forces Selection of sub-divisions for comparative purposes Selection of forces for detailed study Data sources The Critical Performance Measurements Inventory (CPMI) questionnaire Officer Perception Inventory (OPI) questionnaire Force visits 3. Findings: Costs and Performance Anticipated cost increases Anticipated cost savings Crime, arrest and clear up rates Meeting routine operational demand Acute situations and specialist functions Quality of service General management feedback Summary
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Page 4. Findings: Effects upon Officers Job satisfaction Physical well-being Social well-being Summary 5. Consultancy Recommendations Proposed revisions to Police Regulations National guidelines on shift patterns Selecting appropriate shift patterns – force level General guidance on managing shift systems Bibliography Appendix A: Continental shift system (Essex Police) Five block shift pattern (West Yorkshire Police) Appendix B: Study terms of reference set by the ACPO Joint Working Group on Organisational Health and Welfare 20 20 21 21 22 24 24 25 25 26 28
Appendix C: Guidance and recommendations on assessment and implementation of flexible shift systems 35
List of figures
Figure No 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Caption The Regulation shift pattern A variation on the Regulation shift pattern (incorporating quick changeovers) The Ottawa shift system Forces included in the study Key categories within the CPMI questionnaire Measurement factors employed in OPI questionnaire
Page 1 2 3 6 9 11
List of tables
Table No 1. 2. 3.
Caption Selected CPMI cost and performance statistics Matching resources to demand – comparison index
Page 17 19
OPI results – average scores for working practices, service to the public and lifestyle factors 23
The traditional system The police service has traditionally provided continuous, twenty four hour cover to the public by employing what has become known as the ‘Regulation shift pattern’. This was originally envisaged as the most appropriate method of meeting operational requirements, whilst ensuring that anti-social duty periods were equitably distributed between officers. Under the Regulation system, four shift groups cover a twenty eight day cycle by working a rotation of eight hour shifts i.e. seven ‘nights'(2200-0600), seven ‘lates’ (1400-2200) and seven ‘earlies’ (0600-1400).
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In theory, a total of seven rest days are made available during the twenty eight period and these are interspersed (in blocks of two or three days) between these seven day periods. (The system is illustrated in figure 1.) Figure 1. The Regulation shift pattern
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Minor variations to the Regulation shift pattern have been introduced over the years. For example, some officers complained that rest days between night and late shifts were spoiled by the difficult adjustment of sleeping/waking patterns and expressed a preference for two late shifts to follow the night work. The introduction of this variation on the Regulation system (as illustrated in figure 2) did allow for a more ‘natural’ transition of sleeping/waking patterns, but also gave rise to the ‘quick changeover’ which remains unpopular and strenuous. The traditional system has nonetheless been extensively practiced among police managers and is still operated exclusively by many forces. Its enshrinement in Police Regulations (which permit an eight hour maximum working day) has contributed to its longevity.
Figure 2. A variation on the Regulation shift pattern (incorporating quick changeovers)
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Introduction Women have come a long way in the area of the workforce in the past one hundred years. If you were to look back one hundred years ago, you would never see a woman working outside of the home. Society had the idea that a woman's place was in the home cooking, cleaning, reproducing and care giving. They had the idea that there was no place for her in the workforce because that was a ...
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The impetus for change In recent years, some police managers have raised questions about the effectiveness of the Regulation shift pattern and its ability to meet the increasing and changing demands made upon the service. These doubts about the traditional system can be seen as stemming from four distinct sources. (i) Increases in police salaries, which followed the Edmund Davies Review in 1978, enabled many under-resourced forces to recruit up to establishment level. This increased availability of staff resources meant that senior officers could consider changes in shift management, which would previously have been unworkable;
(ii) In 1984, the Home Office issued Circular 114/84, which emphasised the need for police forces to improve efficiency and effectiveness in relation to all aspects of resource utilisation. This inevitably led police managers to focus upon the use made of police personnel and to consider whether the traditional system promoted the most efficient and effective use of this most costly resource; (iii) Advances in information technology and computerisation should have enabled police managers to gain access to a range of detailed information on ‘demand’ and ‘service’ delivery. This, when examined, provided some evidence of mismatches between resource availability and demand and gave rise to further questions about the appropriateness of die traditional system; (iv) More recently, some police forces have commissioned internal research to study the physical and psychological effects of the Regulation shift system.
The findings of this research have underlined the negative effects of this system upon officers’ health, motivation, work performance and social life. Anecdotal evidence has also suggested that the traditional system is unpopular with officers, primarily because of the 0600 start associated with early shifts, the interference of the late shift with any social life and the limited time off granted between shifts. Trials of alternative shift patterns Underlying doubts about the effectiveness and efficiency of the Regulation shift pattern have led a number of individual police forces to assess alternative approaches. For example, Leicestershire Constabulary has undertaken a trial of a multi-shift eight hour system, Essex Police has introduced a continental shift pattern and West Yorkshire Police has developed a five block pattern. (Detailed diagrams of the two latter systems are provided within Appendix A.) In March 1989, the Portsmouth Central Sub-Division of Hampshire Constabulary began trials of the “Ottawa compressed working week system”, commonly known as the “Ottawa shift system”. As the name suggests, this system was first used in Ottawa by the Canadian Police. It comprises a five shift, thirty five day work pattern with the day split into a ten hour day shift, a ten hour afternoon shift and an eight-and-a-half hour night shift. The operation of the system is illustrated in figure 3. Figure 3. The Ottawa shift system
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Shift Group A B C D E KEY:
M T W T F S S M T W T F S S M T W T F S S M T W T F S S M T W T F S S
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0700-1700 1400 – 2400 OR 1700 – 0300 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) 2230 – 0700 (Saturday to Thursday) or 2300 – 0700 (Friday) Rest Day
Initial feedback from both the officers working the new shift system on the Portsmouth subdivision and their managers was extremely favourable. The Ottawa shift system was perceived as resolving many of the failings of the traditional system.
