Forward From The Commissioner
My second year in Office has gone by as quickly as the first, and what a twelve months it’s been, as I deliver on my Police and Crime Plan, take the fight to criminals and work to make Lancashire a safer place.
I’m grateful for the support I receive from the Chief Constable, his senior leadership team, and police officers and staff throughout Lancashire Constabulary, who continue to impress me with their drive and dedication to protect the public and put criminals behind bars. I am also delighted at the strengthening relationships with other partners, as we work together to keep our communities safe.
It has been a busy year with progress being made across the county, delivering on what I set out to achieve when I became Commissioner back in 2021.
In Lancashire, we surpassed our target for officer recruitment through the Government’s Police Uplift Programme and, when combined with officers recruited with support from the Council Tax Precept, this means we have 612 additional officers, either about to start training, already in training, or out on our streets.
These officers have been crucial in our ability to deliver the police service that you deserve and keep the promises I made when elected.
One of my commitments was to ensure every area had its own 4. dedicated neighbourhood policing team. The previous ‘hybrid’ model that existed in some areas meant that officers had to do two jobs at once, acting as instant response for incidents, whilst also being expected to provide the proactive, community focused policing that neighbourhood officers need to carry out.
I was delighted in March 2023, after years of work and progress, the final piece in the jigsaw was completed as the Ribble Valley received a new, proactive and dedicated neighbourhood team. This was one of five areas in total to see this investment, alongside a return to 24/7 response policing based at Clitheroe Police Station.
This has helped the Constabulary to get tough on anti-social behaviour, with these neighbourhood officers best placed to act on local issues and the unique challenges faced in different areas. I’m pleased that from Summer 2023, officers will also be supported by the new proactive Anti-social Behaviour, Prevention and Problem-Solving Command. This ensures the Constabulary and partners are involved at the earliest possible point, which was a key feature of my ASB summits which brought together over 150 people from across local government, education, housing, and other sectors to discuss next steps and best practice.
All this work will be enhanced and supported with an extra £2m from Government over the next two years after Lancashire was selected as a trailblazing hotspot policing pilot through the ASB Action Plan.
Another key priority we have made great strides forward in, is disrupting and dismantling organised crime. The launch of Operation Warrior is driving increased activity to bring offenders to justice and encourage the public to provide vital intelligence, through the anonymous reporting organisation Crimestoppers.
We have used cash seized through the proceeds of crime to invest back into Lancashire, with almost £500k being put into community projects and innovative ways of working to deter crime and address local concerns. I have visited a wide range of different projects in areas across the county, all making a difference to the people who live there.
During the last twelve months there has been much work and results tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence with the newly formed Rape and Serious Sexual Assault (RASSO) teams, bolstered with 45 officers funded through my Office, putting offenders behind bars and delivering better results for victims. I also brought together senior leaders working across the domestic abuse and sexual violence space as part of delivering a joined-up approach across the county.
I have been pleased to see progress in cracking down on burglary and robbery, with residential burglary down 4% and Operation Defender focusing particularly on hot spot areas and repeat offenders. I have also engaged with businesses on crime affecting them, from shoplifting through to online cyber fraud.
It has been another year of addressing concerns on our roads and targeting those who drive dangerously, putting themselves and others at risk. The response to Operation Snap in particular, with members of the public submitting dashcam video footage, continues to be a huge success and is playing an important part in capturing incidents that may otherwise be missed.
All this work is backed by huge investment into policing infrastructure, which is starting to take shape, with a new base in Chorley, utilising the former base for Runshaw College in the area, plans submitted for the overhaul of Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters in South Ribble, revised plans for a new Pendle Police Station and other infrastructure investments ongoing or soon to come.
It continues to be a privilege to serve as your Police and Crime Commissioner, and I will continue to work hard to deliver value for money, state-of-the-art, proactive policing that the people of Lancashire expect and deserve.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner
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