Alan Hardwick

Alan Hardwick

Alan Hardwick PCC

Before being elected as Commissioner in 2012, Mr Hardwick worked as a communications professional on newspapers, radio, television and latterly with Lincolnshire Police Authority. Throughout his career, he built up a wide experience of police and policing in the UK. He is passionate about Lincolnshire and about ensuring – with the Chief Constable – the effectiveness and efficiency of a force that has recently been praised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Prime Minister.


I was privileged recently to attend an awards ceremony at police HQ. The stories behind some of the awards and commendations quite rightly made headlines because the recipients displayed courage and a dedication to public service that was extraordinary.

Everyone who was there – including family and friends – deserved, and received, recognition and thanks. In different ways, they are all involved with the policing of the county.

The ethos of PRIDE (Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Empathy) runs deep in our police officers, staff and volunteers, and encourages the sort of commitment that helps to keep Lincolnshire one of the safest counties in the country.

As commissioner it’s my job to make sure that continues to be the case. I’m proud of the members of our policing family, whatever role they play; thanks to them I can look back on 2015 as yet another challenging but rewarding year.

Challenging because the types of crime that could threaten your safety and security are changing all the time. It’s not enough to play catch-up with criminals; effective policing means being one step ahead. It means catching criminals and driving down crime; it means using the latest technology to ensure that as many officers as possible are patrolling the county rather than being burdened with paperwork; it means working effectively with our partners in other forces, the wider criminal justice system, local authorities, and emergency services.

Reported crime in Lincolnshire continues to fall. The effectiveness of our officers will be enhanced by the introduction across the force of the latest communication technology.

Partnership working is perhaps the only aspect of our operations that I view with some caution – simply because many of the partners are public sector organisations facing tough financial decisions. I like to think that, where cuts are made, they won’t impact on the way in which we do business.

We operate at the second lowest cost per head of population in the country. By continuing a drive for efficiency we can face the future with confidence that you will continue to receive the policing you deserve.

Another positive during 2015 was the opportunity for me to commission a new service for victims and witnesses. Victim Lincs has been operational for only a few months, but the dedicated team has already received thousands of calls from people who need help at a traumatic time in their lives.

And, despite continuing financial pressure, I have kept my commitment to ensuring that the Chief Constable has sufficient funds so that officer numbers can remain at 1100, with 149 PCSOs.

In short, I have protected neighbourhood policing – which I have always considered to be the backbone of an effective force.

I’d like to thank the people of Lincolnshire who’ve made their own contribution to keeping the county safe by ensuring that their property and belongings are secure, for instance, taking a friendly interest in the welfare of neighbours, or maybe reporting incidents that cause concern to themselves or their community. For many people this sort of thing is second nature.

I’ll end by referring briefly to our long, hard-fought campaign for fairer government funding. The income I received from the Home Office in 2015/16 was £65.9m. The provisional figure for 2016/17 is £65.5m.

I cautiously welcome this, however the new funding formula which has been delayed must ensure those forces such as Lincolnshire that have a history of delivering efficiencies are not penalised in the future.

The new funding arrangements need to incentivise those less efficient forces into action. The Home Affairs Committee looking at reform of the formula seems to agree. The committee report says that any future formula must ensure that low cost per capita forces which anticipated potential reductions to their budgets and made the necessary efficiencies before others, are not unfairly penalised.

It adds that more should be done to reward or compensate those who have been historically more efficient. Of course I agree.

My best wishes for the festive season and for a happy and peaceful New Year.

My New Year’s Resolution

I never make them. But one of my hopes for 2016 is that those who make a positive difference to the lives of people in our county, in any capacity, continue their good work.


Before being elected as Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012, Alan Hardwick worked as a communications professional on newspapers, radio, television and latterly with Lincolnshire Police Authority.

Before being elected as Commissioner in 2012, Mr Hardwick worked as a communications professional on newspapers, radio, television and latterly with Lincolnshire Police Authority. Throughout his career, he built up a wide experience of police and policing in the UK. He is passionate about Lincolnshire and about ensuring – with the Chief Constable – the effectiveness and efficiency of a force that has recently been praised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Prime Minister.

This year, it has been more important than ever to highlight Lincolnshire’s funding deficit.

The Chief Constable and I were heartened by the Home Secretary’s replies to our letters and there will be no let-up in our fight for fairer funding.