In return for a slightly longer working day, shift officers had gained an extra forty two rest days per annum with the ‘early turn’ (starting at 0600 on an early shift) and the ‘quick changeover’ (a late shift directly following a night shift) becoming things of the past. Senior officers particularly welcomed having, at their disposal, two periods of shift overlap enabling them to deploy more officers on the streets during critical city centre policing periods. (For example, during the afternoon to address shoplifting problems and in the late evening at pub/club closing time to police drink related incidents.) In view of the initial feedback, nineteen further forces have subsequently begun trials of the Ottawa shift pattern. (A full list of these forces is held within figure 4 of section 2.) However, because the Ottawa shift system involves ten hour working days, trials require voluntary agreements to work to “amended” Police Regulations and several forces have stated that they are not prepared to work outside the formal framework. With the weight of pressure for reform, negotiations have begun to amend Police Regulations to allow the introduction of the alternative shift system. Aims of the current study A number of forces involved with trials of the Ottawa shift system have produced reports detailing their experience. These have been largely favourable, but some doubts have been expressed because most failed to employ any standardised evaluation methodology. In 1991, the ACPO Joint Working Group on Organisational Health and Welfare recommended to the Home Office that a more systematic review of the effectiveness of the Ottawa shift system should be undertaken in a sample of police forces involved in trials. This review was not expected to produce definitive conclusions but to provide a basis for exploration of appropriate police practices. Accordingly, the current study was commissioned by the Home Office Police Research Group with the following broad aims: (i) To review the Ottawa shift system as operated within a sample of forces and to evaluate this system with special reference to its impact upon: P performance: including impact upon operational effectiveness, customer satisfaction and ability to meet demand for service in a range of circumstances. P personnel factors: including officer morale, and social and physical well being. P costs: including manpower and equipment. (ii) To produce best practice guidelines for the development and management of appropriate shift systems based on the above findings. (The formal terms of reference for this study, as stated by the ACPO Joint Working Group, are reproduced in Appendix B of this report.)
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Scope and format of the report This report summarises the work undertaken to meet the above terms of reference. Section 2 describes the methodology adopted for the study. Findings relating to both costs and performance are presented within section 3 and section 4 covers personnel factors. The overall recommendations of the study are then presented in section 5. These have been taken into account by the Police Negotiating Board and new regulations will reflect these in some degree. Best practice guidelines produced by the consultants for selecting, implementing and managing alternative shift patterns are contained in Appendix C. These are recorded for information purposes and do not constitute advice on how forces should behave.
2. Study Methodology
Selection of participating forces The methodology developed in support of the study relied heavily upon comparisons between situations existing before the introduction of the Ottawa shift system and those existing after. All nineteen of the forces that had been involved in trials of the Ottawa shift system (referred to in this report as “Ottawa forces”) were selected to take part in this comparative study. (These forces are listed within figure 4 below.) None of the forces undertaking the trials of the new system operated it exclusively and, thus, it proved possible to obtain data on non-experimental areas within Ottawa forces for comparative purposes Five of the forces which were continuing to work shift systems wholly within Police Regulations (referred to in this report as “Regulation forces”) were also selected with a view to undertaking comparisons. The inclusion of these latter forces also allowed a more general review of shift patterns to be undertaken. The five Regulation forces selected are listed within figure 4 below. Figure 4: Forces included in the study “Ottawa Forces” “Regulation” Forces Avon & Somerset* Leicestershire Essex* Cambridgeshire Merseyside* Metropolitan* Derbyshire* Northamptonshire Norfolk* Devon & Cornwall Northumbria North Wales* Dorset Nottinghamshire* West Yorkshire* Durham South Wales* Greater Manchester* Sussex* Hampshire* Thames Valley Hertfordshire West Midlands* Kent* (Key: Asterisk indicates that the force was visited as part of the study.) Selection of sub-divisions for comparative purposes The basic unit of comparison employed within the study was the sub-division, although a few forces were experimenting with the new system across entire divisions and the methodology had to be adjusted accordingly. (For the sake of simplicity, the term “sub-division” is nonetheless used throughout this report.) No attempt was made to compare all sub-divisions within selected forces and instead a sub-sample of fifty three sub-divisions was selected for analysis. This was comprised of three groups: Sub-divisions experimenting with the Ottawa system in Ottawa forces Sub-divisions operating the Regulation system in Ottawa forces Sub-divisions operating the Regulation system in Regulation forces = = = Total = 19 19 15 53
This sample was constructed with the assistance of liaison officers appointed within each of the sample forces as follows: Sub-divisions operating Ottawa systems within Ottawa forces Each of the nineteen Ottawa forces provided details of sub-divisions which had been directly involved in trials of the Ottawa system (known as “Ottawa sub-divisions”).
This information was used, for eighteen of the forces, to select a single sub-division where trials had been initiated in 1991. This criterion was introduced to ensure that standard comparisons could be made between pre and post experimental situations on the sub-division. (Where trials of the Ottawa system had commenced part way through 1991, data relating to the months of the trial only were converted to a full year equivalent.) In one case only (Nottinghamshire Constabulary), there was no sub-division starting a trial of the Ottawa system during 1991. The sub-division ultimately chosen had begun running the experimental system part way through 1989. (1989 data was weighted to provide a full year equivalent and used for comparative purposes in this instance.) Sub-divisions operating the Regulation system within Ottawa forces Each of the Ottawa force liaison officers identified a sub-division, which was broadly comparable in terms of establishment and policing environment (e.g mainly urban, urban/rural mix) to the selected Ottawa sub-division, but was operating a Regulation shift pattern. Sub-divisions operating the Regulation system within Regulation forces Each of the five Regulation forces was invited to nominate three sub-divisions (one each from the categories of inner city, urban and rural).
Liaison officers were asked to give priority to sub-divisions that had adopted experimental shift patterns, and/or different approaches to policing. As a result, a continental shift pattern operating at Benfleet (Essex Police) and a five-block pattern employed at Huddersfield (West Yorkshire) were included in the sample. (These two shift patterns are illustrated within Appendix A of this report.) A sector policing experiment operating at Battersea (Metropolitan Police), which involves the allocation of dedicated teams to specific geographic areas within a division was also selected. This enabled the study to give some consideration to existing flexibilities within the Regulation shift system and the impact, if any, of different types of policing on shift patterns.
Selection of forces for detailed study All five of the Regulation forces and ten of the nineteen Ottawa forces were selected for more detailed study. In selecting the sub-sample of Ottawa forces, efforts were made to include those with a full years experience of operating the system and to provide a balance between inner city, urban and urban/rural policing. Other forces were included for specific reasons: PHampshire: as the originator of trials with the Ottawa system and the force with the most extensive application of the system; PMerseyside: on account of this force’s decision to apply the Ottawa shift pattern force-wide from 1 April 1992; PSouth Wales: as the only force which had carried out trials with the Ottawa system, but had subsequently chosen not to continue the experiment. Data sources The study was expected to highlight any measurable variations which might be attributable to the change in shift system. Data was obtained from three key sources in support of this exercise: i The Critical Performance Measures Inventory (CPMI) questionnaire: designed to gather performance data for all fifty three selected sub-divisions; The Officer Perception Inventory (OPI) questionnaire: developed to record the perceptions of up to four hundred officers actually working shifts (Ottawa and Regulation) within the fifteen sample forces selected for detailed study; Interviews and group discussions: conducted with a range of groups and individuals (including senior managers at force headquarters level, subdivisional commanders and uniformed officers working shifts) during visits to the fifteen forces selected for more detailed study.
