Lancashire PEEL 2015
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
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.
How effective is the force at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and keeping people safe?
Lancashire Constabulary is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and keeping people safe.
The constabulary has an effective way of providing neighbourhood policing which allows staff to carry out their main role being rarely moved to other duties. It has a commitment to make neighbourhood policing in Lancashire ‘everyone’s job’ in the constabulary, and is making good use of volunteers. The constabulary hopes that this approach will support the sustainability of local policing while also reducing its workforce numbers.
The constabulary considers prevention to be essential and undertakes an effective range of prevention activity. It makes good use of traditional and innovative problem-solving policing methods with partners and volunteers. However, the constabulary does not routinely evaluate all problem-solving activity and this leaves a gap in being able to capture lessons learnt.
The level and success of partnership working through the Early Action programme, and the constabulary’s move with other organisations to integrated public services is impressive.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and managing offenders?
Lancashire Constabulary’s approach to investigating crime and managing offenders is good.
Procedures for initial investigation work well, although more could be done to make the most of evidential opportunities. The process for allocating crimes and the subsequent quality of investigation is good. Victims are kept informed of the progress of investigations. The constabulary makes good use of restorative justice. Staff are well trained, the majority properly qualified with continuous professional development in place. The force prioritises its response to locate and arrest those offenders wanted for the most serious crimes, but requires better oversight of those offenders wanted for less serious offences to ensure a timely arrest.
The constabulary provides effective forensic support to frontline staff. Its digital media investigation unit prioritises cases effectively and has a satisfactory turnaround of digital evidence for investigations.
The constabulary identifies vulnerable offenders and tries to divert them from further offending. The constabulary’s integrated offender management models vary, but all work well with partner organisations to identify, monitor and work to prevent further offending and keep people safe.
Areas for improvement
- The constabulary should ensure that it has oversight of those who are circulated as wanted on the police national computer, those who fail to appear on police bail, and named suspects identified through forensic evidence, to ensure a swift arrest.
How effective is the force at protecting from harm those who are vulnerable, and supporting victims?
Lancashire Constabulary has made good progress in putting clear processes in place to identify repeat and vulnerable victims. The force makes accurate assessments of the risks they face and its response to them is consistent. HMIC judges the force’s performance to be good.
The force works effectively with partner organisations. Multi-agency structures bring together a range of service providers from the statutory and charity sectors to consider risk and to provide tailored support to victims in Lancashire. The constabulary’s proactive and continuous assessment of an individual’s needs and its rapid devising of support programmes ensures it provides a good service to vulnerable people.
The force has invested in specialist teams with the sole remit of investigating child sexual exploitation cases. These teams have made headway in targeting organised crime groups whose objective is to coerce vulnerable young children into sexual activity.
The force has made progress in response to recommendations made by HMIC in 2014 regarding its approach domestic abuse. In particular the quality and supervision of its risk assessments have improved. The constabulary still has work to do to ensure that frontline officers understand the full range of safeguarding routes for domestic abuse victims for the constabulary to achieve performance that HMIC grades as outstanding. They also need to understand more about controlling and coercive behaviour in the context of domestic abuse.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime, including its arrangement for fulfilling its national policing responsibilities?
Lancashire Constabulary is good at identifying and understanding the threat and risk posed by serious and organised crime to the communities of Lancashire. This is the first year HMIC has graded forces on their effectiveness at tackling serious and organised crime, including a force’s arrangements for ensuring that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities, so no year-on-year comparison is possible.
Lancashire Constabulary has an effective process of identifying and tackling serious and organised crime groups operating within its boundaries. This activity is well managed and well led, through meeting structures within the constabulary at strategic and local level, and with partners.
The constabulary has an effective working relationship with the regional organised crime unit and with other forces across the region. It works well with partners to share intelligence and disrupt serious and organised crime through an established approach. HMIC found effective processes in place to deter people from serious and organised crime, and further plans in place to enhance this work.
Lancashire Constabulary has the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that it can fulfil its national policing responsibilities.
Areas for improvement
- The constabulary should continue to enhance its serious and organised crime local profile even further with partner data, and continue to work with partner agencies in maintaining a joint oversight for tackling serious and organised crime.