Section 55(5) of the 1996 Police Act requires all Police and Crime Commissioner to prepare comments on any published HMICFRS (previously known as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary or HMIC) reports that relate to their force, to forward these to the Home Office and then publish in the manner they see fit.
Here in Lancashire, the PCC has decided all his responses should be on published on this page. Please find all her responses below.
HMICFRS also release an annual framework and programme of inspection.
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This report is a national thematic which highlights HMIC’s findings following an onsite inspection of 10 forces, which did not include Lancashire Constabulary. Whilst there are no specific recommendations for the Force, there are a number of recommendations which are generic to all forces. We will consider each of these and will and take the necessary action to ensure relevant issues are addressed. Delivery of the Force’s response will be monitored through governance arrangements exercised by the Deputy Chief Constable.
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Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has responded to today’s (Tuesday, November 18) HMIC Crime Date Integrity report.
Clive Grunshaw said: “What the HMIC report shows is in Lancashire, in contrast to the national picture, ‘quality and victim focus is the priority’.
“The report highlights that under the Leadership of the Chief Constable and through my scrutiny the people of Lancashire can be confident of the integrity of our crime recording figures.
“That said the force does need to act on the recommendations and I will continue to scrutinise their performance through our regular meetings.”
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said the Valuing the Police report highlights a “number of issues” facing policing in Lancashire.
Today’s report, published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) assesses how forces country-wide are responding to the spending cuts and praises Lancashire Constabulary for making “good progress”.
But Clive Grunshaw stressed further cuts identified in the latest Comprehensive Spending Review would have an impact on policing in the county.
He said: “While we welcome this report and the positive feedback Lancashire Constabulary has received from HMIC, it clearly highlights a number of issues that will significantly impact on the future delivery of policing services in Lancashire.
“The report rightly recognises Lancashire Constabulary’s savings plan has been driven around ensuring the public continue to receive a quality, visible service, with savings so far designed to afford protection to the front line.
“However, while there is a determination to continue to deliver a high quality professional service that is flexible to the needs of Lancashire communities there is no getting away from the fact that we are facing a £73.5m funding gap.
“The HMIC report has identified there will be a 14 per cent reduction in front-line officers in Lancashire between March 2010 and March 2015 – a figure which it says is greater than for most forces across the country. This reflects the concerns I raised about the impact of further budget cuts in the county to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, when the latest Comprehensive Spending review announcement was made.
“Although we are recognised by HMIC as making good progress in meeting the financial challenges, with crime falling and victim satisfaction rates remaining high, I believe changes will start to show as a result of the further cuts being demanded.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner I’m faced with a dilemma of knowing the public want visible, accessible, policing within their own community, while at the same time having to balance that against a growing demand for police work in areas which the public don’t see, such as counter terrorism, serious and organised crime operations and child protection.
“This comes at a time when we are also trying to balance the funding gap – and the diminishing numbers of officers we have as a result – with a growing call for the police to be the ‘social worker of all ills’. Officers are being diverted to deal with situations that are not police business, such as mental health issues, and are also facing demands for work around early intervention, re-offending, community engagement and work in our schools.
“I remain committed to prioritising the front line but we must be bold and innovative to ensure that policing can still be delivered in a dramatically changed landscape”