In the face of ‘unprecedented’ demands on police service Commissioner welcomes praise for Lancashire from inspectors2 March, 2017
As figures show that Lancashire police face some of the highest demand in the country, Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw has echoed warnings raised by national inspectors.
Statistics released by inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) showed that Lancashire police are called 130 more times per 1000 residents than the average police force. In the six months from May to November 2016 calls to Lancashire police peaked at 20% higher than the year before and ‘999’ calls averaged over 20,000 a month.
Inspectors issued another ‘good’ report on Lancashire police’s effectiveness at tackling crime and keeping people safe, even in the face of higher than average demand.
Responding to the report the Commissioner said, “For a long time now we have been warning the Government about rising demands on the police as we, and other public services, face year after year of budget cuts. This is another warning from national inspectors about the pressures that this unprecedented demand is placing on the police.
“Since 2010, Lancashire police have had to make over £76 million in savings with around £15m more to be made by 2020. This has meant losing over 800 officers and 450 staff roles. As inspectors warn about the erosion of neighbourhood policing the Government really need to realise the impact that budget cuts are having. I hope that the Chancellor will consider this warning ahead of his budget next week.
“I am delighted that Inspectors have once again found that Lancashire are delivering a good service to residents, working hard to detect crime and keep people safe.”
“People in Lancashire can have real confidence in the force and the work of officers. As Lancashire police face unprecedented levels of demand we are continually looking at ways to improve the service people receive. However, if the Ministers continue to cut our resources against the backdrop of a growing and increasingly complex workload, I don’t know how long we will be able to maintain this level of service and protection.”
Chief Constable Steve Finnigan added: “I am pleased that we have maintained our ‘good’ grading following the HMIC inspection on effectiveness.
“Our communities can be assured that Lancashire Constabulary is still a very effective police service, working hard to fight crime and to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable, and that we are able to do this despite the on-going challenges we face in terms of the changing picture of demand and reductions in our budgets.
“We will consider all the feedback from HMIC and wherever we can make improvements to further improve the quality of service we provide to local residents, we will.”