Political row erupts over ‘generic letter’

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.

Lancashire police bosses have reacted angrily after the Home Secretary sent the force a “generic” letter criticising how domestic abuse victims are handled, despite the county’s response rated among the best in the country.

The political row erupted after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) issued a damning report last week which said thousands of people were at risk across the UK because of police failures.

But the HMIC singled out Lancashire Police for praise after it visited the force in November as part of checks on all 43 forces in England Wales.

Inspectors said people in Lancashire “can have confidence that police officers and staff provide a good service to victims in all areas”.

Home Secretary Theresa May wrote to every police force, describing domestic violence support as “simply not good enough”.

But Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw and the county’s chief constable Steve Finngan were left angered by the communication and have now sent letters of their own to her office.

Mr Grunshaw has called on Ms May to visit Lancashire to see how the police’s public protection unit and others tackle the issue in all its forms.

He added: “To receive a generic letter which implied police forces across the board were failing victims was extremely disheartening.”