This follows cross-party support of Andrew’s ‘Leading the Fight Against Crime plan’ for Lancashire. His plans will ensure victims are at the heart of policing, bolstering neighbourhood policing, investigation teams, improving critical police infrastructure and taking the fight to criminals.
The Panel meeting followed news that Lancashire Constabulary are on target to have recruited an extra 509 officers by the end of March 2023, through the Government’s ambitious uplift programme, boosting the number of resources available to fight crime and keep communities safe.
In addition to this, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable have identified a number of areas which are set to see the benefit of an extra £4.7m investment to deliver against the priorities outlined in Mr Snowden’s new Police and Crime Plan.
The budget proposal includes a small rise in council tax precept, the equivalent of 19p a week for a band D property, every penny of which the Commissioner has pledged to spend on fighting crime.
This includes the establishment of a specialist rape and serious sexual offences team which will bring together existing staff and officers working in this area along with 20 additional officers to help improve positive outcomes and get justice for victims.
There will also be 17 extra officers joining neighbourhood policing teams across the county, together with four more rural taskforce officers, led by three extra sergeants and an inspector to bolster proactive policing and tackle antisocial behaviour.
In addition to these 45 police officers, Andrew Snowden told Panel members that Lancashire residents can expect to see positive changes across the county with investment into essential technology and equipment, including new vehicles, to ensure that officers have the tools needed to tackle crime efficiently and effectively and stay one step ahead of criminals.
Mr Snowden said: “This year marks the beginning of the biggest investment in policing in Lancashire in living memory. There is real change happening and these investments will ensure that the force is in the best possible position to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our county.
“The priorities I have set out, in my Police and Crime Plan and the actions to deliver them, are bold – they are deliberately ambitious. And so, to deliver against them, the investments needed also have to be bold and ambitious.
“I took on this role to bring about positive change for the people of Lancashire and for the Constabulary that serves them. I have worked closely with the Chief Constable and colleagues across the Constabulary to understand the challenges they face and where investment is needed to overcome them and to deliver the best possible policing service.
“I have also consulted the public on where they want to see investment and 86% of Lancashire residents agree with a council tax precept increase being invested in front line policing and associated support.
“It is essential that Lancashire Constabulary have the right infrastructure to enable them to be as efficient and effective as they can be in providing services to the public. From the right digital and cyber capabilities through to the right training facilities, through to a future proofed fleet infrastructure and police stations that are fit for purpose.
“This investment will ensure that the Constabulary can deliver on my priorities and residents will see a positive impact in their neighbourhoods and across the county.”
Chief Constable Chris Rowley said; “I appreciate the support of the panel and the community in enabling the Constabulary to invest in areas of policing that will make the most difference to our communities. Our aim is to keep the good people of Lancashire safe by tackling criminality, and this extra investment will enable us to do just that.”
The Police and Crime Panel unanimously backed the Commissioner’s budget plans for 2022/23 and a formal written decision will follow.