The Critical Performance Measurements Inventory (CPMI) questionnaire This questionnaire was devised to obtain data relating to areas of police activity which might potentially be affected by shift working. (The key categories included within the CPMI questionnaire are listed within figure 5.) The data were gathered by the force liaison officers for each of the fifty three sub-divisions nominated previously.
Figure 5. Key categories within the CPMI questionnaire Establishment numbers Number of officers joining Number of officers leaving Certificated absence Self-certificated absence Radios Vehicles Mileage Fuel Accidents Letters of appreciation Matching resource to demand Ordinary overtime Rest day overtime Bank holiday overtime Total overtime Crimes recorded – burglary dwelling – theft from vehicle – theft of vehicle Arrests recorded Clear-ups recorded Complaints
A preliminary study had been undertaken to identify the nature and range of available data to ensure as complete a return as possible to the CPMI questionnaire in the time given. Despite this, not all forces were able to supply the complete range of data requested. Marked variations in the recording procedures employed by different forces were also noted during the course of the study. Even different subdivisions within the same force were found to collect different categories of data and to use a range of recording methods. For these latter reasons, no direct comparisons were made between situations on individual sub-divisions (e.g. Ottawa sub-division versus Regulation sub-division in same/different force).
Instead, analysis was based upon a calculation of the percentage variation (positive or negative) experienced within each of the fifty three individual sub-divisions between 1990 and 1991 in relation to all variables of interest. This information was aggregated (by calculating a mean and a cumulative total) for each of the three groups comprising the sub- sample i.e. Sub-divisions experimenting with the Ottawa system in Ottawa forces Sub-divisions operating the Regulation system in Ottawa forces Sub-divisions operating the Regulation system in Regulation forces Comparisons between the experimental and non-experimental groups were then made at this more abstracted level for each of the variables. It was assumed that any bias introduced by different recording and reporting practices would be minimised in this fashion. It must, however, be noted that CPMI responses varied widely between sub-divisions for all variables; some showed very large increases between 1990 and 1991, while others (in the same sub-sample group) showed very large decreases. Hence, it did not prove possible to draw any statistically significant conclusions from the data regarding the impact of the Ottawa shift system upon the factors listed within figure 5.
Any comments based on the CPMI data, which are made in this report, will relate only to the specific sample considered and extreme caution should be exercised before drawing any wider conclusions. Officer Perception Inventory (OPI) questionnaire The OPI questionnaire was administered only to officers working at twenty seven selected sub-divisions within the fifteen forces subjected to more detailed study. All officers present on the sub-division at the time of a single visit to the force completed the questionnaire and a total of three hundred and seventy useable questionnaires was returned. This represents an average of only fifteen returns per sub-division and such small numbers prohibited any direct comparisons within or between individual sub-divisions. Instead, subsequent analysis relied entirely on comparisons of overall results (all Ottawa officers v all Regulation officers).
The objective of the OPI questionnaire was to identify whether officers’ perceived levels of satisfaction with a range of factors relating to working practices, service to – the public and personal lifestyle had changed significantly on account of the introduction of Ottawa shift patterns. (The twenty eight measurement factors taken into account within the OPI questionnaire are listed in figure 6.) Officers working under the revised shift pattern were asked to indicate their present feelings (1991), as well as those in the period before the introduction of the Ottawa system (1990), with regard to each factor. On each occasion, officers were asked to record their satisfaction using a scale of one to five. In all but two cases, five represented the optimum score. (The optimum score for “complaints from the public” and “sickness levels” was one.) The questionnaire was also used to gauge the extent to which the assessments of the “Ottawa officers” differed from those of their counterparts working Regulation shift patterns. The latter group (“Regulation officers”) were asked to report on their present feelings (1991) and how they felt in 1990 in order that a comparison could be drawn between the two groups. The use of numeric scales meant that mean scores per factor could be produced for the Ottawa and Regulation groups of officers for comparative purposes. (No distinction was made between Regulation officers in Ottawa forces and Regulation officers in Regulation forces on this occasion.) Time and financial constraints placed on the study prohibited the use of a more standardised ‘before’ and ‘after’ methodology for assessment of attitudes. The approach actually employed was far from ideal, since officers’ memories of a previous period might be unreliable. Further, officers could more readily engineer a difference between the two periods through the manner in which they scored the questions. Both of these caveats were, as far as possible, taken into account when reviewing the OPI data.
Figure 6 Measurement factors employed in OPI questionnaire Working Life Manning levels Time pressures Workload Rostering Variety of duties Overtime Police cars Radios Lockers Canteen Car parking Team Supervisors Sub-divisional commander Civilian staff Special constabulary Service to the Public Overall level of service Response times Matching Resources to Needs Complaints Lifestyle Overall well-being Sickness Social life Leisure Family life Travel time Study time Financial well-being
Force visits Visits were made to all five of the Regulation forces and to the ten Ottawa forces selected for more detailed study. In each case, the visits encompassed the subdivisions for which performance data had been gathered through the CPMI questionnaire. (Audits of the information supplied were also undertaken as part of these visits.) In the Regulation forces, wherever possible, visits were made to all sub-divisions involved in experimental shift patterns or policing approaches. Interviews were also conducted, in each force visited, with the Chief Constable (or Deputy Chief Constable), with personnel responsible for developing policy on shift systems and with representatives of staff associations. A half-day was spent at subdivisional headquarters, interviewing sub-divisional commanders and Chief Inspectors. (Semi-structured guidelines were used in all interviews.) A total of approximately one hundred interviews was undertaken during these visits. A further half-day was spent at sub-divisional headquarters conducting the OPI questionnaire and holding group discussions with officers working shifts. (The OPI questionnaire was completed individually before any discussions took place.)
