Skip to content

Lincolnshire PEEL 2016

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 02/03/2017
Good

Lincolnshire Police has been assessed as good in respect of its effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime. Our overall judgment is an improvement on last year, when we judged the force to require improvement. The force has an effective approach to preventing crime, keeping people safe and tackling anti-social behaviour and serious and organised crime. It generally conducts investigations to a good standard, although it still needs to improve the service it provides to vulnerable people.

Lincolnshire Police is good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe. Neighbourhood teams are well led, and are briefed and assigned tasks on a daily basis. The staff in these teams are not re-assigned to other tasks outside their area, and so work with other organisations at a local level is effective. They have a good understanding of their communities. The force makes good use of Facebook, Twitter and LincsAlert to engage with the public. Local policing priorities are set mainly by panels of community members.

It continues to work well with other organisations to tackle anti-social behaviour. There are established monthly anti-social behaviour risk conferences along with weekly practitioner meetings between neighbourhood teams and key organisations, including the local authority and housing associations.

The force has made good progress in developing an evidence-based approach to providing services and it is making better use of effective tactics. However, the force’s analytical capacity and its ability to process intelligence and continually improve its approach to the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour are growing challenges.

Lincolnshire Police’s effectiveness at investigating crime and reducing re-offending is good. The quality of some investigations still needs to improve, but effective leadership and processes are raising standards.

Control room staff assess calls based on the level of threat, harm, risk and vulnerability faced by the victim, rather than simply by the type of incident. Most calls are attended within acceptable timeframes for the victims. The standards of initial investigations are good and important initial enquiries are generally completed well. Crimes are allocated to officers with appropriate skills. The force has substantially reduced the backlog of computers and telephones waiting for digital examination.

The force has a scheme that is equivalent to the integrated offender management scheme, which is good and growing. The scheme actively manages those offenders who pose a risk to the public. The force is adequately prepared to manage the risk posed by dangerous and sexual offenders.

However, when offenders are not immediately arrested, there is no force-level oversight of cases where there is a named suspect and no prioritised process to ensure that those offenders who cause the most harm are captured and dealt with quickly.

The force has invested in training for all staff whose role involves victim contact to keep victims at the centre of investigations. Victims are provided with a satisfactory service, including special measures, updates and victim personal statements.

Lincolnshire Police’s effectiveness at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims requires improvement. The force does not have a good understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability because it lacks enough analysts, the IT systems cannot record vulnerability and domestic abuse is not always recorded accurately.

The force is generally good at identifying people who are vulnerable through their age, disability, or because they have been subjected to repeated offences, or are at high risk of abuse, for example at initial contact and often responds well in meeting the needs of victims who are vulnerable. However, officers attending domestic abuse incidents are not always recording how children are affected and there is still an inconsistent approach to managing risk for missing and absent children. Not all frontline staff know how to identify and respond to possible child sexual exploitation.

Lincolnshire Police is good at tackling serious and organised crime. It assigns competent lead responsible officers to manage all mapped organised crime groups and works positively with a range of other organisations on gathering information and problem-solving. The force has a good understanding of the threats posed by serious and organised crime. There is good exchange of information at neighbourhood level between the police and other organisations, such as licensing teams, HM Revenue and Customs, Trading Standards and local authority staff.

Neighbourhood and response teams have a good awareness of the organised crime groups operating in their areas and are involved in intelligence-gathering and, where appropriate, disruption activity. Successful operations that dismantle organised crime groups are well publicised, using both the media and social networking. Neighbourhood policing teams help to spread messages, providing reassurance.

The force is developing its approach to managing serious and organised criminals to prevent them from re-offending and continues to deter people from becoming involved in crime, particularly through initiatives to support families.

Lincolnshire Police has assessed the threats identified in the Strategic Policing Requirement, although its analysis of cyber-crime and child abuse is more limited. It regularly exercises and tests its public order, firearms and civil emergencies response with other forces in the region and with organisations such as the military and the fire and ambulance services. The force shares lessons learned with the local resilience forum and also at regional and national level meetings. It has prepared business continuity plans in case of major disruption to services.

The force is part of the East Midlands operational support services collaboration, which has adequately assessed the threat of an attack requiring an armed response. Plans are in place to increase the force’s firearms capability by March 2017.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

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

Lincolnshire Police is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour. This grade is consistent with HMIC’s 2014 crime inspection and 2015 effectiveness reports. However, the force’s analytical capacity and its ability to process intelligence and continually improve its approach to the prevention of crime and reduce anti-social behaviour are growing challenges, which need to be quickly addressed.

Force priorities reflect a commitment to crime prevention, supporting victims, working with others and keeping people safe. Systems and ways of working, together with a range of powers and tactics, enable the force to work together with other organisations to tackle anti-social behaviour and keep people safe. Neighbourhood teams, although smaller, are dedicated to their areas, which means there is effective working with other organisations at a local level.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should improve its ability to analyse information and intelligence to gain a better understanding of crime and anti-social behaviour in Lincolnshire to enable it to focus activity effectively.
2

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

Lincolnshire Police’s approach to investigating crime and reducing re-offending is good. It has greatly improved over the last two years. Work is still needed to improve the quality of some investigations, but the force has effective processes and leadership, raising investigative standards.

