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Lancashire 2015

Read more about Lancashire 2015

This is HMIC’s second assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy with which Lancashire Constabulary keeps people safe and reduces crime. PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) gives you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas. It does this in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year-on-year.

The extent to which Lancashire Constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

The extent to which Lancashire Constabulary is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is outstanding.

The extent to which Lancashire Constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.

This year, for the first time, we have assessed leadership across the force. The assessment has led to a narrative rather than graded judgment, which is summarised below.

Read more about my assessment of Lancashire Constabulary’s performance this year, including exceptional events and where I would like to see improvements next year.

Michael Cunningham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Read the transcript of the video

Contact Michael Cunningham

HMI’s observations

I congratulate Lancashire Constabulary on its performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime.

I am impressed by the way the force engages with the communities of Lancashire to understand their concerns, and by the way it works alongside partner organisations. The force’s Early Action approach is an illustration of its emphasis on tackling the root cause of problems. The force has made good progress in putting clear processes in place to identify repeat and vulnerable victims. It makes accurate assessments of the risks they face and its response to them is consistent.

The quality of crime investigation is generally good and the force works well to stop re-offending.

I am very impressed by the force’s approach to financial management. It has achieved its planned savings and is exceptionally well prepared to face future financial challenges. It has a good understanding of the main elements of demand and uses its resources well.

I welcome the positive and supportive culture that has been instilled throughout the force by the continuing commitment of its senior leaders. The force gives careful consideration to the wellbeing of the workforce.

Lancashire Constabulary uses an extensive and effective range of online methods to engage with the people of Lancashire. The force seeks and identifies improved practice from elsewhere and works with its partners to use new methods to predict, understand and prevent problems of local public concern.

Description of force area

Lancashire Constabulary provides policing services to the county of Lancashire. Although there are some highly affluent areas, Lancashire has a high level of poverty. Around 1.5 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the city of Preston. The resident population is ethnically diverse, with 10 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by university students and the very large numbers who visit, socialise in, or travel through the county each year. The transport infrastructure includes major rail stations, air and sea ports.

The proportion of areas in Lancashire that are predicted to present a very high challenge to the police is higher than the national average. These are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.

Exceptional events

Lancashire Constabulary policed demonstrations at the first full-scale so-called fracking operation in the west of the county.

The force was instrumental in protecting life, property and livestock across Lancashire following the major floods in December 2015.

Working arrangements

Lancashire County Council provides some support services for the constabulary, including a technology platform for business support, human resources and finance. The force also has a shared learning and development department with Cumbria Constabulary. Working arrangements with other emergency services are advanced, with the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service attending missing person calls and the North West Ambulance Service assisting in dealing with vulnerable people. At a regional level, the force shares specialist policing services, such as motorway policing and the investigation of serious and organised crime, with neighbouring police forces.

Effectiveness

In our effectiveness inspection, we judged Lancashire Constabulary to be good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. The force works well with partners to deal with the causes of individual and family problems, and to prevent them from committing crime. The force is good at identifying vulnerable people and responds well to them. The quality of crime investigation is generally good and the force works well to stop re-offending. It has an effective approach working with a wide range of organisations to disrupt the activity of organised crime groups. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so a year-on-year comparison is not possible.

Efficiency

HMIC found that Lancashire Constabulary is exceptionally well prepared to face its future financial requirements. It has a good understanding of the main elements of demand and uses its resources well. It is taking clear and effective steps to tailor its future workforce plans to meet longer-term changes in demand, as well as future organisational and financial requirements. It has an excellent track record of robust financial management to achieve planned savings and has well developed plans for future savings. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the previous spending review period, Lancashire was judged to be outstanding.

Legitimacy

HMIC found a positive and supportive culture within Lancashire Constabulary and the wellbeing of officers and staff was considered very important. The force is outstanding in the way in which it engages with its communities to understand their concerns.

The force is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, and, while Taser is used fairly and appropriately, this use is not always recorded accurately.

