A leading children’s charity has called on Lincolnshire police to do more to tackle exploitation.
The comments come in the week that the force was rated good for its effectiveness but told it still needs improvement in protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims
An NSPCC spokesman said: “With recorded child sex offences at an all-time high it’s clear that police have a mammoth task on their hands but this must not be allowed to have an impact on child protection.
“This report makes clear that more can be done by Lincolnshire Police to tackle child sexual exploitation. Prioritising this horrendous crime and making improvements to how offences are identified and dealt with will better protect young lives.
“We want a guarantee from all police forces that they are putting children at the heart of their mission to keep us all safe.”
THURSDAY: Lincolnshire Police has received an overall ‘Good’ rating for its effectiveness from the Government’s police inspectorate in a report published today.
It is very satisfying to see our long-standing plans coming to fruition to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our services for the benefit of LincolnshireAssistant Chief Constable Paul Gibson
This latest assessment means the force has now received an overall ‘Good’ grading for three of the four pillars of PEEL – efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy.
It still needs improvement in protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Gibson said the report is good news for the people of Lincolnshire and the force and a testament to the continuing dedication and application to task of every member of the organisation.
“As a force we are proud to deliver services that have been independently assessed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC)as ‘Good’ across the board,” he said.
“This report follows the good news in November which again graded Lincolnshire as ‘Good’ in the areas of efficiency and legitimacy. We now have an overall ‘Good’ grading for HMIC’s three pillars of inspection.”
The HMIC report is an improvement on the 2015 report which said the force ‘required improvement’.
“It is very satisfying to see our long-standing plans coming to fruition to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our services for the benefit of Lincolnshire,” added Asst Ch Con Gibson.
The report says: “Lincolnshire is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime.”
It says in the five years from June 2011 crime reduced by 19.7 per cent in the county compared with 0.5 per cent nationally. In the last year there was an increase of 1.3 per centcompared with a national increase of 7.8 per cent.
“In this latest report, four out of five areas of inspection are graded as Good,” added Asst Ch Con Gibson.
“It says we are ‘Good’ at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe; we are ‘Good’ at investigating crime and managing offenders and we are ‘Good’ at tackling serious and organised crime and there are good leadership arrangements to oversee the force’s preparedness to respond to all the threats identified in the strategic policing requirement.”
The area which HMIC found that Lincolnshire Police still needed improvement was in protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims.
Asst Ch Con Gibson added: “I am confident of improvement in this area since the inspection.
“The well publicised work we carried out last year to adjust our resources and divert more to emerging issues such as cybercrime and on-line grooming and boost our investigative capabilities in the areas of child sexual exploitation, missing persons and domestic abuse are already addressing the areas mentioned.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones also welcomed the HMIC report, saying it demonstrated a significant step forward for the force and showed the great strides being made to provide the best service for the people of Lincolnshire.
Mr Jones said he had already identified the support of victims and protecting the vulnerable as key priorities for the coming year and both were identified in his recently released Community Safety, Policing and Criminal Justice plan.
“I am delighted the inspectors have recognized the fantastic strides forward the force has made in the past year and all the staff at Lincolnshire Police deserve great credit for the improvements,” said Mr Jones.
“There is still work to do but I am confident that work already started by my office, alongside the force, will provide even better services for victims and to help protect the vulnerable.
“I am certain that working in partnership with the force and other agencies in the county we can make our communities even safer and deliver services our residents can be proud of.”