December 23, 2020 4.47 pm This story is over 9 months old

Violent crime and low morale lead new police chief’s priorities

Lincolnshire Police has low funding and morale

Violent crime and low force morale will take priority in 2021 for the new Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police as he takes on the role.

Violent crime and domestic abuse have been on the rise this year in Lincolnshire. According to UK Crime Stats, Lincolnshire Police received reports of 1,920 violent offences in October 2020, up from 1,881 in January.

Chris Haward, newly-appointed Chief Constable for Lincolnshire Police, said: “There’s clearly some work to do around our crime performance and reducing crime.

“I think there’s an awful lot of good work going on around violent crime reduction against some of our most prolific offenders that work is already ongoing.”

“If we get all of that right, then hopefully we can make Lincolnshire probably the safest place to live, work and visit and that’s my ambition really over the next five years.”

This month, the force had the joint second lowest morale in a national survey — for the second year running.

Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

CC Haward said: “My priorities are definitely going to be about people and how we look after them, how we train our people, how we use our resources effectively and make sure that we’re tackling the right threats and prioritising against those threats.

He added: “At the moment I get a feel that we’re just trying to do everything for everybody to a relatively average standard.”

Instead he will be “focusing down on the key priorities: threats, empowering our people, and encouraging them to go out and tackle those areas and do them really well.”

CC Haward said he will be “going out and speaking to everybody, listening to what they’ve got to say, and trying to put things in place to make their working life better for them, and making sure that they’re able to do their job to the best of their abilities.”

Reasons for low morale. | Data: PFEW Pay and Morale Survey 2020 – Lincolnshire Police

Lincolnshire is also one of the worst funded police forces in the country.

CC Haward said: “As a Chief Constable, I’ll be pushing for that as well and trying to make sure that we get the best deal that we possibly can for Lincolnshire Police and for the county as a whole.”

He added: “We still need to make sure we’re really efficient and effective in what we do, and make the most of the resources that we currently have and so there’s a balance to be had there.”

CC Chris Haward hopes for Lincolnshire to get through COVID-19 in the new year and wants to see “a positive funding settlement for Lincolnshire Police so [they] can start to drive [their] business forward with some real pace.”

“We’ve got the officer uplift programme coming in so we’ve got 166 sector officers coming through in the next 18 months. It’s making sure we use those effectively to tackle those problems that are most hurting our communities, and working with our partners again to do that.”

ALSO READ: Lincolnshire Police will only tackle “extreme breaches” of COVID rules

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