This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.

Leadership

Lancashire Constabulary has an open and responsive chief officer team that understands its current leadership capacity and capability. The chief officer team clearly articulates to leaders throughout the organisation what is expected of them, and it emphasises the importance of the wellbeing of the workforce.

The force is actively seeking to identify and develop talented potential future leaders from within the organisation.

Insights from other inspections

HMIC undertakes other inspections in addition to the PEEL programme. Since the last PEEL assessment there have been seven reports published on inspections that included Lancashire Constabulary. More detail on some of these inspections can be found under the Other inspections section.

Looking ahead to PEEL 2016

In the year ahead, I will be interested to see how the force responds to this assessment and the areas for improvement that HMIC has identified in the last year.

I will be particularly interested to see:

  • an evaluation of the Early Action programme, which provides joint-agency early intervention;
  • compliance with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and more accurate recording of Taser use; and
  • the progress made with the integration of public services across Lancashire.

In May 2016, like the majority of forces in England and Wales, the force will see the second elections for its police and crime commissioner.

 

Effectiveness

How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 18/02/2016
Good

Lancashire Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

The constabulary works well with partners to deal with the causes of individual and family problems, and prevent them from committing crime. The constabulary is good at identifying vulnerable people and responds well to them. The quality of crime investigation is generally good and the constabulary works well to stop re-offending. It has an effective approach with a wide range of organisations to disrupt the activity of organised crime groups. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their overall effectiveness so a year-on-year comparison is not possible.

Lancashire Constabulary is committed to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and in making neighbourhood policing in Lancashire Constabulary ‘everyone’s job’. It has an effective range of prevention activity through an early action approach that works with individuals to prevent the longer term effect of them committing crime. It makes good use of problem-solving methods with partners and volunteers.

Lancashire Constabulary’s approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good. While the constabulary prioritises the arrest of those offenders who are wanted for the most serious crimes, it could do more to assure itself of the timely arrest of offenders wanted for lower level offences. The constabulary provides effective forensic and digital media support to frontline staff. It identifies vulnerable offenders well and makes efforts to divert them from further offending.

The constabulary has made good progress in establishing clear processes to identify repeat and vulnerable victims. It works effectively with partner organisations through multi-agency structures that bring together a range of service providers to provide tailored support to victims in Lancashire.

Lancashire Constabulary has a good understanding of the threat and risk posed by serious and organised crime to the communities of Lancashire. It has well established and effective ways to identify and disrupt organised crime groups.

The constabulary has the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. HMIC judges Lancashire Constabulary to be good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

 

View the four questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 20/10/2015
Outstanding

HMIC found that Lancashire Constabulary is exceptionally well prepared to face its future financial requirements. It has a good understanding of the main elements of demand and uses its resources well. It is taking clear and effective steps to tailor its future workforce plans to meet longer-term changes in demand, as well as future organisational and financial requirements. It has an excellent track record of robust financial management to achieve planned savings and has well developed plans for future savings. In last year’s value for money inspection, which considered how forces had met the challenge of the first spending review period, Lancashire was judged to be outstanding.

HMIC judges Lancashire Constabulary to be outstanding. Lancashire Constabulary has a good understanding of the demand for its services from calls and incidents and is developing its understanding of demand in other areas. It has re-aligned its resources to provide a more versatile and responsive workforce. The constabulary retains a daily focus on prioritising threat, risk and harm issues while caring for the needs of vulnerable people and is committed to developing its approach with other public sector organisations. Additionally, there are well established meeting structures that consider performance, finance, personnel, tasking and demand management, which provide the constabulary with a robust structure to prioritise activity and inform the development of a new neighbourhood policing model.

The constabulary’s current workforce model matches current demand and organisational and financial requirements. There is good oversight and monitoring of personnel issues.

It has projected required workforce numbers to 2018 and is clear on which officers will leave the organisation by 2021, including an understanding of their skills and capabilities which will need to be reviewed and potentially replaced. This is to ensure required savings are secured while continuing to protect the public.