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
3. Findings: Costs and Performance
The findings presented within this section are based heavily upon the results of the CPMI questionnaire and a summary of relevant CPMI results is provided within table 1. A comparison index for resource availability and demand, produced from a separate exercise undertaken as part of the study, is provided within table 2. Both tables 1 and 2 are located at the end of this section. Anticipated cost increases It had been anticipated that manpower costs might be greater under the Ottawa system, because of the need to create a fifth shift block. Despite this, an analysis of establishment figures suggested that the Ottawa sub-divisions had experienced increases of the same order as those occurring on Regulation sub-divisions. During interviews, several Ottawa subdivisions did, however, report difficulties in creating the fifth block from within existing resources. In many cases, area beat officers had been used to make good the shortfall, along with officers from specialist units. The larger Ottawa sub-divisions had experienced fewer difficulties in creating this fifth block, although even here there was recognition that resources were depleted at certain times of day. Some Regulation sub-divisions also complained of being asked to cover for their Ottawa neighbours whose shift strengths were depleted outside the overlap periods. (The effect of transferring officers to supplement Ottawa resources upon other sub-divisions or duties was not examined as part of this study.) The overlaps between shift blocks provided under the Ottawa system might mean that additional equipment costs are incurred. The study did not indicate that the new system had led to any difference in the number of vehicles or radios provided. Ottawa officers responding to the OPI questionnaire did, however, suggest that there were less police cars and radios available under the new system. Fuel consumption and vehicle mileage also appeared to be unaffected by the introduction of the new system. Anticipated cost savings With additional officers available during Ottawa overlaps to cover periods of peak demand, it might be expected that there would be a reduction in the amount of overtime claimed within Ottawa sub-divisions. The data suggests that some such cost savings may have been achieved. All sub-divisions considered experienced some reduction in the level of ordinary overtime claims, but the reduction within Ottawa forces was greatest. Reductions were recorded in ten of the twelve Ottawa subdivisions for which data was obtained and in three cases the reductions were greater than fifty percent. The Ottawa system does, however, provide for an additional forty two rest days for officers and this appears to have led to an above average increase in the level of rest day overtime. Total overtime hours claimed within Ottawa sub-divisions had,
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
nonetheless, declined (on average) by an estimated fourteen percent, whereas Regulation sub-divisions had experienced decreases of only one percent (Ottawa forces) or seven percent (Regulation forces).
Ottawa officers responding to the OPI questionnaire also suggested that overtime had become less freely available with the introduction of the new shift pattern. (The latter may, however, simply reflect a trend on all sub-divisions.) Unfortunately, it is not possible to attach any wider significance to the overtime results outlined above. Further reference to the statistics (see table 1) indicates that, on a force wide basis, the average variation in total overtime for Ottawa subdivisions could be expected to lie anywhere between minus fifty nine and plus thirty one percent. For Regulation sub-divisions, the expected range is from minus twenty five percent to plus twenty three percent (Ottawa forces) or from minus thirty three percent to plus nineteen percent (Regulation forces).
Crime, arrest and clear up rates The operational effectiveness of the Ottawa shift system was assessed in terms of its impact upon the level of crime and upon arrest and clear up rates. All sub-divisions considered (Ottawa and Regulation) had experienced broadly consistent increases in the level of recorded crime. This finding held for burglary in a dwelling and theft of/from vehicles, which might have been expected to show greater impacts because of the additional patrol resources available under Ottawa. Arrest and clear-up rates were also broadly similar and it was concluded that the Ottawa shift system had no impact upon these dimensions of operational effectiveness. Internal evaluations of the Ottawa system were obtained from a number of the forces undertaking trials. These also contained little clear evidence of any impact upon crime, arrest or clear up rates associated with the alternative shift pattern. Meeting routine operational demand Ottawa officers responding to the OPI questionnaire were of the opinion that the introduction of the new shift system had allowed resources to be matched more closely to demand. They also suggested that, with the introduction of the new system, workload and time pressures had been reduced. A special study was undertaken to assess the extent to which resources (defined as the available pool of uniformed officers) matched demand (defined as the number of calls for service logged) under both Ottawa and Regulation systems. Data on both resources and demand were collected for four sample Tuesday’s and four sample Saturdays (to reflect mid-week and week-end policing patterns, respectively) for 1990 and 1991 from nine Ottawa and nine Regulation sub-divisions. (The findings of this exercise are presented within table 2.)
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
It was anticipated that resources available on Ottawa sub-divisions might more closely mirror demand, because of the additional pool of officers which were available during overlap periods. However, subsequent analysis suggested that there was no evidence that the Ottawa system provides a better match of resources to demand. If anything, the opposite appears to have occurred with Regulation sub-divisions achieving improved matches on both Saturdays and Tuesday’s between 1990 and 1991 and Ottawa sub-divisions showing a smaller improvement on Saturdays and a deterioration in performance on Tuesday’s. (No attention was, however, given to response times or the quality of incidents attended.) This result raises the question of whether all sub-divisional managers are using the Ottawa system to its full advantage in this respect. It is also possible that the alternative system is not suited to the operational demand pattern of certain subdivisions included in the sample. Finally, it should be borne in mind that some Regulation forces within the sample had made efforts to match resource availability more closely to demand, while retaining the eight hour shift blocks required by Police Regulations. For example, several forces had adopted a policy of supplying a small number of additional officers during peak demand periods. Officers did, however, exhibit some resistance to the move away from the normal routine and from their core shift team. Acute situations and specialist functions Senior officers who were interviewed as part of the study commonly expressed concern about the effect which the Ottawa system might have upon their ability to respond to acute situations, such as major public order incidents. Outside the shift overlap periods, the Ottawa system provides twenty percent fewer officers on-duty at any given time and permits two shifts to be absent on rest days. The operation of the Ottawa system in parallel with the Regulation system was seen as further complicating the situation by giving rise to serious coordination problems. Some managers interviewed during the course of the study felt that the six days off provided after night duty under the Ottawa system conflicted with the requirements of community policing i.e. for regular and continuous presence of officers in an area. (They also expressed more general concerns about the difficulties of “settling back in” after a prolonged period of rest and of keeping abreast with developments.) Indeed, in some Ottawa sub-divisions visited, area officers had found the alternative shift pattern unworkable and had reverted to Regulation patterns with eight hour tours of duty. Larger sub-divisions appeared to have experienced lesser problems in this respect, since areas might anyway be covered by a team of officers drawn from different shifts. A number of managers, and indeed officers, also questioned whether the Ottawa
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
system provided sufficient flexibility in individual working patterns to be appropriate to areas such as CID. Several examples were given during discussions of a reluctance on the part of individual officers to move into specialist units because this involved losing the perceived benefits of Ottawa working. Quality of service All sub-divisions showed an increase in the average number of complaints received from the public, but Ottawa sub-divisions did appear to fare slightly worse. The number of letters of appreciation received was also considered, but no significant differences could be identified. Ottawa officers responding to the OPI questionnaire were, however, of the opinion that there had been an improvement in the standard of service offered to the public. (Regulation officers perceived a decline in this area.) General management feedback A number of the sub-divisional managers who were interviewed (and including several currently working under the new system) were of the opinion that the Ottawa shift system was not particularly appropriate to their local demand pattern and did not satisfy operational needs. Several of the managers currently operating the Ottawa system indicated that, given a free hand, they would not have chosen to introduce it. Some felt that the system emphasised officer welfare at the expense of operational requirements and that the latter needed to be more fully addressed. Many senior managers interviewed were of the opinion that decisions about optimum shift patterns should be made at sub-divisional level. (A few expressed concerns about the ability of sub-divisional managers to undertake this challenge.) There was unanimous agreement that it would be inappropriate and undesirable for the Home Office to prescribe in this area, although there was a demand for national guidelines covering issues such as minimum and maximum duty lengths. Summary As far as costs are concerned, there was no conclusive evidence that the Ottawa shift system brings about any appreciable savings nor that it enhances operational effectiveness in any respect. Further, the study did not suggest that the Ottawa shift system provided a better match of resources to demand. Indeed, there were some indications that the match was actually less adequate under this system and doubts were expressed about the Ottawa system’s ability to meet the requirements of acute situations or non-patrol functions. Some managers were also of the opinion that the Ottawa system over-emphasised the welfare requirements of officers and that responsibility for selecting more appropriate systems should be devolved to subdivisional level. Thus, the system does not appear to achieve any of the advantages that are
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
commonly attributed to it and cannot be viewed as producing better value for money than Regulation systems. The analysis to date has, however, been based upon a relatively small sample of sub-divisions and it is not possible to place any statistical significance on the findings. Hence, the information gathered might best be viewed as a basis for future research rather than as evidence of the Ottawa system’s failure to improve upon traditional systems in cost or performance terms. For example, the possibility that the Ottawa system had failed to realise its full potential, because additional resources (such as cars and radios) had not be provided, might be examined as part of some future study. Further research might also determine whether the revised system would remain viable if supplementary manpower could not be made available (e.g. from specialists or neighbouring sub-divisions).
