Lancashire is an economically diverse mix of industrial towns, popular tourist destinations and two university cities, set amongst areas of outstanding natural beauty. There are pockets of severe social and economic deprivation, with six wards in the top 50 most deprived areas in England1.
The population is ethnically diverse2; 90% white and 10% black minority ethnic (BME). BME populations are concentrated in the city of Preston (20%) and in Blackburn with Darwen (31%), which has a growing young BME population.
The force deals with approximately 1.5m calls for service each year and records around 500,000 incidents. 25% of those require an emergency or immediate response3. Around 100,000 crimes are also recorded annually4.
Despite achieving identified savings of £54m, and a 16% reduction in workforce numbers (2010-2015), the Constabulary is anticipating further budget cuts through to 2021. To achieve the level of savings anticipated it is inevitable that there will be further reductions in the workforce.
The force has already developed strong partnerships, such as those in the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs, to tackle the worst forms of abuse against the most vulnerable children and adults in the county; they receive 51,0003 police referrals each year. There are also serious threats from organised crime and international terrorism and extremism.
Online criminality is a significant emerging threat which victimises children in particular, subjecting them to abuse through social media and peer to peer networks. Investigation of these areas requires investment in specialist skills, knowledge and resources.
The most significant challenge facing the Constabulary is how to continue fulfilling its primary purpose of keeping people safe, and feeling safe, in the context of on-going austerity and changing demand. The Constabulary is currently engaging with the public and its partners to share these dilemmas and determine what they consider to be of greatest value.
Sources of information to verify the statement:
- Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010
- 2011 Census
- Force Statistics
- Office for National Statistics
- ‘Valuing the Police’ 4 Inspection Report