Lincolnshire Police’s efficiency ‘requires improvement’, independent report says

Lincolnshire Police requires improvement ‘in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime’ – according to a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS).

Photo: Graham Detonator/Flickr.

The report, which was published today, sees the force downgraded from its previous rating as ‘good’.

It reads: “Lincolnshire Police provides a good policing service to its communities at one of the lowest costs per head of the population in England and Wales. It has entered into local partnerships, for example, with local authorities, has outsourced services to the private sector and has undertaken extensive collaborative work.

“However, because its last comprehensive review of demand took place some time ago, the force now has an incomplete understanding of the current, complex and future demand for its services.

“HMICFRS expects forces to have a continuing process in place to understand demand. In addition, the force is not sufficiently developed in how it plans to respond to an uncertain financial future and to provide efficient and effective policing,” it said.

In a press release in response to the report, Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor said Lincolnshire Police have not been told how much money the area will be given ‘as part of the funding formula from central government’.

DCC Naylor said: “Funding for this region has not been fairly balanced and we are hoping that will change in the future. Investing time and valuable resources into planning for a limitless number of funding scenarios would, ironically, be inefficient.

“What I can say is that we are continuing to maintain current levels of service to Lincolnshire residents and they can be sure we are constantly working to ensure our resources are channeled and deployed in the most effective way possible, but we can only sustain that so long.

“We are facing a significant funding shortfall and one that will need us to make difficult decisions in the very near future,” he said.

Comments about the force’s funding were also raised by Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, who said the force received the rating for ‘not having a crystal ball and planning for future funding – when none of us know what that funding will be’.

“The answer here is quite simple,” he said. “Lincolnshire does not receive a fair share of the money spent on police and we simply cannot continue to make cuts.

“I have been raising the issue of our perilous funding situation for some time with senior Government officials and ministers and I still hold out hope that the unfair level of funding we receive will be addressed.”

In the press release, DCC Naylor went on to add that the force has shown that work is already in place ‘where HMICFRS have said we need to make improvements in terms of demand’.

“The HMICFRS report raises areas of improvement that are already being worked upon, or we will be able to make advancements or adjustments once we understand what the financial settlement will be for police forces in England and Wales.

“We of course take on board recommendations from this report and will strive to make sure we make improvements were we can,” he said.

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