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
Selected CPMI cost and prerformance statistics Ottawa SubDivs Ottawa Forces Regulation SubDivs Ottawa Forces 1.3 5.7 12.4 -9.8 0.9 139.0 376.1 876.2 -100.0 22.8 10.6 21.1 51.9 -30.7 12.8 10.0 29.0 66.8 -46.8 6.3 1.7 4.8 11.1 -7.7 1.2 -5.3 17.1 28.2 -38.9 -5.7 Regulation SubDivs Regulation Forces 0.4 1.5 3.4 -2.6 0.9 21.1 51.2 121.5 -79.3 1.3 5.7 17.3 39.6 -28.2 -2.8 1.8 4.4 10.5 -6.8 2.0 -0.9 6.8 12.5 -14.3 -3.3 -14.0 17.5 20.2 -48.3 -11.2
Establishment Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Certificated absence Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Self certificated absence Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Vehicles Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Radios Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Ordinary overtime Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals
1.5 5.4 12.1 -9.2 0.7 49.8 77.2 201.2 -100.0 34.8 3.6 29.9 62.2 -55.1 -2.2 0.8 9.7 19.8 -18.3 1.1 8.1 13.1 33.8 -17.7 9.6 -26.3 24.0 20.9 -73.4 -29.7
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
Ottawa SubDivs Ottawa Forces Total overtime Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Offences: total Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Arrests Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variation: cum. totals Clear ups/Crime Average % deviation Standard deviation High (95% conf.) Low (95% conf.) % variations: cum. totals Explanation of terms used in table -14.0 23.1 31.3 -59.3 -19.2 21.6 9.3 39.9 3.4 19.9 -2.5 10.5 18.2 -23.2 -3.7 -6.2 18.8 30.6 -42.9 -9.5
Regulation SubDivs Ottawa Forces -1.0 12.2 23.0 -25.0 -2.0 21.6 12.4 46.0 -2.8 20.1 5.1 11.7 27.9 -17.8 6.1 -7.7 19.5 30.5 -46.0 -20.9
Regulation SubDivs Regulation Forces -7.3 13.5 19.2 -33.7 -3.8 16.8 12.0 40.3 -6.8 15.1 8.5 11.9 31.8 -14.9 6.8 -4.4 12.7 20.5 -29.4 -5.4
Average % deviation: This statistic is obtained by first calculating percentage change (positive or negative) for each sub-division between 1990 and 1991. The individual percentage variations are then summed for each group and divided by the number of variations calculated to produce an average (mean) for the group. Standard deviation: This is a standard mathematical calculation which measures the dispersal of responses around the mean. High (95% conf.)/Low (95% conf): This indicates that there is a 95% likelihood that if data were collected for the whole population and not just a sample, then the result (“true mean”) would lie somewhere between the high & low estimates. % variation: cum. totals: This statistic was calculated for each group by first producing separate cumulative totals for 1990 and 1991. The percentage change between the two years was then calculated to reflect overall change.
FINDINGS: COSTS AND PERFORMANCE
Table 2. Matching resources to demand – comparison index (Comparison Index)
Ottawa Sub-divisions Tuesdays 1990 1991
2.22 2.16 1.41 1.59 2.37 2.86 2.64 2.05 2.40 2.23
Regulation Sub-divisions Tuesdays 1990 1991
1.70 2.16 1.33 1.91 1.94 2.05 2.40 2.61 2.49 2.10
1.43 1.50 1.56 1.72 2.83 1.74 1.23 1.99 1.86 1.82
1.58 2.05 1.18 1.48 2.02 2.49 1.74 1.22 2.17 1.82
1.48 1.89 0.94 1.20 2.46 1.36 1.62 1.92 2.14 1.73 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ↓↑ ↑↑ ↑↓ ↑↓ ↑↑ ↑↑ ↓↑ ↓↓ ↑↓ ↑↑
1.15 1.51 1.40 1.74 1.76 1.24 1.34 1.63 2.36 1.61
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
↓↓ ↓↓ ↑↑ ↑↑ ↑↑ ↓↑ ↓↓ ↑↑ ↓↓
1.50 1.67 2.14 1.76 2.40 2.16 1.87 2.43 2.06 2.02
1.43 2.22 1.70 2.39 2.32 2.17 1.72 2.21 2.83 2.15
Explanation of comparison index The comparison index represents the difference between the resources available and the resources demanded. The closer the match between the two, the lower the index and a score of zero represents a perfect fit.
FINDINGS: EFFECTS UPON OFFICERS
4. Findings: Effects upon Officers
The findings presented within this section draw extensively upon the results of the OPI questionnaire. A summary of relevant OPI results is provided within table 3, which is included at the end of the section. Job satisfaction and morale As part of the OPI questionnaire, officers were asked about their satisfaction with their job and shift system during 1990 and 1991. In relation to both factors, Ottawa officers recorded an increase in satisfaction between the two years, whilst Regulation officers recorded a decrease. Ottawa officers also indicated increased satisfaction with a range of areas linked to their working life, such as manning levels, time pressures and workload. (Regulation officers expressed decreased satisfaction in the same areas.) Greater satisfaction with the range of duties undertaken was also expressed by the Ottawa officers than by the Regulation group. It should perhaps be borne in mind, however, that discussions with Ottawa officers suggested that inflated levels of satisfaction had been reported within some questionnaires (regardless of true feelings) in order to increase the likelihood of the new shift pattern being continued. This suggests that the above results should be treated with caution, but also indicates that the Ottawa system was viewed very positively by staff. It was also noted that, although numerous officers left and joined the sub-divisions under consideration during the course of the study, only two individuals were identified as transferring because they were dissatisfied with the change in shift system. This result is hardly surprising given that the majority of forces undertaking trials had implemented the Ottawa system in direct response to requests from officers. A small number of older officers did, however, express some doubts about the Ottawa shift system during discussions. In many cases,these reservations appeared to stem from the fact that the officers resented either the change away from a familiar system or being moved from area duties to form part of a fifth shift block. (The latter was particularly unpopular because it involved recommencing night duties.) There were some complaints emanating from the fact that established teams had been broken up to create the fifth shift block for the Ottawa system. Some officers also expressed concern that the Ottawa system might be part of a move by management towards totally unconstrained rostering and called for adequate safeguards against this. (Other officers, however, regarded the Ottawa system as providing such safeguards.) There was considerable concern amongst all groups of officers about short-notice disruptions to shift patterns, which were seen as adding unnecessarily to existing pressures and frustrations. Some officers suggested that these short-notice changes were simply a result of inadequate management planning.
