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Lancashire PEEL 2018

Effectiveness

How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?

Last updated 20/01/2020
Good

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.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

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

Good

Lancashire Constabulary is good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour.

The constabulary is part of a national programme to modernise neighbourhood policing. It has made changes to the way it is structured, so that it has an adequate number of people to provide the services that the public want. There are now more officers in response teams and fewer in neighbourhood policing teams. This means that neighbourhood teams now spend less time responding to calls and have more time to spend solving community problems. The constabulary is spending money raised from a council tax increase on more officers to tackle crime in communities.

Although the constabulary uses legal powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, it doesn’t use them as often as other police forces. It needs to make sure it is using the law to best effect.

It shares information with partners such as the council and healthcare organisations so that it understands the problems it needs to solve. Officers and partner agencies work together in community safety teams, helping those people who need it the most. The constabulary needs to make sure that it records what it does to resolve problems, so that it can share the learning about what works well.

Areas for improvement

  • The constabulary should ensure there is a consistent approach to recording, reviewing and evaluating problem-solving activity.

Detailed findings for question 1

2

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

Requires improvement

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 means that investigators’ skills will be used more effectively.

It knows that cyber and digital investigations are increasing. It has trained more people to investigate these crimes. It has ensured it has the people and skills to examine digital evidence without delay.

The constabulary has a new IT system that will help the workforce to make the right decisions to protect people. However, not all officers and staff know how to use it properly, which means that many crime reports are not completed correctly. Correcting these reports can cause delays in the investigation. This means that evidence could be lost, and victims of crime might not get the support they need in a timely manner.

Investigations are not being supervised well. This means that inexperienced officers are not always getting the help they need. The constabulary knows this is an issue and has an improvement plan in place.

There are good processes for making sure that wanted people are arrested. Those that pose the greatest risk are prioritised. But the constabulary needs to make sure that it has all the information it needs to understand the risks that foreign national offenders may present.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure that it puts in place regular and active supervision consistently and records it appropriately, to monitor the quality and progress of investigations.
  • The constabulary should reduce the backlog of crimes awaiting quality assurance to reduce the risk of delays in investigations and referral of victims to support services.
  • The constabulary should improve its processes for the management of foreign national offenders so that it is effectively managing the risk.

Detailed findings for question 2

3

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

Good

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 are trained to make sure people are looked after and they record what has happened. This information can then be shared with other agencies that provide help and support, such as social services or health authorities. However, more staff are needed to make sure there are no delays in assessing and sharing the information that officers submit.

The constabulary is innovative in protecting high-risk victims of domestic abuse. It works with partners in a joint team to address the causes of abuse. This means that support can be provided immediately, so risks are reduced as soon as possible.

It is working with health partners to provide better support for people with mental health problems. In one district, police and health professionals attend calls together, providing specialist care, preventing arrests and unnecessary hospital admissions. This is improving the patient experience and reducing demand on all the services.

The constabulary has trained more officers and staff to manage offenders who pose the most risk to the public. It has increased its investment in dealing with online child abuse so that people who share indecent images of children are quickly identified and arrested.

Areas for improvement

  • The force should ensure there is sufficient capacity and capability within the referral unit to appropriately safeguard vulnerable people.

Detailed findings for question 3

5

How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?

Ungraded

We have previously inspected how well forces provide armed policing. This formed part of our 2016 and 2017 effectiveness inspections. Subsequent terrorist attacks in the UK and Europe have meant that the police service maintains a focus on armed capability in England and Wales.

It is not just terrorist attacks that place operational demands on armed officers. The threat can include the activity of organised crime groups or armed street gangs and all other crime involving guns. The Code of Practice on the Police Use of Firearms and Less Lethal Weapons (PDF document) makes forces responsible for implementing national standards of armed policing. The code stipulates that a chief officer be designated to oversee these standards. This requires the chief officer to set out the firearms threat in an armed policing strategic threat and risk assessment (APSTRA). The chief officer must also set out clear rationales for the number of armed officers (armed capacity) and the level to which they are trained (armed capability).

Detailed findings for question 5

English Cymraeg