Lincolnshire police goes from strength to strength

Crime & Court News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Crime & Court News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick and Chief Constable Neil Rhodes welcomed another quarter of improved crime statistics in Lincolnshire. The downward trend in recorded crime continued with burglary down 24.7% and violence against the person down 20.6% on the same period last year.

Robbery and vehicle crime are also both down. Recorded incidents of Anti-social behaviour have reduced by 22% which equates to 1,612 fewer incidents in the period April 2013 – June 2013 compared to the same period last year. Victim satisfaction is also an improving trend with 83.2% of victims surveyed satisfied with the service they have received.

The first quarter of the year also saw a fall of 18% in the number of people killed and seriously injured on the County’s roads.

The Commissioner said, “Yet again, I want to pay tribute to the Chief Constable, his officers and staff on their hard work. In Lincolnshire, we police with pride and it’s that pride in public service that delivers these positive results.”

The Chief Constable said, “It’s really good to see such a positive start to this year, building on the strong reduction in crime last year. It reflects really well on the officers and staff of the Force.”

The performance figures are released on the same day as a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. It recognises that with the lowest cost of policing per head of population in England and Wales, Lincolnshire has taken more decisive steps than most other forces to cope with the on-going reductions in the Home Office funding for policing.

The Commissioner said: ”This report underlines once again that the Government’s funding formula for policing is not equitable. It positively discriminates against Lincolnshire. It cannot be right that not only does spending on policing vary so widely across the country, but also that in some areas such as Lincolnshire local taxpayers shoulder a much greater burden through the Council tax for the cost of policing. If everyone spent the same as we do in Lincolnshire, the police service in England would cost around £1bn less.” But the Commissioner and Chief Constable are critical of the approach HMIC have taken in their Valuing the Police inspection programme. The Commissioner said,”HMIC could add much more to the national debate about how the police service needs to transform. Securing the future of policing services is not just about meeting the demands of austerity and making cuts.

“The service needs to deliver the right services, efficiently and effectively and taxpayers need to feel they are getting a fair deal. Many of HMIC’s conclusions about the work we have been doing in Lincolnshire are superficial and in some cases inaccurate. They fail to see that our strategic partnership with the private sector provides us not only with greater flexibility than we would have without it, but also greater capacity to transform how we do business to the benefit of our community. It also concerns me that there is an incessant focus on cuts and doom-mongering.

“What I’m interested in is getting the best out of every pound we have to spend. HMIC could better serve the public if they looked at how forces are utilising their resources. And they could do no better than assess how well other forces are doing in delivering lean and effective policing against the success we have had in Lincolnshire.”

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes said, “HMIC confirmed in their report that in very challenging circumstances, we have strong plans to provide a balanced budget for the next two financial years (through to April 2015). Recent indications about the national budget for policing (through to April 2016) lead us to believe we will be able to sustain a force of 1100 officers and a strong policing service. The HMIC report correctly identifies that Lincolnshire Police has implemented almost all of the best practice efficiency measures for the service, and in relation to partnership working with the private sector actually leads the country. We have stepped up to meet the current challenges and will continue to do so.”