Lancashire 2018/19Read more about Lancashire 2018/19
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Lancashire Constabulary. PEEL is designed to give you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year.
Lancashire Constabulary was inspected in tranche three and we found:
the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe is good.
the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is outstanding.
the extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately is good.
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Phil Gormley, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I congratulate Lancashire Constabulary on its excellent performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime.
The constabulary prevents crime and tackles anti-social behaviour well. Since the last inspection it has improved how it protects vulnerable people; working closely with partners to ensure it safeguards victims. But it needs to improve the way it investigates crime through better training and more effective supervision.
The constabulary’s accuracy in terms of recording crime is assessed as good, having made improvements in how it does this since the last inspection.
I am particularly pleased with the way in which Lancashire Constabulary plans for the future. The force’s leaders are ambitious. The force has a detailed understanding of changing demand and links this to its future financial planning and workforce development.
Senior leaders ensure that the workforce understands the importance of treating the public and each other with fairness and respect. The force continues to uphold an ethical culture and promote the standards of professional behaviour it expects.
Overall, I commend Lancashire Constabulary for sustaining its positive performance over the past year. I am confident that it is well equipped for this to continue.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Lancashire Constabulary is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe.
It is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and has a good understanding of what is important to its communities. The constabulary has moved some officers from neighbourhood policing teams to response teams to ensure that calls for service are attended promptly. Although this means there are now fewer people in neighbourhood policing, they spend less time responding to calls and so have more time to focus on solving community problems.
The constabulary shares information with partners such as the council and health services. It conducts analysis to understand problems and works with partners and communities to solve them. It is spending money raised from a council tax increase on more officers to tackle crime in communities. The constabulary needs to make sure that it keeps a record of how it resolves problems, so that it can learn and share what works well.
The constabulary requires improvement in investigating crime. It is working hard to make sure it has enough people to investigate serious crime now and in the future. It is using technology to help it decide which crimes can be solved. This will help it use investigators’ time and skills more effectively. It has trained more people to cope with the rise in cyber and digital investigations.
The constabulary’s new IT system will help the workforce to make the right decisions to protect people. However, not all officers and staff know how to use it properly and many crime reports are not completed correctly. Putting them right can cause delays in the investigation, which means that evidence could be lost. Also, victims of crime might not get the support they need in a timely manner.
Investigations are not being supervised well. Inexperienced officers are not always getting the help they need to conduct investigations. The constabulary knows this and has a plan to improve.
There are good processes for making sure that wanted people are arrested. But the constabulary must make sure that it has all the information it needs to understand the risks that foreign national offenders may present.
The constabulary is good at protecting vulnerable people. Staff answering 999 and 101 calls are trained to identify vulnerable people and make the right decisions to help them.
Officers respond to calls in time to protect people. They make sure people are looked after and record what has happened. They share this information with other agencies that can provide support, such as social services or health, so that both immediate and ongoing needs can be met.
The constabulary is innovative in protecting high-risk victims of domestic abuse. It works promptly with partners to solve the cause of the abuse. It has made sure that it has enough people with the right skills to protect the public from dangerous and sex offenders. People who share indecent images of children are arrested quickly once identified.
The constabulary understands the threat from firearms and has sufficient resources to respond to that threat.
In 2017, we judged the constabulary as good at tackling serious and organised crime.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Lancashire Constabulary is outstanding in the way it operates and provides sustainable services.
The constabulary is outstanding in how it is planning for the future. It understands the changing nature of the types of incidents it is being asked to deal with. It uses technology to predict how many calls and crimes it will deal with in the next four years. This means it can plan to make sure it has the people and skills it needs for the future.
The constabulary uses public surveys and social media to find out what the public want. This helps it to prioritise the services it needs to provide.
It is innovative in how it understands what the public need, analysing thousands of calls so that it can improve its service. This helps it to invest money where it is needed.
The constabulary trains its workforce to have the skills it needs. It encourages people from all communities to join the constabulary. It checks regularly that it is a diverse employer. It encourages people to become investigators, so that it can investigate crime well.
It has detailed finance plans. It knows how much money it has and how much it needs. This helps it to plan where money must be spent and where it can be saved.
The constabulary works well with other agencies and organisations, but only if it benefits the service to the public. It has collaborated with academia to develop a forensic science academy, putting it at the forefront of forensic research. This will help it prepare for the future.
In 2017, we graded the constabulary as good at meeting current demand and using resources.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Lancashire Constabulary is good in the way it treats the public and the workforce.
It is good at ensuring that the workforce behaves ethically and lawfully.
Senior leaders act as role models, engaging with the workforce and giving guidance on ethical dilemmas. However, it needs to ensure that all leaders are discussing ethics with their officers and staff.
The constabulary has ethics committees to scrutinise its decisions. This helps to satisfy the public and the workforce that it is being fair.
The constabulary is introducing new technology to enable it to monitor the use of IT systems. This may generate more work for the counter-corruption team. The constabulary needs to ensure it has enough people to cope with any increase in demand.
The constabulary is good at treating the workforce fairly.
It seeks the views from every section of the workforce, and it involves them in making improvements. It is good at dealing with workforce concerns.
It makes sure that it looks after the wellbeing of the workforce. It has invested in occupational health services to support people. It treats mental health and physical health with equal importance. This is helping the workforce cope with the challenges of policing.
In response to a request from the workforce, the constabulary has developed a new IT system to support workforce development. The system meets the needs of the workforce, but not everyone uses it yet. In addition, not all supervisors hold regular meetings with their staff. This means that the constabulary could manage individual performance better. It recognises this and is developing a course to give supervisors the skills they need to develop people and manage their performance.
It recognises that it doesn’t have a scheme to identify talented people and is developing one. This will help it develop its future leaders.
In 2017, we graded the constabulary as good at treating the public fairly.
How well has the force performed in our other inspections?
In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections; 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.
Lancashire Constabulary: Crime Data Integrity re-inspection 2019 – published 16 May 2019
Lancashire – National child protection post-inspection review – published 11 April 2019