Over 4,600 residents s from across the county responded online and over the phone, giving their views on what officers should focus on and their confidence in policing in Lancashire.
65% of those who responded indicated they felt safe in their area, an increase from 51% in a similar survey last year. There was also an increase in confidence that officers would be there if and when they were needed.
Meanwhile, of those who responded, 93% saw investigating serious crimes, such as organised crime gangs, as a key priority, followed by tacking child sexual abuse and combating terrorism and extremism. 9% said that patrolling areas with low levels of crime should be a high priority.
Findings from the survey will continue to inform the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan which sets the strategic direction for policing across Lancashire. Lancashire Constabulary’s major investigations teams are dedicated to tackling serious crimes including child criminal exploitation, supported by the work of response and neighbourhood officers, .
Survey results will also help to inform the Constabulary’s local taskforces. The taskforces, which have just seen their first anniversary, are responsible for tackling local priorities including drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and burglary, alongside disrupting organised crime group activity and targeting outstanding offenders.
Engagement with residents is a key part of the Commissioner’s role and he was delighted with the response seeing more people complete the annual survey than ever before.
“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is impacting the type of public events myself and my office would usually take part in to listen to the views of the public but I am still committed to hearing what residents have to say and to be their voice in policing. The fantastic response we have had to this survey shows that we have managed to do that and their feedback is extremely important both to me and Lancashire Constabulary.
“Tackling major crimes such as breaking up criminal gangs and protecting vulnerable people are key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and I have regularly visited Major Investigations teams who all do fantastic work, protecting young people from criminal exploitation, removing drug dealers from our neighbourhoods and bringing offenders to justice.
“Whilst years of austerity in policing have increased the pressures on the service, it is pleasing to see increasing confidence in officers being there when people need them and general safety in our communities. Investment into the force through local task forces and in extra officers currently being recruited and trained via the uplift from Government, is positive as any additional money coming into policing here in Lancashire can only be a good thing.
“However I will continue to lobby Government to ensure that Lancashire receives its fair share of funding, getting our Bobbies back onto our streets and targeting additional funds where they are needed most. We still have hundreds of officers less than a decade ago and I want to see the Government commit to targeting additional money to places worst impacted by austerity, such as here in Lancashire.”