FINDINGS: EFFECTS UPON OFFICERS
Overall, officers were full of praise for the Ottawa shift pattern and many pointed to an increased feeling of well-being. Several managers also commented that morale among Ottawa officers had improved and that there appeared to be a better sense of team working and cooperation. Ottawa shifts were also considered to be more flexible in their attitude and approach to work. This contrasted with the lower morale and increased pressures and frustrations apparently experienced by Regulation sub-divisions. Physical well-being It had been anticipated that the introduction of the Ottawa system (and the provision of additional rest periods and time to recover between shifts) might lead to a reduction in the level of self-certificated sickness. The OPI questionnaire subsequently indicated that the level of sickness experienced by Ottawa officers had declined, whereas those experienced by Regulation officers had barely changed. Extreme caution must be exercised in interpreting the study data as detailed examination reveals that increases in self-certificated and certificated absence rates had been slightly lower in Ottawa sub-divisions than in the Regulation sub-divisions within Ottawa forces. However, regulation sub-divisions of Regulation forces experienced the lowest increases of all for both categories of absence. This seemingly contradictory finding mitigates against any real conclusion being drawn about the impact of this shift system upon absence rates. The OPI questionnaire also showed that, whilst Regulation officers had hardly changed their levels of smoking and drinking between the two periods, Ottawa officers had reduced both. Regulation officers suggested that they were taking less exercise than before, whereas Ottawa officers appeared to be taking slightly more. There was an apparently marked change in the sleeping patterns of both groups: Ottawa officers revealed a very great improvement in their sleeping patterns (with a dramatic decline in the number reporting frequent problems), while Regulation officers reported a noticeable deterioration. Police vehicle accidents rates were examined for all groups of officers involved in the study, but no particular differences were noted. (The possibility existed that these rates might reflect changes in the level of concentration achieved by officers.) Social well-being Marked differences between the Ottawa officers and the Regulation officers emerged from the OPI questionnaire in the area of personal lifestyle. Ottawa officers recorded some improvements for travel time and financial well-being and suggested that substantial improvements had occurred for overall well-being, social and family life, leisure and study time. This contrasted strongly with findings for Regulation officers who suggested that satisfaction with the vast majority of factors pertaining to
FINDINGS: EFFECTS UPON OFFICERS
personal lifestyle had deteriorated or remained unchanged. Interviews also indicated that the majority of Ottawa officers had welcomed the opportunities provided by the revised shift system to recover between shift blocks and spend more time with their families. Summary The OPI questionnaire indicates that, in almost all areas, Ottawa officers perceived improvements in both their working lives and lifestyle associated with the change in shift pattern. For officers working Regulation shift patterns, there was a corresponding perception of decline. This finding is broadly in line with the research carried out by individual forces.
FINDINGS: EFFECTS UPON OFFICERS
OPI results – average scores for working practices, service to the public and lifestyle factors Ottawa sub-divisions Before Working practices Manning levels Time pressures Workload Rostering Variety of duties Overtime Police cars Radios Lockers Canteen Car parking Team Supervisor(s) Sub-div. cmdr Civilian staff Special constabulary Service to the public Overall service level Response times Matching resources/need Complaints Lifestyle factors Overall well-being Sickness Social life Leisure Family life Travel time Study time Financial well-being Now Regulation sub-divisions Before Now
2.65 2.63 2.93 2.74 2.99 3.08 3.20 3.66 3.90 2.82 2.63 3.97 3.75 3.23 3.52 2.99
2.97 3.39 3.41 3.87 3.72 2.79 3.03 3.14 3.90 2.84 2.35 4.22 3.93 3.39 3.53 3.11
2.58 2.86 3.01 3.11 3.18 2.69 2.97 3.51 3.55 2.34 2.26 4.11 3.71 3.16 3.74 3.12
2.26 2.52 2.79 2.79 3.23 2.57 2.82 3.21 3.48 2.47 2.02 4.05 3.77 3.16 3.72 3.26
3.05 3.08 2.72 2.49 2.62 1.87 2.50 2.37 2.42 4.09 2.48 3.24
3.40 3.26 3.19 2.35 4.08 1.50 3.35 4.03 3.52 4.40 3.52 3.45
3.27 3.24 2.82 2.44 3.35 1.67 2.66 2.93 2.63 4.14 2.45 3.31
3.01 2.98 2.55 2.59 3.09 1.68 2.55 2.68 2.47 4.15 2.26 3.30
Key: All factors were rated on a scale of one to five. With the exception of sickness and complaints, the score five is used to indicate maximum satisfaction.
