The Police and Crime Plan 2021 – 2025 announces the largest investment into Lancashire Police in living memory, with a £300m, 10-year commitment to overhaul police critical infrastructure, including sustainable new fleet, police stations and training facilities, digital and cyber capabilities, alongside hundreds of extra police officers delivered through the Government’s uplift programme.
The plan is required by law and outlines the needs and priorities of the people of Lancashire in relation to policing, crime and criminal justice. The top priority is to get tough on anti-social behaviour, with £1.2m announced for a new problem orientated policing command and taskforce.
Other priorities include disrupting and dismantling organised crime, cracking down on burglary and robbery and targeting dangerous drivers. A dedicated rape and sexual assault unit will be created to target offenders and to ensure better outcomes for victims. To support these priorities a Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Scheme has also been announced to invest up to £5m into initiatives that tackle crime hotspots. Lancashire will see increased asset seizures and high-profile operations to take the fight to criminals.
The plan is grounded in the work the Commissioner has already started, including the reopening of police station front counters and the disestablishment of the hybrid model, creating dedicated neighbourhood and response teams for every area.
Its publication follows extensive and wide-ranging consultation and will be used to hold the Chief Constable and the police service to account on behalf of residents of Lancashire.
Launching the new plan, Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden, said: “I was elected on the pledge to lead the fight against crime in Lancashire and that’s exactly what this plan sets out to achieve; through a common sense, no nonsense approach to dealing with criminals across our county and supporting victims.
“My number one priority is the safety of each of our residents with a commitment to build a visible and effective frontline service that protects our communities by taking the fight to criminals.
“Since I took up office in May 2021, I have patrolled with frontline officers across the county to truly understand how I can make a difference. Residents have told me that anti-social behaviour is the biggest policing issue in their local area. This is closely followed by drug dealing, dangerous driving and burglary; therefore, these are my priorities.
“I am determined to ensure Lancashire Constabulary has the resources and infrastructure needed to keep people safe and to deliver this. My investment programme will mean extra boots on the ground in your neighbourhood, but also investment into crime fighting infrastructure and technology to ensure we are always one step ahead of criminals. This includes investing into teams and initiatives to build cases against offenders and ensure victims get justice.
“This plan outlines my ambition to drive down crime and improve community safety, specifically through the recruitment of more police officers, strengthening of neighbourhood policing, and improving access to police services. These are all huge challenges, but I remain impressed and reassured by the way that Lancashire Constabulary continues to respond to the pandemic and to catch criminals, prevent crime and support victims.”
Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “This Police and Crime Plan sets a clear agenda for tackling and preventing crime and keeping the people of the Lancashire safe.
“I want to be clear that through supporting the delivery of this plan, anyone engaging in anti-social behaviour and committing crime in Lancashire, especially those involved in organised crime groups will have nowhere to hide.
“Lancashire Constabulary will proactively and relentlessly target and pursue all involved in criminality and seek every opportunity for the seizure of any assets gained through their criminal behaviour.
“I will work with the Commissioner to address the concerns of those living and working in Lancashire, working with neighbourhoods, businesses and residents across the county, with those who are unfortunate enough to be a victim of crime at the heart of everything we do.”
Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor, University of Central Lancashire said: “The University of Central Lancashire is delighted to host the launch of this very important crime plan for Lancashire and is proud to be a key accredited workforce provider delivering the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and Degree Holder Entry Programmes.
“With around 3,000 students currently enrolled within the School of Justice and forensic science, our policing related courses are a great example of how academia and practical learning can create job ready students. Our facilities such as the Hydra Minerva immersive training simulator and our crime scene houses, give that real-life element to our teaching of an extremely practical profession and I am sure that our students will in the future help to play a big part in helping to deliver this plan.”
The plan details the Commissioner’s aims and measures for the force and how he will hold the Chief Constable to account to achieve them, as well as setting out steps the Commissioner will undertake with partners from across the public sector to keep Lancashire safe. It was endorsed by the Police and Crime Panel at a meeting held on Monday 6th December 2021.