Arrangements for initial investigations are based on an assessment of threat, risk and harm, and the allocation of complex and non-complex crimes generally works well. Recorded crime has broadly remained stable, a position which compares favourably with most other forces.

Investigations are generally carried out well, with good results. The approach to investigating crime is improving, although there are still inconsistencies across the force in recording supervisor directions and completing victim care plans.

When offenders are not immediately arrested, there is no force-level oversight of cases where there is a named suspect and no prioritised process to ensure that those offenders who cause the most harm are captured and dealt with quickly.

Victims are provided with a satisfactory service, including special measures, updates and victim personal statements.

The force and other organisations actively manage those offenders who pose a risk to the public. The force is adequately prepared to manage the risk posed by dangerous and sexual offenders.

Good

Areas for improvement

  • The force should develop its understanding of – and have a clear process to prioritise – those offenders who are not immediately arrested or who breach police and court bail conditions and who cause the most harm to ensure they are captured and dealt with quickly.
  • The force should improve the quality of investigations by recording supervisors’ directions consistently on investigation and victim care plans.
3

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

Lincolnshire Police requires improvement in protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims Progress has been made since HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness inspection, but important areas still need to improve.

The force has insufficient understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability, because there are too few analysts, the IT systems cannot record vulnerability and domestic abuse is not always recorded accurately.

The force is generally good at identifying and protecting vulnerable people at initial contact. Those attending domestic abuse incidents, however, are not consistently recording how children are affected. The force still has an inconsistent approach to the management of risk for missing and absent children. Not all missing persons are reviewed in accordance with force policy, and the missing record is not always created on a specialised database.

Some aspects of the response to child sexual exploitation have improved, and work with other organisations helps keep children safe. However, staff in the central referral unit have not been trained and not all frontline staff know how to identify and respond to possible child sexual exploitation.

The force’s specialist investigative capacity is generally sufficient, except for in the internet child abuse team.

Requires improvement

Cause of concern

The force has made insufficient progress on two of the areas for improvement identified in HMIC’s 2015 effectiveness (vulnerability) report.

Recommendations

The force should address this rapidly to ensure that victims are safeguarded and staff know how to respond well:

  • The force should improve its response to missing and absent people, including frequently missing children, by:
    • developing its understanding of the scale and nature of the issue;
    • managing the assessment process more robustly;
    • using systems designed to support the management of cases effectively; and
    • increasing awareness of trigger plans for those children who frequently go missing and who are at risk of sexual exploitation.
  • The force should improve its response to children at risk of sexual exploitation by ensuring it develops its understanding of the scale and nature of the issue, and that its frontline staff know how to identify cases and understand how to respond.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should reduce the backlog of Stop Abuse referrals to the central referral unit awaiting a risk assessment to ensure those who are vulnerable receive the response they need in a timely way and safeguarding is not delayed.
  • The force should ensure that all specialist staff have the opportunity for continuous professional development and the right training and support to be able to fulfil their investigative and safeguarding responsibilities well.
4

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

Lincolnshire Police is good at tackling serious and organised crime. It assigns competent lead responsible officers to all mapped organised crime groups to manage them throughout their active lifespan and works positively with a range of partner organisations to collect information and solve problems. It uses an appropriately wide range of tactics to disrupt organised crime groups, but should do more to assess which are the most effective.

The force has access to an extensive range of specialist policing capabilities provided by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit. This unit is predominantly targeted at the highest harm groups, and the force invests in some areas where it thinks further local support is required, including through a serious and organised crime unit. It is developing its approach to managing serious and organised criminals to prevent them from re-offending and it continues to deter people from becoming involved, particularly through initiatives to support families.

Lincolnshire Police engages well with the public about serious and organised crime using a range of innovative methods. These include its nationally recognised REPEAT (reinforcing elderly persons’ education at all times) and REVIVE (repeat elderly vulnerable intimidated victim engagement) initiatives, which use police volunteers and health and social care workers to support vulnerable people to protect themselves against crime.

Good
5

How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?

Lincolnshire Police has appropriate leadership arrangements to oversee the force’s preparedness to respond to all the threats identified in the Strategic Policing Requirement. The force has made an assessment of the risk of these threats for the communities of Lincolnshire, although this is more limited for cyber-crime and child abuse. There is regular testing of its response to these threats with other emergency services, such as the ambulance and fire services, and other organisations, for example local authorities and the military. Learning from this testing and exercising is shared with the local resilience forum and also at regional and national level meetings. Business continuity plans are in place to enable the force to continue to respond to these threats in the event of a major disruption to services.

The force is part of a collaboration called the East Midlands operational support services, which has adequately assessed the threat of an attack requiring an armed response. Plans are in place to increase firearms capability by March 2017. Progress is being made with an interim plan and the recruitment of officers to achieve the budgeted number of firearms officers.

Ungraded