Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Police stretched as crime spikes by 20%

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Lincolnshire Police is blaming a lack of resources on a 20% increase in total recorded crime and 70% spike in violent crime after the release of new data.

The force is currently stretched and under-resourced, according to Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor with staff cuts currently taking place.

The Office for National Statistics released figures for crime in England and Wales on Thursday showing a national increase of 7%. The statistics relate to the 12-month period up to December 2018.

Locally there has been an increase in violence, stalking and harassment and public order offences.

According to the figures all police force recorded a rise in violence ranging from an increase of 3.2% in Avon and Somerset to 70.1% in Lincolnshire. However, the force has recorded a decrease in thefts, burglaries and vehicle offences.

The increases reflect recording improvements and how the effects of this differ across police forces.

In 2018 Lincolnshire Police also made changes to how it records crime after a Crime Data Integrity inspection. This means it now records more crime than it did previously.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones has vowed to work with the force to ensure that “robust plans remain in place to deliver the best possible service across Lincolnshire”.

(L-R) Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor and Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Reporter

Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor said: “Lincolnshire remains a very safe part of the country and by living here, you are unlikely to experience crime. However, this is no comfort whatsoever if you have been the victim of a serious offence.

“A change to the way police forces are recording crime explains some of the increases in offences but once again, we are seeing real rises in crimes such as violence.

“Policing is desperately calling out for additional funding to tackle these issues which are increasing nationally, and also other resource-intensive crimes such as modern slavery, child exploitation and cybercrime – all of which we see and investigate comprehensively in Lincolnshire.

“Locally, we are incredibly stretched and under-resourced and it is with great regret that we are currently going through reducing the number of staff, police officers and PCSO’s that we have available to meet the needs of communities in Lincolnshire.

“We will continue to deliver the very best service that we can to keep residents safe, prioritising people who need us most.”

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones added: “There is a significant amount of information to study in the figures released today (Thursday) that will act as a vital tool in aiding me to hold the Chief Constable to account for policing our county.

“On behalf of the residents of Lincolnshire I demand the best possible performance from the Force in bearing down on crime and in some key areas such as burglary, vehicle crime and theft they must be congratulated for the progress being made. The daily efforts of Officers and staff within Lincolnshire Police must be rightly recognised.

“Undoubtedly the significant changes to crime recording practices have rendered some statistics all but meaningless when compared year on year but it is clear that challenges remain in tackling areas such as violence that are seeing a national rise.

“With only one in four calls coming into the Police control room being about crime we must remember that with the explosion in demand to tackle mental health related issues, missing persons and concern for safety we can no longer judge performance through the increasingly narrow lens of crime alone.

“When set against the choice of saving life and protecting residents from harm without a significant uplift in resources it will never be the case that all demand can be met and our collective expectations satisfied.

“I will be using this valuable report in the coming weeks and months to work with the Force to ensure that robust plans remain in place to deliver the best possible service across Lincolnshire. I have every faith in the leadership of the Force to continue to innovate and deliver against what is a very challenging backdrop of rising and ever more complex crime.”

Click here for the full report from the Office for National Statistics.

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