Commissioner cautiously welcomes fall in crime across the country18 July, 2015
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw has cautiously welcomed an annual 2.9% reduction in crime across the county.
The reduction for the year 2014/15 related to recordings of all crime and was revealed at the Annual General Meeting of the Police and Crime Panel in Blackpool.
The Commissioner, who outlined the figure as part of his annual report to the panel said: “The reduction in crime this year is obviously good news and shows a good picture for Lancashire.
“While I welcome this, there are clearly some areas where there has been an increase and this is worrying.
“There are increases in the number of sexual offences – particularly rape cases – and this is undoubtedly linked to reporting of crimes that have taken place in the past and also as a direct result of our efforts to raise awareness of sexual exploitation and grooming.
“However this increase does worry me, especially in the light of the continuing financial pressures we face. I have already allocated an extra £1m to help tackle the current caseload of sexual offences from reserves.
“Tackling crime is one of my key priorities, but this only represents a small part of what officers do. Early Action, which gets the right help to people at the earliest opportunity, represents a large part of what Lancashire Police does in order to protect the most vulnerable.”
The report also highlighted that despite £61m of cuts delivered in the last five years, the Constabulary had been rated “outstanding” in the HMIC report published in February for the way it was handling cuts. There was also reassurance that the Constabulary had managed an increasingly complex workload as well investigating serious and organised crime, supporting prevent programmes and cybercrime.
He also stressed that despite reductions in funding, local policing had been maintained with savings made by reducing management and overhead costs, but that the cuts had sadly led to 700 fewer officer roles and 500 fewer staff roles by the end of March.
Mr Grunshaw told the panel that he had reduced the cost of running the Commissioner’s office by £200k a year compared to the old Police Authority. Other highlights included the high level of public confidence in the force at 91% and effective partnership working with a range of organisations to provide support for victims and vulnerable people.
The Commissioner is required to produce an annual report feeding back on the work of his office to deliver Police and Crime Plan priorities. This includes his work to hold the Chief Constable to account for the work of the Constabulary; decisions he has made throughout the year; partnership working across the public and community sectors; work commissioned by the office and grants awarded to voluntary groups.
The draft annual report can be viewed at http://www.lancashire-pcc.gov.uk/annualreport