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New Crimestoppers line launched

Thursday, March 14, 2024

We continue to make progress both as a force and nationally to strengthen our vetting and misconduct procedures to drive improvements to our standards and culture. 

To support our efforts, we are joining every police force in the UK to launch the Police Anti-Corruption and Abuse Reporting Service, run by the independent charity Crimestoppers, today (Thursday, March 14).

Since 2022, forces have been working closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and Crimestoppers to develop the national reporting service, to make sure it’s available to all communities. 

The service provides an anonymous and confidential route for the public to report concerns, online or via a dedicated phone line, about serving police officers, staff and volunteers who are suspected of being corrupt or committing serious abuse. 

The reports will be taken by Crimestoppers before being passed onto our Anti-Corruption Unit for further assessment. The information may then be passed to specialist detectives to begin an investigation, take steps to safeguard someone at risk or in danger, or record the information to inform future investigations. 

The service sits alongside our existing complaints procedure for the public and will only deal with reports of corruption and serious abuse. This may include, but is not limited to those who: 

  • Provide information or influence in return for money or favours.

  • Use their policing position for personal advantage - whether financial or otherwise.

  • Cross professional boundaries or abuse their position for sexual purposes.

  • Abuse or control their partner, or those they have a relationship with.

  • Engage in racist, homophobic, misogynistic or disablist conduct, on or off duty, in person or online.

Chief Constable Sacha Hatchett, of Lancashire Police, said: “We know that the vast majority of our colleagues are professional, committed and passionate about safeguarding communities.

“That’s why we are united in our shared determination to rid policing of those who fall below the high standards we expect of each other, and that the public rightly expects and deserves. 

“The Police Anti-Corruption and Abuse Reporting Service will help us to operate with the trust and confidence of the public by providing a route to report wrongdoing, independent of policing. 

“Please be assured that all reports will be thoroughly assessed by our Anti-Corruption Unit here in Lancashire, and where appropriate, a full investigation will take place to collect information and evidence to ensure that the right action is taken.  Of course, where we find evidence of deliberate malicious reporting, we would take action against those doing so.” 

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, said: "Public confidence in police has been understandably damaged by some truly shocking cases nationally, and I hope this helpline, together with a raft or other actions and reforms, will give people confidence to challenge behaviours and help us to help root out any officer not fit to serve.

"Here in Lancashire, as across the country, we expect our officers to be the best of us, and respect the law that we entrust them to uphold.

"Whilst the overwhelming majority of police officers and staff maintain these high standards, passionately taking the fight to criminals and keeping people safe, it's absolutely right that we take whatever steps we can to remove corruption, criminality, or abuse of power wherever it's found."

Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “This reporting service will enable us to take action by giving the public a new, anonymous and confidential route to report corruption, criminality, or abusive behaviour within policing.

“We do not underestimate the impact recent events have had on trust and confidence in policing, including the appalling findings of the Angiolini report.

“We have made progress in strengthening procedures around misconduct and vetting, and forces are taking a proactive approach to finding and rooting out wrongdoing. However, we know there is always more to do to ensure that we meet the high standards rightly expected and deserved by the public.

“The vast majority of police officers and staff act professionally and with integrity in the fulfilment of their duties to protect the public. We must take tough action to purge policing of those responsible for wrongdoing, for now and for the future."