I have had the privilege of being the Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary for over 10 years, and during that time I am delighted that we have been consistently praised and highlighted as ‘outstanding’ and ‘excellent’ in many of the different inspections a modern day police force has to undergo. I am immensely proud of our achievements.
This success is as a result of lots of very hard work – our staff are totally committed and focused on delivering high quality policing services to everyone who lives or works in or visits Lancashire. We are very clear on our mission, which is to keep people safe from harm, especially those who are the most vulnerable in our communities.
However, the very nature of policing is changing and it is set against a backdrop of austerity and financial challenges. We have done well in Lancashire to identify the savings required of us so far – in the region of £60 million – but we are still required to find more. There is no doubt that we will need to make some very difficult decisions about how we continue to deliver policing services to our communities in the future.
There is clear evidence that ‘volume’ crime is reducing and we have worked hard in Lancashire to make reductions. However, the demand on policing has changed, as has the nature of crime that we must prevent and where appropriate investigate. It is also evident that significant areas of our business that we are dealing with, fall outside ‘traditional’ volume crime and these are:
• Public Protection – and this includes calls about ‘concerns for safety’, monitoring registered sex offenders, and Cyber Crime, especially fraud.
• Safeguarding – the big issue here is Child Sexual Exploitation, and other sexual offences.
• Vulnerability – we are seeing a huge increase in cases that are linked to Mental Health.
Our commitment to you
We are absolutely resolute in our commitment, alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner, to continue to provide a 24/7 policing service to Lancashire residents to keep you safe. If you ring us, we will answer quickly and respond quickly, we will investigate crime proportionately, prioritising those crimes that have the greatest impact on the victim.
Local policing teams will cover every inch of the county, you will know who they are, they will know your area and you will be able to contact them about policing issues that concern you through a variety of methods, including online services. We will work hard to prevent crime with our partners ensuring you get the right help, from the right people at the right time.
In addition to more visible policing, we must also ensure that resources are focused on tackling serious and complex crime, and the public can be confident that we are working hard to keep them safe in areas that pose the greatest risk to the most vulnerable people.
A ‘typical policing day’ in Lancashire
• We take 2738 non-emergency calls
• And receive and deal with 576 ‘999’ emergency calls for help
• We get called to 230 incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour
• Arrest 92 people
• Stop and Search 45 people (5 of which will typically end in arrest)
• Have 21 people reported to us as ‘Missing’
• Manage 1680 registered sex offenders
• And deal with 80 incidents of domestic abuse