Presents a simulation study of the costing of police custody operations at a UK police force. The custody operation incorporates the arrest, booking‐in, interview, detention and court appearance activities. The Activity Based Costing (ABC) approach is used as a framework to show how costs are generated by the three “drivers” of cost, activity and resource. These relate to the design efficiency of the process, the timing and mix of demand on the process and the cost of resources used to undertake the process respectively. The use of discrete‐event simulation allows the incorporation of dynamic (time‐dependent) and stochastic (variability) elements in the cost analysis. This enables both the amount and timing of the use of capacity and the generation of cost to be established. The concept of committed and flexible resources directs management decisions to the redeployment of unused capacity or alternatively the identification of additional capacity requirements.
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