Further criticisms for Lincolnshire Police in latest HMIC report

A new report published by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary has ranked Lincolnshire Police as requiring improvement at protecting vulnerable victims and managing offenders.

A HMIC Police Effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) report, published on February 24, concluded that Lincolnshire Police failed to meet ‘good’ standards in two out of three primary areas.

Three quarters of forces inspected in the country were failing to protect the most vulnerable victims in society.

Seven out of ten categories examining the Lincolnshire force’s effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy were marked as ‘requiring improvement’ including areas like protecting vulnerable people, the force’s financial position and its use of tasers.

The rankings were as follows:

Overall Effectiveness Rating: Requires Improvement

  • How effective is the force at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and keeping people safe? – Good
  • How effective is the force at investigating crime and managing offenders? – Requires Improvement
  • How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims? – Requires Improvement 
  • How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime, including its arrangements for fulfilling its national policing responsibilities? – Good

Overall Efficiency Rating: Requires Improvement

  • How well does the force use its resources to meet its demand? – Good
  • How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model? – Requires Improvement
  • How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term? – Requires Improvement

Overall Legitimacy Rating: Good

  • To what extent does practice and behaviour reinforce the wellbeing of staff and an ethical culture? – Good
  • How well does the force understand, engage with and treat fairly the people it serves to maintain and improve its legitimacy? – Good
  • To what extent are decisions taken on the use of Stop and Search and Taser fair and appropriate? – Requires Improvement
Chief Constable Neil Rhodes. Photo Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes. Photo Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes said: “We take on board fully the recommendations of the HMIC assessment and have already begun implementing a number of actions in order to make sure service is enhanced in the areas where improvement is required.

“The terms of the three individual sections of PEEL have already been analysed in some detail over the course of the last few months at the time each has been individually published and I want people in Lincolnshire to be assured that where any shortcomings have been identified work has been swiftly actioned and will continue.

“There are also some positive points raised in this report. Not least of all the ‘effective approach to crime prevention, tackling anti-social behaviour and disrupting the activity of organised crime groups’ as stated in the report, but also reduction in ‘the time taken to allocate crimes for investigation’.

“We acknowledge and accept the assessment in relation to our response to vulnerable people and child sexual exploitation, and work required to improve the quality of crime investigations.

“We have made no secret of the fact that we are currently reorganising our resources to respond to emerging threats and areas including child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, to name but two, so our performance will be improved in those areas.”

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Hardwick, added: “Crime has fallen in the county and continues to do so. Robust action plans have been put in place and are being currently being implemented.”

Included in the report was an assessment of the force’s leadership, which was marked as positive in a number of areas. Chief Constable Neil Rhodes added: ” It specifically mentions how our core values are communicated through PRIDE, which makes me particularly proud. PRIDE – policing with Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Empathy – runs through everything our staff and officers do and I absolutely welcome the findings of the HMIC on that point.”

The reports follow on from recent criticisms of the force’s practice handling of detainees in custody as well as its use of tasers and stop and searches.