Lincolnshire PEEL 2018
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Lincolnshire Police is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe.
The force investigates crime well. It is good at protecting vulnerable people. But it needs to improve crime prevention and how it deals with anti-social behaviour.
The force needs to understand local communities better. It also needs to improve how it assesses and shares good ways of working. It should talk to the public more when setting priorities. And update them after consultation.
It works well with other organisations to solve problems but should be more consistent in recording the results.
The force is good at investigating crime. Its investigations give satisfactory results. In 2017, we recommended the force supervise investigations better. Its specialist departments are now better at guiding and supervising these. But investigations by uniformed response officers would benefit from better guidance and oversight.
The force is good at spotting vulnerable people when they first contact the force. And it has got better at responding to them. But it should use this information to improve its understanding and focus activity.
Officers and staff treat vulnerable people well. The force uses its powers well to protect people. Officers and staff are good at assessing risk at domestic abuse incidents. It responds well to people with mental health issues.
In 2017, we judged Lincolnshire Police as good at tackling serious and organised crime.
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
Lincolnshire Police needs to improve how it prevents crime and deals with anti-social behaviour (ASB). We didn’t inspect this area in 2017. But in 2016, we asked the force to improve how it analyses information to better understand crime and ASB. It hasn’t made enough progress in this area yet.
The force has a new approach to neighbourhood policing. But it is too early to tell how good this is. It sometimes moves neighbourhood officers and staff into other policing roles. This makes it harder for them to deal with local problems.
The force plans to improve its training for local teams. The aim is to address inconsistencies across the force.
It works well with other public sector groups to tackle complex problems and support vulnerable people. But the force should consult the public more when deciding its priorities. And it should use this information to help it plan. It should also update the public more about consultation results.
The force uses many local problem-solving approaches. But it doesn’t consistently record these. Local differences can lead to different levels of service. It is hard for the force to understand which approaches work best.
Areas for improvement
- The force should ensure that local policing teams routinely engage with local communities and undertake structured problem-solving with partner organisations to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.
- The force should improve its ability to analyse information and intelligence, to provide a better understanding of crime and anti-social behaviour and enable it to focus activity effectively.
- The force should evaluate and share effective practice routinely, both internally and with other organisations, to improve its prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
Victims get satisfactory results from Lincolnshire Police’s investigations. But in our 2017 effectiveness report we said it should supervise investigations more closely. This is still inconsistent across the force. Supervisors don’t always make sure enquiries are complete. This may mean that opportunities to get the best result for the victim are missed. The force is training uniformed response officers in crime supervision. So the force is likely to get better at this.
Lincolnshire Police passes some low-level crimes to a desk-based unit. This reduces pressure on frontline officers and the force control room (FCR). The public can now also report crime online.
The force now has more trained detectives. But it still has work to do compared with other forces. Since our last inspection, the number of cases where the suspect is charged or summoned reduced slightly. Although this is still above the national rate. The force needs to understand why this is the case to make sure more victims get a good result.
The way the force catches and manages offenders is appropriate. It oversees suspects released on bail or under investigation appropriately. It has a clear process for finding and arresting wanted suspects, and discusses them daily. It identifies the suspects posing the highest risk to the public and focuses its efforts on them.
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
- The force needs to take steps to better understand the data relating to its crime outcomes and put actions in place to ensure that it is effectively pursuing justice on behalf of victims.
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
Lincolnshire Police is good at protecting vulnerable people. The force is good at identifying vulnerable people when they first make contact. And it has got better at responding to them. The force has good processes that help its officers respond well to people who have mental health issues.
Officers and staff treat vulnerable people well. The force works with other organisations to understand who might be vulnerable. But it should use this information to improve its understanding and make its services better.
In 2017, we identified that the force needed to improve the way it manages missing people. It is now managing these investigations more consistently. The force has worked hard to reduce workloads and improve the training of specialist teams to protect vulnerable victims.
Officers and staff are good at assessing risk at domestic abuse incidents. The force works closely with other organisations to protect vulnerable victims. It makes good use of its protective powers to do this. But it needs to improve its arrest rate for domestic abuse. This will make sure that the most vulnerable people are protected earlier.
The force manages offenders well to reduce the risk they pose to vulnerable people.
Areas for improvement
- The force should continue to enhance its strategic understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability within its local area through the use of partnership data.
- The force should improve its understanding of the reasons for the declining domestic abuse arrest rate and take appropriate action to address it.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2016 effectiveness inspection has been carried over.
How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?
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