Protect local policing

I will protect local policing by:

  • Ensuring local policing teams remain a key part of policing our communities – you will know your team and they will know your area
  • Working with partners to join up services – working better together
  • Continuing to grow our Citizens in Policing Programme including increased use of Neighbourhood Watch, Specials and Cadets
  • Campaigning and lobbying for fair funding for our police services
  • Making the best use of our land and buildings
  • Modernising policing through better use of new technology

Residents make it clear to me they want to feel the police are part of their community. That’s why a key part of my Police and Crime Plan is a commitment to prioritising local policing.

Substantial cuts to our police budget since 2010 mean services will continue to change so they can be delivered with less money. However, I remain committed to ensuring there is a visible policing presence across the county.

This means we will have to be innovative, building capacity through Citizens in Policing, maximising use of technology and reducing costs on things like buildings and vehicles.

Protecting frontline policing

I am committed to protecting frontline policing and has achieved this by ensuring that Lancashire has one of the leanest support services of any force, which provides excellent value for money as evidenced in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) value for money profiles.

Latest figures (31st March 2019) show that Lancashire Constabulary is prioritising front line policing with just 117 officers out of 2,895 working within frontline support functions. These roles are essential for the efficient running of the force and include training, organisational development and officers within the Professional Standards Department.

Lancashire Constabulary has been rated outstanding for efficiency by HMICFRS. The latest report endorses that we are focusing our resources in the right place, at the right time, and importantly, that we are getting it right – listening to our staff and communities, tackling the issues that are important to them and investing where we need to.

Local Policing teams

Recent changes to the way our police service is managed means we now have place-based Chief Inspectors responsible for their patch. They are supported by a range of specialist officers who work on local crime and investigations.

These days don’t need to visit a police station or call to get in touch with your local police team or talk to officers and staff. As communication methods have changed in our communities, Lancashire police has been one of the first to embrace technology to improve how we interact with the public.

In the Know (link) allows residents to sign up to email alerts tailored to their area. Each local policing team has their own Facebook and Twitter account and local teams keep residents updated with local policing activity and witness appeals.

Although most calls are still received via 999 and 101 services, residents of Lancashire can also report minor crimes on the police website too wherever and whenever they need to.

PACT meetings still take place in local areas, but more and more officers are collecting information about local issues when they meet people every day and feed them into the In the Know monitoring system to ensure all local issues are better understood.

Citizens in Policing

Our Citizens in Policing Scheme helps boost our local services. Special Constables, community volunteers and cadets play important roles in assisting all officers and staff to keep Lancashire safe and better engage with local people.

My ambition is to increase the number of Police Cadets and Special Constables to add resilience to the force on the ground.

I have committed strengthening the role of neighbourhood watch and extending volunteer programmes to work with local communities too.

Partnership working

Lancashire Police is working in partnership with a range of public sector organisations on a number of initiatives to help reduce crime and keep Lancashire safe. These opportunities range from working in multi-agency teams to combat child sexual exploitation, mental health triage and Early Action teams who are working to support vulnerable people and help them lead more productive lives.

Campaign for fairer funding

During 2017 the Government has announced its intention to introduce a new funding formula for the police nationally. This means they will be looking at slicing up police grant funding differently using new criteria. So the same amount of money currently split between 43 forces, will be allocated differently.

Part of my role will be lobbying MPs and Government to ensure that this is a fair and transparent process and reflects the demand we face here in Lancashire.

Make best use of land and buildings

An estate strategy has been developed and aims to ensure we get the best use of police buildings, minimising costs and identifying opportunities for co-locating services with our partners.

In West division a new divisional headquarters is being built to replace two police stations in Blackpool including the aging Bonny Street station which is suffering from severe building repair issues and is costly to maintain. This new station will free up revenue costs – that is money spent on maintaining the building and utilities – to ensure that more money can be put back into policing.

Technology in policing

Lancashire has been keen to embrace technology to improve and modernise policing.  Officers are all equipped with their personal “police desk” in the form of a Samsung mobile device which means they can be out and about in their cars policing their areas and accessing vital information on the police computer at the same time.

Technology is also improving how the police engage with the public, log and manage cases, conduct investigations and even report crime.