The Home Secretary accepts that we have been at the forefront of change, delivering strong performance whilst using outsourcing and collaboration to drive efficiency and deliver better services for the public.

She praised us for our HMIC rating of outstanding for the provision of affordable policing and we have continued to increase the proportion of our officers on the frontline.  The Home Secretary agrees that others need to learn from and follow our lead.

So in essence, the service provided by Lincolnshire Police is exemplary.  Our officers, staff and volunteers are a credit to policing and it is only right that they receive such wide recognition for the exemplary way they serve our county.

Our partners – including County and District Councils and others involved in the wider justice system – have played their vital part in ensuring that Lincolnshire remains one of the safest counties in which to live and work.

My sincere thanks, finally, to the people of Lincolnshire for supporting a force of which we can all be proud.

To all of you, my best wishes for a peaceful New Year.

Before being elected as Commissioner in 2012, Mr Hardwick worked as a communications professional on newspapers, radio, television and latterly with Lincolnshire Police Authority. Throughout his career, he built up a wide experience of police and policing in the UK. He is passionate about Lincolnshire and about ensuring – with the Chief Constable – the effectiveness and efficiency of a force that has recently been praised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Prime Minister.

I’m looking forward to 2014 with more than a degree of optimism because I’m confident we can build on the successes of this year.

The entire Lincolnshire policing ‘family’ — officers, Special Constables, PCSOs, staff and volunteers — have achieved a great deal. Crime continues to fall and, despite the government’s eagerness to cut deeper into police funding, I will honour my commitment to maintain the number of front line officers.

But it’s not just about numbers. For any force to be effective, the key is good management; in other words, how those officers are deployed to make best use of their commitment, professionalism, training and skills for the benefit of the people they serve. More than 98% of our officers are on the front line, which is a higher proportion than many other forces.

As to their effectiveness, the proof (if any was needed) was most publicly provided in their response to the recent devastating flooding in and around Boston. With other emergency services, local authorities, volunteers and partners, they worked tirelessly to help cope with the crisis. At the same time, the force was policing Lincoln Christmas Market, with its hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Resilient? Able to respond to major and fast-changing situations? Professional? Committed? Oh yes. Not just during widespread emergencies, but all day and every day. That’s why I’m proud of every member of the policing family.

As an aside, one of my lasting memories of 2013 came when I toured the highly efficient Boston clean-up operation accompanied by a PCSO. We stopped to talk to a man who was surrounded by piles of his ruined possessions. “This will be the third skip full,” he said. Then he smiled and raised a mug of steaming tea, adding: “As long as I can still make a cuppa, I’ll be OK.”

It was not the only time I witnessed people getting on with their lives despite the ravages of flood water. I also know of the tremendous efforts made by local authorities and other agencies to help people who were unable to help themselves. I want to put my thanks and admiration on public record.

During the New Year, Lincolnshire will be the first force in the UK — but not,I believe, the last — to put volunteer PCSOs on the streets. I’ve met our first trainees, along with their PCSO mentors, and I was more than ever convinced that our pioneering initiative will be a success.

Work with the County Council that covers many projects concerned with community safety and victim care will continue to be a priority, as will regional collaboration with the other East Midlands forces that provides resilience in tackling major crime.

My Community and Volunteer Fund will continue to award grants of up to £1,000 for initiatives that have a crime reduction or crime prevention basis. So far, the grants have gone towards a wide variety of schemes from youth clubs to helping to pay for security locks for the homes of vulnerable people. The scheme is explained on my website.

During 2013 I’ve spoken to hundreds, if not thousands, of people face-to-face at all kinds of events. I’ve also toured our police stations and district police ‘boxes’ to meet as many staff, officers and volunteers as possible.

This will continue in 2014 because the people who know most about the problems and needs of their communities are those who live and work there. It’s been a valuable experience. I’m more than ready, once more, for the brickbats and occasional bouquets.

In the meantime, my sincere best wishes for a happy and peaceful New Year.

Follow all the columns from the Reflections 2013 series

Before being elected as Commissioner in 2012, Mr Hardwick worked as a communications professional on newspapers, radio, television and latterly with Lincolnshire Police Authority. Throughout his career, he built up a wide experience of police and policing in the UK. He is passionate about Lincolnshire and about ensuring – with the Chief Constable – the effectiveness and efficiency of a force that has recently been praised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Prime Minister.

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