Lancashire Constabulary has been judged as outstanding by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC).
HMIC Valuing the Police programme assesses how well the Constabulary provides a value for money service to the residents of Lancashire, set against the backdrop of difficult financial challenges due to government cuts in funding.
Lancashire police were rated ‘Outstanding’ in the categories of financial planning and delivering an affordable police service, and ‘Good’ in efficiency – with an overall ‘Outstanding’ judgment.
In the report, ‘Policing in Austerity – Meeting the Challenge’ HMIC highlighted how the Constabulary:
-is in a secure financial position as a result of strong leadership and financial planning, meaning that it will deliver all the savings it needs in 2015/16;
-has approached its change programme professionally and robustly and that future plans to make the additional required savings are innovative and ambitious;
-has changed the way it delivers policing to increase visibility, reduce costs and remain effective with fewer staff;
-has a good understanding of its demand; in particular highlighting the detailed and sophisticated approach to assessing risks in neighbourhoods.
The Constabulary has to identify savings of around £80 million by 2017/18 to meet the savings requirement generated by the government’s austerity measures. £60 million has already been identified through a series of organisational reviews, which has seen the workforce reduce by 957 since March 2010 (16% of total workforce), as well as a wholesale re-design of the Constabulary’s geographic footprint.
Commenting on the release of the report, Deputy Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “I am extremely pleased that HMIC has recognised that the Constabulary has responded well to the financial challenge it faces and that we are on track to make the necessary savings by 2015/2016.
“ There is no doubt that the public will start to feel a difference in how we police and that was always going to be an inevitable consequence of losing over 600 police officers.”
To read the full HMIC report visit http://www.hmic.gov.uk/programmes/value-for-money/policing-in-austerity-meeting-the-challenge/