March 22, 2023 3.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

Can we trust our police? Lincolnshire PCC responds to damning Met report

Harrowing findings in London must not be ignored in Lincolnshire, Marc Jones says

By Local Democracy Reporter

Lincolnshire’s top cop has told police forces not to “shy away from hard truths” after a damning report into the Metropolitan Police.

A 363-page review into the London-based force found it to be to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.

Public trust in the police is already under strain following the murder of Sarah Everard and the conviction of serial rapist officer David Carrick.

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones, also the Chair of the Association of PCC’s, has called for national accountability to restore public trust.

He said: “This report makes for difficult and distressing reading and will undoubtably shake the very foundations of the public’s trust and confidence in policing across the board.

“As the public’s representatives to policing, we will not shy away from the hard truths in this significant report.

“It is time to shine a light on the darkest corners of unacceptable culture and practices within policing and other public service areas too.

“We will be reviewing it in detail and will work with our national partners to ensure any broader recommendations are acted on.”

Lincolnshire Police HQ. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

He added that police forces across the country are committed to stamping out cultures of discrimination.

“The need for strong and effective public oversight and governance for policing across the whole of the UK has never been greater,” he said.

“Our priority as Police and Crime Commissioners is to hold Chief Constables accountable on behalf of the public, to see trust and confidence in policing restored and retained.

“We will not falter in our determination to see them root out misogynistic, homophobic, and racist behaviour at the earliest opportunity.”

Baroness Casey, who conducted the review, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have said the Met could be dismantled and split into smaller groups if improvements are not made.

However, Home Secretary Suella Braverman says she trusts current Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to turn the tide.

Locally, 19 allegations of sexual assault, sexual violence or domestic violence have been made against current or former Lincolnshire Police officers since the start of 2021, although none were charged or disciplined after investigations.

A public meeting on safety in Boston took place last week. | Image: Daniel Jaines

However, there has been concerns about public safety in some areas of Lincolnshire including Boston, which has seen a number of recent murder cases involving knives and children.

At a community safety meeting in the town last week, Lincolnshire Police confirmed that it had recorded 13 murders and eight attempted murders in Boston between January 2017 and December 2022.

Lincolnshire Police remains the lowest funded force in the United Kingdom, and a £3.4 million funding gap in the latest government grant settlement has left the force needing to use reserves to balance the books.

Chief Constable Chris Haward said Lincolnshire Police do “everything we can to deploy our people where they are most needed”, but said the force are “lean but effective in what we can deliver.”

This statement came after Lincolnshire’s PCSO numbers were to be cut by 45%, attempting to bridge a predicted £10 million funding gap over the next few years.

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