The constabulary has a secure financial position. Careful management of budgets and a considered approach to strategic change has allowed the constabulary to meet the savings required from austerity and to invest in technology. This should enable the constabulary to engage with their communities more effectively through increased use of technology and for officers to remain on patrol for longer in the community.

 

View the three questions for efficiency

Legitimacy

How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 11/02/2016
Good

HMIC found a positive and supportive culture within Lancashire Constabulary and the wellbeing of officers and staff is considered very important. The constabulary is outstanding in the way in which it engages with its communities to understand their concerns.

The constabulary is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme, and while Taser is used fairly and appropriately, it is not always recorded accurately.

This is the first time HMIC has graded forces on their legitimacy, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.

HMIC found a positive and supportive culture within Lancashire Constabulary. Senior leaders are clear on the expected standards of behaviour required from all staff and the workforce has a good understanding of these standards. Wellbeing of officers and staff is considered very important and there is a strong network of support for all staff using trained, ‘wellbeing ambassadors’ within the constabulary and external support services.

Complaint and misconduct cases are seen to be dealt with fairly and consistently by the professional standards department and this is confirmed by our independent review of case files.

When HMIC looked at how well the force understands and successfully engages with all the people it serves, we found that officers and police staff of the constabulary are committed to understanding and serving the communities of Lancashire. They use an extensive and effective range of online and face-to-face methods to engage with the people they serve and to monitor their needs and report back results. The constabulary seeks and identifies improved practice from elsewhere and in conjunction with its partners it is using new methods to predict, understand and prevent problems of local public concern. The constabulary’s officers and staff treat the public fairly and with respect.

Stop and search and Taser are two ways that the police can prevent crime and protect the public. However, they can be intrusive and forceful methods, and it is therefore vital the police use them fairly and appropriately. The constabulary is not compliant with the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme and a considerable proportion of the search records we checked did not include sufficient explanation of the legal grounds to use this power.

Taser officers understand and apply the National Decision Model (the framework by which all policing decisions should be made, examined and challenged) and Authorised Professional Practice in their use of Taser, but how they record these incidents requires improvement.

View the four questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMIC carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Leadership

Last updated 25/02/2016

As part of HMIC’s annual all-force inspections into police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) in 2015, HMIC assessed how well led forces are at every rank and grade of the organisation and across all areas inspected in PEEL. We reviewed how well a force understands and is developing its leaders; whether it has set a clear and compelling future direction; and how well it motivates and engages the workforce.

Lancashire Constabulary has a transparent and responsive chief officer team that understands its current leadership capacity and capability. The chief officer team clearly articulates to leaders throughout the organisation what is expected of them through frequent and direct communication, with a focus on new recruits and those who are newly promoted.

The constabulary is actively seeking to identify and develop talented potential future leaders from within the organisation, while it has a leadership programme that provides opportunities for the whole workforce. Wellbeing of officers and staff is a strong thread in the constabulary’s new approach and has made a significant difference to the workforce.

View the four questions for leadership

Other reports

Last updated 22/02/2016

This section sets out the reports published by HMIC this year that help to better understand the performance of Lancashire Constabulary.

View other reports

Key facts

Force Area

1,187 square miles

Population

1.47m people 2% local 10 yr change

Workforce

76% frontline 78% national level
3.3 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
20% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.06 per person 0.05 national level
Local 5 year trend (no change) National 5 year trend (no change)

Cost

49p per person per day local 55p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

Lancashire is an economically and culturally diverse mix of urban and rural communities, with popular tourist destinations and respected universities.

Early action/multi-agency partnerships aim to prevent the most vulnerable to abuse, serious organised crime, terrorism, and online criminality.

Police and crime plan priorities

  • Defend frontline policing
  • Protect vulnerable people
  • Tackling crime and re-offending
  • Champion the rights of victims