DutySheet has helped Cambridgeshire Constabulary improve administration and communication, here's how…

  • Disjointed duty and event planning across the force
  • Poor communication - in terms of duty and event planning
  • No simple solution to collate statistics and quantify ROI
  • Too reliant on supervisors
  • Dropping retention rates
  • A cumbersome, unreliable call out procedure

Special Superintendent Dave Craig was charged by the ACC to research and implement a new Duty Management System for the Special Constabulary. After an extensive research period, DutySheet was singled out as the natural selection.

"We had a look around for a solution that would not only suit our current needs but would evolve with the ever changing role of the Special Constabulary within the police family and DutySheet, with their years of experience in providing a trusted solution to police forces around the country, was the perfect choice." said S/Supt Craig.

Within a couple of months, the force structure was setup on DutySheet and in February 2010, Specials supervisors of Cambridgeshire Constabulary were introduced to DutySheet with a days training session. S/Supt Craig commented; "The training session was an invaluable day for us. The trainers, being serving Specials themselves, were easily able to relate to our challenges and they showed us how DutySheet will help us overcome them. Even though we had seen a demo of DutySheet on several occasions, we hadn't realised how much thought and experience has gone into building DutySheet as the trainers had a practical solution to all of our questions."

Soon after the supervisors training session, the management team were given access to DutySheet so that they could familiarise themselves with DutySheet and they were also given the task of training their own officers. "The use of DutySheet was embraced by officers due to the ease of use. Only by getting buy-in from all Specials would the system work." said S/Supt Craig.

In April 2010, DutySheet went live and for the first time ever, Senior Special and Regular managers were able to accurately measure and record the contribution of the Special Constabulary to local policing and provide accurate data for the quarterly returns to the Home Office.

Through reports generated by DutySheet, regular managers began to clearly see the potential of the Special Constabulary. More and more, via DutySheet, Cambridgeshire saw the use of Specials in ever increasing diverse roles within the force. Criminal investigation teams vied for Specials support alongside neighbourhood policing teams, reactive shifts and mutual aid requests from other forces.

S/Supt Craig commented, "not only did we see an increase in hours [46% increase in monthly average hours] because officers were able to get involved in more duties, we were able to quantify the Return On Investment in the Special Constabulary. In less than a year, working with our regular colleagues, we were able to identify further training opportunities for our Specials, including response driving, roads policing and PSU training. After trying to achieve these things for our officers, with the aid of DutySheet, our contribution became glaringly obvious and we were able to justify the training."

This diverse use of Specials has directly led to a valued and balanced Special Constabulary. As officers are being used in varying range of duties this has had a positive impact on officer numbers and morale. Numbers have increased 20% between April 2010 and January 2011 and resignations have dropped significantly. DutySheet has enabled managers to quickly identify any welfare issues and to intervene and solve these issues quickly.

S/Supt Craig summed up with the following;

"Simply, it was money well spent."

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