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The force says...

Lincolnshire is one of the largest geographic policing areas in the United Kingdom covering 2,284 square miles with a population of 736,700. Lincolnshire Police has 1,062 officers, 127 PCSOs and 256 police staff.

The pattern of deprivation is in line with the national trends in that urban and coastal areas show higher levels of deprivation than other areas.

In 2015/16, Lincolnshire Police recorded 165,830 calls for service. Calls for service and anti-social behaviour incidents have reduced for 5 consecutive years, with calls for service falling by 5% since 2011/12 and anti-social behaviour falling by 36% since 2011/12. Some 22% of all calls for service (35,925) resulted in a recorded crime.

Crime levels within Lincolnshire slightly increased by 2% in 2015/16 after 4 years of consecutive reductions.

The force has a strategic partnership with G4S, outsourcing business areas and delivering significant savings.

The force collaborates regionally to combat major, serious and organised crime, to provide criminal justice services and specialised policing functions, including armed and roads policing.

Demands on the force have changed in the last few years, consequently the force has moved additional resources into high risk areas such as cyber-enabled crime, child sexual exploitation and modern day slavery.

The force has been successful in obtaining £7.5m of police innovation funding which will support in the delivery of a shared headquarters with Lincolnshire Fire Service by April 2017. Work has begun on designing a new tri-service “Blue Light Campus” with Fire and Ambulance, which will provide a new local policing headquarters, a new divisional fire station and an ambulance main deployment base.

Lincolnshire police’s biggest challenge is funding as there is an underfunding gap of £4.5m in 2017/18 rising to £5.5 – £6m in subsequent years. The force is awaiting the introduction of a revised funding formula which is anticipated to benefit the force.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Lincolnshire Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.

HMIC says...

Lincolnshire Police provides policing services to the non-metropolitan county of Lincolnshire. The police force area covers 2,292 square miles with approximately 150 miles of coastline in the east of England. Although there are some more affluent areas, Lincolnshire has a high level of poverty. Around 0.7 million people live in a mainly rural setting. Its urban areas include the city of Lincoln and the small towns of Boston, Grantham, Skegness and Spalding. The resident population is increased by university students and those who visit or travel through the county.

England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.

There are 3,422 OAs in Lincolnshire with an average size of 252 hectares which is much bigger than the national average of 87 hectares. While two fifths (39 percent) of the OAs in Lincolnshire are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a large proportion (30 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating predominantly rural nature of the county. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Lincoln and other towns of Lincolnshire with the largest spread across the extensive, more sparsely populated rural areas.

The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.

HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. Lincolnshire has a median house price, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £153,719 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Lincolnshire has 14.2 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 3.5 percent of OAs are within the top 10 percent of house prices nationally (and 1.0 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are large areas of lower value housing and deprivation, with a very small proportion of affluence and high house prices.

The demands for police services are not the same in every area of England and Wales.  Our analysis has revealed that the socio-demographic characteristics of an area influence the demands for police services in that area.

In every police force, there is a concentration of predicted demands in a small number of its OAs. Taking England and Wales as a whole the most challenging 1,811 (1 percent) of these account for 10.8 percent of all the predicted incidents.  We have designated these areas of very high challenge and found that they are characterised by a high concentration of people living, working, socialising or travelling in the area.  Features which both cause and/or indicated a concentration of people include the number of commercial premises, including licensed premises, fast food premises, public transport and social deprivation.  In some areas, these features are in combination.

1.4 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Lincolnshire. The highest-challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 10.1 percent of Lincolnshire’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 1.1 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Lincolnshire:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of incidents is broadly in line with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is lower than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is lower than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at incidents is lower than the national level of one percent; and
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at crimes is lower than the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Lincolnshire we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 3,422 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds, and indicate the size of the area and the quality of its road network.

Lincolnshire has 38 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 24 miles (longest 49 miles and shortest 0.4 miles) and the average travel time of 40 minutes from the centre of the force to each OA are much higher than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size and complexity of Lincolnshire.

While the concentration of demands in a small number of locations (covering a very small area) may be helpful in focusing resources, it is not the totality of demand. The provision of services extends beyond those areas that are a very high challenge to police and includes the least challenging and most remote areas. The challenge of providing services throughout Lincolnshire is a function of many things including the size and topography of the area, the road network and how congested the roads are. These considerations influence how police resources are organised and managed – for example, where police officers are based and their working patterns.