The chief constable of West Midlands Police has revealed that the blueprint for the future of policing in the region will be delivered by the force and its private sector partner in the next five months.
The West Midlands force entered into a five-year partnership with consultancy firm Accenture UK in July that will help restructure the force, cut costs and introduce new technology.
The force says the partnership will help maintain crime-fighting capability and could chop more than £120 million off the budget by 2020.
The new blueprint will detail the changes to be made in police operations, support services, interaction with the public and partnership working enabled by new technologies.
Speaking at a meeting of the Strategic Police and Crime Board, Chris Sims predicted the force would have to save at least another £100 million over the next four years.
He added that the cuts were in addition to the £126 million that has already been saved in the last five years.
He also warned that the reality would be a much smaller workforce by 2020.
He said: “We are now engaged in a huge process of consultation with our staff.
“We have saved £126 million and have done exceptionally well, but our assumption is that post-election we will face another significant financial challenge of £100 million of saving over a four-year period.
“We just simply can’t carry on cutting at the edges without a significant review of how we operate.
“The demands on policing shows no sign of shrinking. Looking to the future we need to be inspired globally.
“We don’t have that global reach without the support of a partner like Accenture.”
The meeting was told that by March Accenture would have helped the force design a new target operating model, or blueprint, for how it will work in 2020.
Early discussions have included work on developing systems where people will be able to report crimes online and track the progress of cases electronically.
The chief constable added: “This is streets ahead of what other forces are doing. We will be smaller and we have to think about how we use some of the fruits of technological change. We will be getting into more predictive use of technology to understand problems.”
Police and crime commissioner David Jamieson said he had been “very encouraged” by the professionalism of the project.
He added: “This is not just about saving money or salami slicing, this is about creating something better in the way we do things.
“The degree of professionalism has been very encouraging but we can’t relax on this. It has to work.”
The report said that as well as drawing up the blueprint Accenture would be responsible for managing, implementing and overseeing its delivery.
It added that the projects may be sourced from Accenture, another provider or developed by the force itself.
The contract stipulates that all of the projects have to be affordable, there will have to be a transfer of skills to West Midlands Police staff and there will be performance measures to ensure policing is maintained through change and then enhanced.
The contract restricts Accenture’s fee if the measures are not met, but if they are exceeded, there will be bonus payments at a fixed level for the five-year term.