5. Consultancy Recommendations
The consultancy study was expected to generate recommendations for consideration by the Home Office. These were concerned primarily with possible amendments to police regulations and with proposals for undertaking more detailed evaluations of alternative shift patterns at a national level. Recommendations to chief constables on selecting appropriate shift patterns and best practice guidelines for the introduction and management of shift patterns were also provided. A summary of these consultancy recommendations to the Home Office is included below for the sake of completeness and in order to illustrate the conclusions drawn from the study findings. These recommendations have been overtaken by the agreement reached in 1992 on the introduction of alternative shift systems. Home Office guidance on this issue will follow in due course. The consultancy study also generated guidelines directed towards the needs of subdivisional managers. These were concerned with methods of assessing the appropriateness of shift patterns at sub-divisional level and with implementing these and are reproduced in Appendix C. Proposed revisions to Police Regulations Recommendation 1: All shift patterns operated by the police service should fall within the scope of national regulations and consideration should be given to revising Police Regulations to permit greater flexibility. Precise changes must be a matter for negotiation among the parties responsible for the Regulations, but specific attention should be given to: Length of Shifts: Police Regulations specify that all shifts should be of eight hours duration. It is recommended that longer shifts of up to ten hours should be permitted and that, in exceptional circumstances, shifts might be extended beyond ten hours. Safeguards should be introduced to ensure that officers working longer shifts are given adequate time off between shift. In addition, a limit should be placed on the total number of hours that can be rostered in any one consecutive block of shifts, or in any given shift cycle. Publication of Rosters: Police Regulations currently require that rosters should be published annually. It is recommended that “outline” rosters should continue to be published annually in advance, but that updated “working” rosters should be published during the year to accommodate any subsequent changes. The working roster would be distributed to all officers one month in advance. Prior to the publication of this “working” roster, management should be able, as at present, to make reasonable changes to an officer’s shift on a rostered duty day without the need for consultation, but changes to a rostered rest day should
be made only in consultation with the officer concerned. Once the working roster is published, any subsequent alterations to either duty or rest days should be made in consultation with the officer, except where management are obliged to impose changes due to the exigencies of duty. National guidelines on shift patterns Recommendation 2: A national working party should be established to identify and evaluate alternative shift patterns for use within the police service. Recommendation 3: The working party should include representatives from forces which have undertaken trials of alternative shift patterns within existing Police Regulations, as well as from Ottawa forces. Up to ten forces should be represented and individual members should be nominated by their Chief Constables. All members should be fully familiar with both Police Regulations and with practical day-to-day rostering at command unit level. Recommendation 4: The output from this working party should be ratified by ACPO and published as a set of guidelines on the various options which are available for shift working. These guidelines might cover impacts and resource implications for all shift patterns which the Working Party considered to be broadly appropriate. Recommendation 5: The ratified guidelines could be used by forces as a reference point when exploring options and should be made available to all Chief Constables. Selecting appropriate shift patterns – force level Recommendation 6: Chief Constables should have full authority for determining the shift patterns worked within their respective forces. The Home Office should only become involved at this level in order to fulfil its responsibilities for establishing Police Regulations and advising on best practice. Recommendation 7: Each Chief Constable should publish details of all shift patterns considered suitable for use by sub-divisions within the force. National working party guidelines might be used to support this selection exercise, but Chief Constables would be in no sense obliged to make available the entire set of options proposed. Recommendation 8: In determining the choice of shift patterns, Chief Constables should give consideration to whether: P The shift system will support existing force policy on the appropriate balance between proactive and reactive policing; The shift system will allow adequate regard to be given to both the operational
requirements of the area and the welfare needs of officers; P The number and size of shift blocks will be in line with operational needs and allow team spirit to be maintained. (Local monitoring might be required to establish optimum numbers and sizes for shift blocks); The shift patterns of patrol groups and specialist units can be sufficiently coordinated; Any overlap periods will be directed with clear objectives and additional resources (such as cars and radios) required to achieve these can be made available. (Local and central budgets may need to be reviewed); The shift pattern will allow known peaks in demand to be addressed appropriately without undue resort to overtime working.
Chief officers will also wish to take into account the following before authorising the use of particular shift patterns: Recommendation 9: Shift patterns should not include quick changeovers, 0600 starts on early shifts or more than seven consecutive duties, except where a majority of officers elect otherwise. Recommendation 10: The relative costs associated with different shift systems (emanating primarily from variations in manpower and equipment requirements) must be taken into account, but operational needs and officer welfare must always be given primary consideration. General guidance on managing shift Systems Even if no change has been made to existing shift patterns, management should, in the interests of best practice, act in line with the following recommendations: Recommendation 11: Management should endeavour to anticipate changes to officers’ rostered duties in advance, and cover alterations by means of voluntary shift changes or voluntary overtime. All enforced changes should be formally recorded for periodic review by sub-divisional commanders. Recommendation 12: Where enforced changes to rostered duties appear to be excessive, or the reason for their occurrence cannot be supported by exceptional operational requirements, sub-divisional commanders should provide rostering officers with further training and/or guidance in planning.
Recommendation 13: Shifts should not be regularly extended beyond the maximum of ten hours and then only on an ad hoc (rather than planned) basis. The occasional working of longer periods on an overtime basis would not be affected by this principle. Recommendation 14: Where individual forces wish to introduce rostered shifts of more than ten hours without the payment of overtime, this should only be permitted subject to the express consent of the officer(s) concerned. Care should also be taken to ensure that adequate rest between shifts is provided and that the total permissible rostered hours within a single shift block (or cycle) is not exceeded. Again, such shifts should only be rostered on an ad hoc basis. Recommendation 15: Evaluation reviews should be undertaken annually in order to ensure that shift patterns continue to support management objectives fully.
The following reports were made available to Touche Ross during the course of the study. Calgary Police Service. (1990) Hours of Work Committee: Final Report. Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Research Foundation Inc. (1992) Shiftwork: An International Survey of Problems and Solutions. Hampshire Constabulary (Undated) Ottawa: The First Twelve Months of an Experimental Shift System at Portsmouth Central Sub-Division. Hertfordshire Constabulary (1992) Ottawa – The Shift Workers Shift? Merseyside Police (Undated) Ottawa Shift System – Force Evaluation Merseyside Police (1991) Ottawa Shift System Seminar Northamptonshire Police (1990) Ottawa Evaluation Ottawa Police (1991) Phase 2 Report on the Allocation of Patrol Personnel in the Ottawa Police Sussex Police (1991) An Evaluation of Ottawa Shift Patterns West Midlands Police (1991) TASC Evaluation Additional force reviews were provided by: Avon and Somerset Constabulary Greater Manchester Police
CONTINENTAL SHIFT SYSTEM (ESSEX POLICE) FIVE BLOCK SHIFT PATTERN (WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE)
Continental Shift System (Essex Police)
L N E
E L N
E L N
N E L
N E L
L N E –
L N E –
1 2 3 4
E 0600 – 1400 N 2200 – 0600
1400 – 2200 Rest Day
Denotes quick changeover
Five – Block Shift Pattern (West Yorkshire Police)
M L N E M L N E
M L N M L N E
E L N E L N –
E M N L E M N L –
E N M V E N M L
E N M V N M L
N E L N E L
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0600 – 1400 1800 – 0200
M 1000 – 1800 N 2200 – 0600
1400 – 2200 Rest Day
STUDY TERMS OF REFERENCE SET BY THE ACPO WORKING GROUP ON ORGANISATIONAL HEALTH & WELFARE
Study terms of reference This study was commissioned with the following formal terms of reference: (i) To evaluate and report on shift systems in operation in a sample of forces operating the Compressed Work Week (Ottawa) shift system against the following criteria: a) the capacity to meet the operational demands on forces in normal circumstances; b) the capacity to cater for differing policing needs and priorities (within and between forces) taking in operational, geographical, manpower and resources considerations; c) value for money; d) the capacity as a minimum to maintain or preferably to improve the quality of service provided; e) the capacity to take account of personnel as well as organisational management considerations including, for example, officers’ own opinions on job satisfaction; patterns of sick absence; level of impact on accidents on duty; public opinion of the level of service; changes in the pattern of response times; impact which the revised system may have on officers not working shifts. (ii) Taking account of the findings at (i) and taking account of but not limited to proposals under negotiation in the Police Negotiating Board, to produce a series of pointers to best practice in shift system development and management.
GUIDANCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON ASSESSMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF FLEXIBLE SHIFT SYSTEMS
Guidance on assessment of sub-divisional requirements Sub-divisional commanders should undertake a detailed evaluation of their key objectives in order to identify which of the approved shift patterns are most suited to local use. This evaluation should involve the whole management team (in order to ensure ownership of the resulting plan) and officers should be involved wherever appropriate. The evaluation should take into account a range of elements including: P local geography and demography; P anticipated public order requirements; P forecasts of local demand patterns and seasonal variations; P minimum cover requirements; P availability of resources (staff and equipment); P key crime priorities; P staff morale; P public opinion regarding quality of service; P interests of local authority and other key community groups. Key elements for consideration within evaluation reviews In order to identify and maintain the optimum shift pattern for their area, subdivisional commanders should carry out a detailed evaluation of their key objectives. This review should be based on an appraisal of the areas listed below and should form a regular part of the manager’s planning responsibilities. All reviews should be carried out with the assistance of the entire management team, so as to ensure ownership of the resulting plan at all levels. It is recommended at such a review is undertaken on an annual basis. The elements which should be considered as part of a review will include: a) Local geography: – area size –inner city/urban/rural composition –special features – airports, ports etc Different areas within the sub-division may require the deployment of varying levels of cover and resources. b) Composition of neighbourhoods: – population groupings/demographics Certain areas may require more intensive allocation of resources, depending on, for example, reported crime levels in different categories.
c) Volatility: Reference to historical data and current community intelligence should help management anticipate the lIkelihood of major public order incidents arising within the sub-division. d) Local demand patterns: Historical data on calls for service will enable management to more accurately tailor the resources deployed throughout the twenty-four hour period and predict the varying levels of demand that may be expected. e) Public order requirements: – football matches – night clubs and pubs – regular major events Pre-planning of resources to cover these regular activities will help avoid unnecessary changes to rosters at short notice. f) Seasonal variations: Variations in population within the sub-division (e.g. the influx of tourists in holiday periods) will require additional manpower and levels of cover. The level of cover required may also vary with differing hours of daylight in summer and winter. g) Section strengths: Management must ensure that individual shift blocks contain sufficient numbers to provide operational cover and to engender team spirit and camaraderie. h) Minimum cover requirements: Shift blocks should be large enough to ensure that minimum cover is provided throughout the twenty-four hour period; the level of cover is likely to vary at different periods throughout the day and will also be influenced by the profile of the individual sub-division. i) Composition of existing staffing resources: – patrol – community – traffic – specialist units The objectives of the sub-division, and in particular the balance that is sought between pro-active and reactive policing requirements, will have a direct influence on the numbers of officers allocated to each area and the allocation of responsibilities and duties between them.
j) Equipment: – cars – radios Where shift patterns are introduced which provide an operational overlap, extra equipment will be required if the additional staffing is to be used effectively; this may in turn require a review of sub-divisional budgets. k) Communications: Geographical features of the sub-division may influence the quality of communications. This will need to be taken into consideration in planning for response to major public order requirements, as well as for on-going support between patrol blocks. l) Key crime categories: Sub-divisions may need to give different priorities to particular types of crime, depending on the population and profile of the area; in some cases, areas within a single sub-division may have differing priorities. m) Force policy: – policing priorities – budgets – central services The published objectives of each force will help to determine the priorities of each sub-division and centrally determined budgets will define the levels of expenditure. These will need to be taken into consideration both in establishing local objectives and in determining the required level of resource. n) Management audit: – chief inspector – inspectors – sergeants Sub-divisional commanders must identify the strengths and weaknesses of their managers and ensure that the objectives set can be achieved by their team; they should also assess the effects on management of the introduction of greater flexibility. o) Staff morale: Strong team morale and camaraderie are essential to effective policing, and managers need to be aware of any problems which might impair the overall performance of their officers. p) Public opinion regarding quality of service: The expectations of local communities must be recognised and reflected in the overall plans for the sub-division if an adequate level of public support is to be achieved.
q) Local pressure groups/media: An awareness of the interests of local groups is important in identifying the expectations of the community and may determine certain priorities in policing the sub-division. Equally, media coverage of specific issues may influence both the level of priority given, as well as the allocation of resources. r) Local authority: Both short-term and longer-term plans and objectives of local bodies must be reviewed to assess the impact they may have on the allocation of resources within specific areas. This review should form the basis of an annual plan for sub-divisional policing objectives and priorities. This plan, once agreed by force headquarters, should be formally presented to the officers within the sub-division. Recommendations for implementation of alternative shift systems Recommendation 1: If the evaluation exercise suggests that some change should be made in relation to the existing shift pattern, careful consideration should first be given to all implications identified for the change. The impact upon operational effectiveness, officer welfare and cost factors must all be considered carefully. Recommendation 2: Proposals for revised shift systems should be submitted to force headquarters for consideration. Recommendation 3: Chief Constables should assess the compatibility of the proposals of different sub-divisions and consider their effect on the overall policing objectives of the force. In areas of conflict, (e.g. where a shift pattern might require an unrealistic level of support from a neighbouring sub-division), Chief Constables may require sub-divisional commanders to select alternative shift patterns. Recommendation 4: Each force should establish local working agreements on shift patterns in consultation with staff representatives. Changes to existing patterns should only be made after consultation with those officers who will be working the shift pattern in question. Recommendation 5: Sub-divisional commanders must be clearly briefed on the criteria against which their performance will be judged under different shift systems. Such criteria might include a specified degree of improvement in the match between resource availability and demand, or a specified reduction in the number of ordinary overtime hours required.
Recommendation 6: Consideration should be given to the possibility of staggering the implementation of new shift patterns within a force. This will allow new patterns to become established locally with support from neighbouring sub-divisions. Ideally, only one sub- division should be implementing change at any given time. Sub-divisional commanders will be responsible for implementing approved shift patterns within their own areas and, in so doing, should give regard to the following recommendations: Recommendation 7: Any shift system is likely to require some adjustment during its lifetime in order to ensure that the objectives set for it are met fully. Agreement that necessary adjustments can be made should be negotiated with staff before any new shift system is implemented. (For example, some adjustments might be necessary if a shift system fails to match local demand peaks adequately.) Experience suggests that agreement is more readily reached before a system is implemented than after. Recommendation 8: Officers should be fully briefed on developments pertaining to the introduction of a new shift pattern in order to ensure maximum commitment and subsequent cooperation.