March 2, 2023 11.00 am This story is over 8 months old

Improvements needed for Lincolnshire’s special operations police unit

It doesn’t understand the scale of the serious crime

The special operations police unit which covers Lincolnshire has been rated as Inadequate.

The East Midlands Special Operations Unit is a partnership between five regional police forces.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that it was too focused on traditional crime rather than modern problems.

Only a small fraction of its operations tackled modern slavery, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, despite the unit saying these were priorities.

Lack of skills and experience were blamed for a focus on drug and gun crime.

A report said that Lincolnshire’s section of the special operations unit was Inadequate, and the force doesn’t understand the threat from serious organised crime.

It also doesn’t have the capacity to deal with it.

The HMICFRS also criticised the lack of certainty around funding, with the East Midlands Chief Constables unable to agree a three-year plan.

It urged them to come to an agreement, and ensure the unit is properly funded.

Lincolnshire Police HQ in Nettleham. Photo: Lincolnshire Police

However, the EMSOU was praised for being “very successful at providing support to major crime investigations”.

The EMSOU, which is a partnership between police forces in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire, said it welcomed the feedback.

All other areas were graded Adequate or Outstanding. 

East Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Mayo told the BBC: “We welcome the scrutiny afforded by the HMICFRS and [take] into consideration the recommendations of this most recent inspection.

“Being found inadequate at tackling serious and organised crime is, of course, not a badge we wish to wear any longer than is necessary, as it is not reflective of the high standard of work that our officers and staff deliver, rather a comment on the way we are funded and resourced.

“The inspection was in spring last year and since then we have made significant inroads in resolving many of the recommendations contained in the report, by reviewing our various collaboration agreements and funding model.”

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