Lincolnshire PEEL 2014
How well the force tackles crime
Lincolnshire Police is good at reducing crime and preventing offending. The force requires improvement in investigating offending. It is good at tackling anti-social behaviour.
Lincolnshire is a comparatively low crime area and crime has fallen in the county at a faster rate than across England and Wales as a whole over the last four years.
Lincolnshire Police has strong links with its communities; it works well with them and partner agencies to understand local priorities and concerns and provide a joined up response to victims. However, HMIC found that the approach to integrated offender management is weak.
HMIC remains concerned that the force’s ability to investigate crime is being hampered by the way it manages investigations. There are delays in the process and inconsistencies in practices which means that its ability to bring offenders to justice may be limited. However, restorative justice is used effectively to resolve investigations.
The force’s approach to managing anti-social behaviour in the county is effective. It works closely with partner agencies to identify anti-social behaviour at an early stage, understand the risks and provide tailored support to victims and perpetrators.
Further insights on effectiveness
The domestic abuse inspection found that Lincolnshire was generally effective at tackling domestic abuse. However, there were some areas that required further improvement before there could be confidence that the police were working as well as they should to help keep victims of domestic abuse safe. The crime inspection found evidence that Lincolnshire had made good progress in improving its response to domestic abuse.
A dedicated multi-agency hub for combating child sexual exploitation and finding missing children has recently been established by Lincolnshire Police. This is positive and demonstrates that the force has an understanding of – and responsiveness to – emerging crime types.
The value for money inspection found that Lincolnshire was a member of a long-standing regional force collaboration which tackled serious and organised crime and domestic extremism and terrorism, and investigated major crime, including homicides and kidnap.
How effective is the force at reducing crime and preventing offending?
Lincolnshire Police is a comparatively low crime area across all crime. The county has seen greater reductions in crime than across England and Wales as a whole over the last four years.
The force has an effective way of understanding and assessing the main threats and risks to local communities. It works well with partners to develop joined-up responses making good use of available resources.
The force recognises the importance of improving victim satisfaction and the need to maintain effective contact with victims. The current level of victim satisfaction is broadly in line with the previous year’s level, and is also broadly in line with the current England and Wales level.
Officers working on the front line are frequently taken away from neighbourhood policing to help out with the demand for emergency response, and the service provided to those local communities is diminished as a result.
How effective is the force at investigating offending?
HMIC found that there are inconsistencies in the quality of investigations, reducing the chances of successful prosecution in some cases. Delays in the management of investigations are compromising the force’s ability to investigate crimes effectively and provide a service to victims.
Lincolnshire Police makes extensive and appropriate use of restorative justice as a way of resolving selected investigations, in consultation with victims and with good, independent oversight.
There is considerable scope for Lincolnshire to improve its integrated offender management programme, which due to a lack of resources, is ineffective and applied only to a narrow range of offenders.
The force’s ability to measure the impact of its activity and to learn from what has worked is limited, although some development is taking place in this area.
How effective is the force at tackling anti-social behaviour?
Lincolnshire Police communicates effectively with the public, makes active use of neighbourhood watch and is building good links with harder-to-reach migrant communities.
Partnership working arrangements are good, and risks to victims are jointly assessed and managed. There are established referral mechanisms for referring the most serious cases of anti-social behaviour and young offenders.
Reported incidents of anti-social behaviour have fallen in Lincolnshire over the last year, and public satisfaction levels remain broadly in line with the previous year’s level. The force is working to understand and address possible underlying causes of this, which will enable it to enhance further the service it provides to communities.
How effective is the force at protecting those at greatest risk of harm?
The domestic abuse inspection found that Lincolnshire Police was generally effective at tackling domestic abuse. However, there were some areas that required further improvement before there could be confidence that the police were working as well as they should to help keep victims of domestic abuse safe. The inspection found strong evidence that the police worked with partners to reduce the risk to victims and, as a result, make them safer.
The crime inspection found evidence that Lincolnshire had made good progress in improving its response to domestic abuse. The force prioritises domestic abuse and is responsive to the needs of victims. It also has a high level of specialist investigative capability in this area, although this is reduced at weekends.
The inspection also reviewed the domestic abuse action plan submitted by Lincolnshire. We found that the force plan outlines activity to improve the force’s response to victims of domestic abuse that is in line with agreed national priorities for forces.
How effective is the force at tackling serious, organised and complex crime?
The crime inspection found that the force had a dedicated multi-agency hub for combating child sexual exploitation and finding missing children. This was positive, and demonstrated that the force has an understanding of – and responsiveness to – emerging crime types.
The value for money inspection found that Lincolnshire Police was a member of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit. This was a long-standing regional force collaboration which tackled serious organised crime and domestic extremism and terrorism, and investigated major crime, including homicides and kidnap. The force had a strong commitment to continue to work with other forces in the East Midlands region.
How effective is the force at meeting its commitments under the Strategic Policing Requirement?
There was no Strategic Policing Requirement inspection for this force.