The report has highlighted that the constabulary is graded ‘good’ in six areas – engaging and treating the public with fairness and respect, preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, protecting vulnerable people, managing offenders and suspects, building and supporting the workforce, and strategic planning, organisational management and value for money.
HM Inspectors also recognised that the constabulary had responded quickly to feedback in areas where improvements were required and noted that these issues will have been addressed by the time the report is published. These are responding to the public, and how we investigate crime.
Responding to the report, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said: “I want to thank everyone at Lancashire Constabulary, from the Chief Constable and his team to all the frontline officers and staff for their dedication, hard work and commitment, which is recognised and praised in this inspection.
“The Inspectorate’s report demonstrates that Lancashire is one of the best police forces in the Country – and whilst there are always ways to improve and innovate, it’s important to pay tribute to the people that delivered this outcome. ”
“Policing continues to evolve at pace and I’m proud of the way in which officers and staff continue to go above and beyond to meet these challenges, with the force commended for how it engages with the communities it serves and understands and responds to their priorities.
“I have made tackling sexual violence and domestic abuse a priority in my Fighting Crime Plan and therefore I’m pleased to see the Constabulary’s approach to protecting vulnerable people and managing domestic abuse perpetrators who pose the highest risk praised, alongside the independently chaired reducing reoffending boards, funded through my Office.
“Special mention is also given to the force’s successful problem-solving approach to reduce rural crime and prevent antisocial behaviour which I continue to invest in through dedicated rural task forces.
“Overall, this is a positive report which continues to put Lancashire as one of the top performing forces in the country. However, it also highlights there is still much work to be done, particularly in the force’s response to calls for service from the public and how it consistently investigates crime.
“The Constabulary is already making significant progress on my priorities. Through my regular Accountability Board and meetings with the Chief Constable, I will continue to scrutinise and hold the force to account to deliver improvements in performance, and the ongoing recruitment of over 600 new officers by 2023 will play a key part in this.”
Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “The report recognises that we are overall a good force that engages with the public promoting trust in our services, that plans for the future effectively managing finances well and that we protect the public of Lancashire from the most serious of offenders. Moreover, it recognises that our police officers and staff are extremely positive and proud to work for the constabulary and strive to provide an excellent service to victims and communities.
“We acknowledge there is some work to do to improve in some areas, including how we develop our policing model so we can respond more effectively to calls for service, investigate crime consistently and thoroughly and ensuring that we are consistently delivering an outstanding service to victims of crime. However, as acknowledged in the report, we are already making the necessary improvements at pace, and I am confident we will be judged good in these areas in the future.
“For example, whilst we were an early adopter of the new degree recruitment pathway for new police officers, we have recognised that this has put pressure on our frontline as we aren’t able to get new officers through training quickly enough. To counter this, I decided to bring back the traditional entry route and training which puts officers on the beat quicker, so our staff could feel the benefit and so can our communities.
“Lancashire is a modern force with traditional values. We will target criminals and bring them to justice; we will reduce crime and keep the King’s peace. In doing so, we will keep the public safe.
“Policing is complex and has changed over many years to a service that delivers for all. For us to focus on our core business we must work differently with partner agencies to ensure that people in crisis are supported by the most appropriate professional, who very often isn’t a police officer. Our ‘Right Care, Right Person’ programme is working well and allows my officers to focus on what they should be – fighting and reducing crime.
“I firmly believe in traditional policing values, upholding standards and treating the public with respect. This report acknowledges the work that my staff do each day to achieve this.
“Lancashire police staff are hardworking and dedicated to serving the public, and this was highlighted by the inspectorate. I am proud of my workforce who continue to strive to deliver a quality service to all communities in Lancashire and am pleased that this inspection report reflects that.”