Thursday, 4 April 2013

New report praises Lancashire Police on tacking anti-social behaviour, warns on reduction of 'on the beat' intelligence gathering

A report released today by Cardiff University has praised the work of Lancashire Constabulary in tackling anti-social behaviour.

The Personal, Situational and Incidental Vulnerabilities to ASB Harm' Report from the Universities Police Science Institute has been presented to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies.

The report is a follow-up to the HMIC's 2010 and 2012 Inspection reports and looked at how incidents of anti-social behaviour are reported, tackled and monitored. Lancashire came top of all Constabularies in terms of overall performance when dealing with anti-social behaviour. (Constabularies such as West Yorkshire and Essex came bottom, with the majority of forces situated in the middle of the overall performance scale).

The Constabulary was also rated as 'excellent' in the areas of IT input and analysis; follow up contact, management and communication.

However, the report also puts value on the work of "on the beat" work by police officers and community support officers (a service facing cuts across the county).

"Investment in IT solutions should not be assumed to automatically translate into an ability to detect those incidents posing most harm and risk to victims," the report notes. "Computer systems are no substitute for inter-personal contact with the victim to identify risk at the point of report, particularly as risk is itself dynamic and can easily change from one call to the next.

"This report makes very good reading for Lancashire Constabulary," feels the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw. "It is proof of the efforts the force has made to monitor, report, approach and assess anti-social behaviour in the County.

"Furthermore, the report shows how the Constabulary is aware of and is tackling the wider impact of ASB, such as victim support and re-offending.

"In my newly-published Police and Crime Plan, I have made ensuring a swift and effective response to reports of ASB a priority,:" he continued. "Putting the needs of victims first and protecting the vulnerable is also a clear aim.

"This report shows the Constabulary is prioritising these areas; having been deemed to be performing excellently by updating those who have reported incidents of ASB and providing on-going assessments of their cases.

"Clearly there is always room for improvement," he cautioned. "This report offers an incentive to continue this good work in the long-term and I will continue to work with the force to achieve this. Working with our partners will be key to improving the way we tackle ASB and look to promote targeted initiatives to contribute to tackling this type of crime, re-offending and the needs of victims."

Chief Superintendent Stuart Williams said: “We are extremely proud of these findings, particularly as the report focuses on victims and looks at how we help them through what are often really traumatic experiences.

"Anti-social behaviour is reducing in Lancashire but still causes misery to people’s lives so I’m pleased to hear that our concentration on vulnerable people, repeat offenders and areas with the highest problems has been recognised.

"However, we will not become complacent, we know there is still plenty to be done and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to put significant resources into tackling these issues.”

• To read the report in full, click this link:

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