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Lancashire PEEL 2016

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 02/03/2017
Good

Lancashire Constabulary is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime. It has an effective approach to crime prevention, investigation standards are high and vulnerable victims are supported well. The constabulary tackles serious and organised crime effectively, and has the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year, when we judged the constabulary to be good in respect of effectiveness.

Lancashire Constabulary is good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. It understands the threat or risk of harm within the communities it serves. Plans are in place to realign how policing is provided through a ‘place-based policing model’ which is built on a preventative early action approach with other public service and community partner organisations. However, the constabulary would benefit from a more structured problem-solving approach and a process to identify what has been successful.

Lancashire Constabulary’s approach to investigating crime and reducing re-offending is good. The control room assesses incidents based on vulnerability, proportionality and solvability. Investigation is good and specialist staff are trained appropriately, although supervision of case files is not always consistent. Lancashire Constabulary is good at protecting the public from the most prolific, serious and dangerous offenders.

Lancashire Constabulary is effective at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims. The constabulary generally identifies vulnerable victims well, but there is scope to improve the consistency with which wider aspects of vulnerability are identified and responded to at initial contact. Partnership working with other organisations is effective. The capacity for the multi-agency safeguarding hubs to cope with additional referrals from non-police partner organisations is to be reviewed and improved.

Lancashire Constabulary is effective at tackling serious and organised crime. The constabulary has a good understanding of organised crime groups (OCGs) at a local level, and good information-sharing arrangements with a broad range of partner agencies. All officers and staff are routinely given the task of gathering intelligence and targeting OCGs.

Lancashire Constabulary’s specialist capabilities are effective. It has all the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities. The constabulary has the capability to respond positively to civil emergencies, terrorism, serious and organised crime, public order, child sexual exploitation and cyber-crime.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?

Lancashire Constabulary is good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. It understands the threat or risk of harm within the communities it serves. Good communication links are in place with the public and other community service providers to understand community concerns and respond to them effectively.

Officers are routinely directed towards the most significant crime and anti-social behaviour threats. Effective action is taken to reduce these threats. However, there is no structured approach to problem solving. A robust process of identifying what has been successful would be beneficial to ensure good practice can be replicated in other areas.

Plans are in place to realign how policing is provided through a ‘place-based policing model’ which is built on a preventative early action approach with other public service and community partners. This aims to enable the constabulary to provide more effective services with the resources it has available. The constabulary has embarked on a range of academic research with universities to improve service delivery, particularly around early action, although this is still at a very early stage.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary needs to ensure that there is a robust and structured process for problem solving and identifying what has been successful so that effective activity can be replicated in other areas.
2

How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?

Lancashire Constabulary’s approach to investigating crime and reducing re-offending is good.

The constabulary is good at providing an initial investigative response. The control room assesses incidents based on vulnerability, proportionality and solvability. However, although the decision making model is used to assess incidents, vulnerability is not consistently identified at initial point of contact.

Response officers provide an appropriate level of investigation and are supported by specialist functions. However, more could be done to improve the investigative skills of response officers.

Investigation is generally good and specialist staff are trained appropriately. Supervision of case files is not consistent and not all supervisors know what is expected in terms of file supervision. While there is good investigative support for officers, backlogs in the digital media investigation unit remain unacceptably high. This adversely affects the timeliness and quality of some investigations.

Victim care is good, and staff are aware of their statutory responsibilities in relation to victims. However, levels in victim satisfaction are falling and the constabulary needs to understand the cause.

Lancashire Constabulary is good at protecting the public from the most prolific, serious and dangerous offenders. While integrated offender management is working at a local level, more needs to be done to engage all partner organisations towards a more cohesive response.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary should ensure that crime is consistently allocated to appropriately skilled investigators to ensure that victims always receive an effective service from the constabulary.
  • The constabulary should ensure that all crimes reported to the constabulary are effectively managed and supervised, with all reasonable lines of enquiry fully exploited at the earliest opportunity.
  • The constabulary should improve its ability to retrieve digital evidence from mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices quickly enough to ensure that investigations are not delayed.
  • The constabulary should ensure that checks are routinely conducted to verify the identity, nationality and overseas convictions of arrested foreign nationals.
3

How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?

Lancashire Constabulary is effective at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and it supports victims well.

The constabulary generally identifies vulnerable victims well. In some cases, a caller may mention some less obvious vulnerability concerns involving other people and these can be overlooked. There may be scope to improve the consistency with which these wider aspects of vulnerability are identified and addressed at initial contact.

Frontline officers respond well to vulnerable victims. They have a good understanding of safeguarding options and officers take appropriate action to keep victims safe. The constabulary has good arrangements in place to support victims of domestic abuse.

The constabulary works well in partnership with other organisations. The capacity for the multi-agency safeguarding hubs to cope with additional referrals from non-police partners is to be reviewed and improved.

How the constabulary deals with the investigation of cases of stalking and harassment is in development. Officers are beginning to understand the law and their responsibilities towards victims of stalking and harassment.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary must ensure that those staff answering calls from the public consistently identify all aspects of vulnerability when responding to calls to correctly inform deployment decisions.
4

How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?

Lancashire Constabulary is effective at tackling serious and organised crime.

It has good information-sharing arrangements across a broad range of partner agencies, with a dedicated constabulary operation in place to tackle serious and organised crime.

All officers and staff are routinely given the task of gathering intelligence and targeting organised crime groups (OCGs). The constabulary has a good understanding of local OCGs at a divisional level, with established arrangements through local intelligence units to identify, map and grade the threat presented by local OCGs.

The constabulary has good links to other regional enforcement services to tackle serious and organised crime. It has a full range of investigative capabilities to conduct complex investigations into serious and organised crime.

The constabulary has been able to prevent some vulnerable people from being drawn into serious criminality. It uses ancillary orders effectively to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and manage the most serious offenders.

The constabulary regularly communicates positive and preventative messages to local communities in relation to serious and organised crime. This raises awareness and protects vulnerable people from falling victim to organised crime.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary should enhance its approach to the ‘lifetime management’ of organised criminals to minimise the risk they pose to local communities. This approach should include routine consideration of ancillary orders and consistent monitoring arrangements to deter organised criminals from continuing to offend.
5

How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?

Lancashire Constabulary’s specialist capabilities are effective. It has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities. It has completed a strategic threat and risk assessment to assess its current state of preparedness. Senior leaders within the constabulary have all been trained in relation to their strategic policing responsibilities.

The constabulary has the capability to respond positively to civil emergencies, terrorism, serious and organised crime, public order, child sexual exploitation and cyber-crime. The constabulary employs a company to test its IT system capability and to improve its resistance to a deliberate denial of service attack.

A number of collaborative working arrangements are in place with academic institutions to enhance the constabulary’s response to cyber and digital crime and to develop a forensic academy on the headquarters site.

The constabulary has invested in its armed policing capability to be available to respond to firearms threats, significantly increasing the number of authorised firearms officers and armed response vehicles.

The constabulary has fully assessed its preparedness to respond to a marauding terrorist firearms attack. It is part of a regional alliance with other police forces to respond immediately to significant firearms incidents across the county.

Ungraded