Lincolnshire 2018/19Read more about Lincolnshire
This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Lincolnshire Police. PEEL is designed to give you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year.
Lincolnshire Police was inspected in tranche three and we found:
the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe is good.
the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably requires improvement.
the extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately is good.
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Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
I am encouraged by the progress Lincolnshire Police has made since our last inspection. It is an improving picture. The force provides a good policing service to its communities bearing in mind that it is one of the lowest cost forces in England and Wales. The low funding base for the force means that it consistently struggles to provide as effective a service as better funded forces. Although the force still has work to do, it is to be commended for what it achieves with the money available to it.
The force is good at investigating crime. However, it needs to improve how it prevents crime and anti-social behaviour by using a more consistent, structured approach to solving neighbourhood problems.
Since our last inspection the force has developed better ways to make sure it identifies and responds effectively to vulnerable people. It works closely with other partners, like councils, to protect them. The force now needs to focus on providing a consistently good service in child protection investigations.
The force’s performance in recording crime is improving but it still has much more to do.
Lincolnshire Police understands the complexity and scale of the current demand for its services. It can continue to do more to understand the skills of its workforce and those it is likely to need in the future.
The force continues to uphold an ethical culture and promote the standards of professional behaviour it expects. I am pleased to see that it has improved its approach to the health and wellbeing of its workforce.
I commend Lincolnshire Police for the progress it has made across most areas since last year, and I am keen to see the force continue to make further improvements in the year ahead, especially if its financial pressures ease.
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Lincolnshire Police is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe.
The force needs to understand local communities better. It also needs to improve how it assesses and shares good ways of working. It should talk to the public more when setting priorities. And update them after consultation.
It works well with other organisations to solve problems but should be more consistent in recording the results.
The force is good at investigating crime. Its investigations give satisfactory results. In 2017, we recommended the force supervise investigations better. Its specialist departments are now better at guiding and supervising these. But investigations by uniformed response officers would benefit from better guidance and oversight.
The force is good at spotting vulnerable people when they first contact the force. And it has got better at responding to them. But it should use this information to improve its understanding and focus activity.
Officers and staff treat vulnerable people well. The force uses its powers well to protect people. Officers and staff are good at assessing risk at domestic abuse incidents. It responds well to people with mental health issues.
In 2017, we judged Lincolnshire Police as good at tackling serious and organised crime.
How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?
Lincolnshire Police operates efficiently given the level of funding it receives. It is one of the lowest funded forces per head of population in England and Wales.
Its financial situation, awaiting the review of the police funding formula, impacts on its ability to plan with any certainty. Because of this, the force focuses on the present rather than the future.
The force is good at meeting current demands and using resources. Its improvement programme is finding better ways of working. This includes more joint working to reduce demand.
The force needs to continue to improve how it plans for the future. In our 2017 inspection, we identified that the force lacked clear financial plans for the future. The force now has credible financial plans. It invests in ‘spend to save’ projects. These will help it free up capacity and funds that can be used in other areas.
The force is getting better at understanding the skills of its workforce and how much its services cost. But it needs to understand what skills it will need in the future and link workforce capabilities to financial plans. The force is trying to attract new talent through external recruitment. It is developing the skills of its leaders but needs to find more ways to identify and develop talent in its workforce.
How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?
Lincolnshire Police is good at treating the public and its workforce legitimately. It is good at behaving ethically and lawfully.
Its leaders are good role models. Officers and staff understand the standards of behaviour expected of them. But the force doesn’t have a separate forum where staff can discuss ethical dilemmas. Its approach could be strengthened by letting the workforce know the results of complaint and misconduct investigations.
The force has vetted its workforce. But it doesn’t have a process to make sure all vetting decisions are fair.
It deals with corruption threats adequately. But it should make sure there are enough staff in the anti-corruption unit. Staff shortages mean the force may be missing opportunities to identify and deal with corruption. It needs to build better links with other organisations to encourage information sharing.
The force is getting a better understanding of workforce wellbeing. It reviews data to understand patterns that might affect wellbeing. But it needs to help its managers spot the early warning signs.
It needs to get better at managing performance and development. This should help its managers carry out performance assessments that help identify and develop talent. It should also bring in a talent management system that is fair and open.
In 2017, we judged Lincolnshire Police as good at treating the public fairly.
How well has the force performed in our other inspections?
In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections; others are joint inspections.
Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.
Lincolnshire Police: Crime Data Integrity inspection 2018 – published 17 July 2018
Lincolnshire – National child protection inspection – published 14 February 2019