Evidence Cafe 9: Demand Management (Bedfordshire Police)

Friday, February 10, 2017 - 10:00

This cafe will follow the format of the previous two cafes on demand management in Humberside, and Hertfordshire. Building on our experiences from we have included a collaborative demand categorisation activity, adapted from Thames Valley Senior Research Practitioner Quoc Vo's work with the Q-Board sort method.

We begin with a 5 minute introduction to the Centre for Policing Research and Learning, outlining the three themes of Research, Learning and Knowledge Exchange that underpin the work of the Centre, placing this Evidence Café in the context of Knowledge Exchange and highlighting the learning resources available to officers who are members of the consortium.

Capacity and Demand Management

Paul presents cutting-edge research into capacity and demand management in the public sector, focusing on some key questions

  • Is demand the only problem?
  • What are the important differences between public and private services when they manage demand?
  • What difference does the timing of resource make to work backlog?
  • What are the hidden dangers of prioritization?
  • What demand don’t we want?

This leads into group discussion around exploring similarities and differences, connecting practice and academic research.

Failure Demand as an opportunity

Paul introduces research in failure demand categorisation, presenting a perspective of the types of demand faced by police forces that might be reduced or eliminated. This leads into a group activity, categorising demand and examples

  • In small groups – participants use posits and flip charts to identify and classify areas of demand.
  • Feedback to whole group, discussion facilitated by Paul

Collaborative Q-Board Demand prioritising activity

This activity was developed by DS Quoc Vo during his time as a Police Research Fellow at the OU.  The purpose of The Q-Board is to investigate what people view as the priorities for policing.  The game has been designed to reflect the reality of limited resources, where participants are forced to make decisions about what aspects of policing is more valuable and which is less valuable to them personally.

For this activity participants break out into two groups, each with a Q-Board. The activity triggers discussion and reflective thought which feeds into the whole- group activity in which the two groups explore the similarities and the differences between their demand prioritisation choices.

What can be done?

We conclude the session by drawing together the outputs from the different activities and highlights some of the main ways that demand can be reduced.  The discussion will end with an assessment of the actions that might come out of the day’s analysis.