Chief constable wants to make county "safest place to live, work and visit”

The new chief constable of Lincolnshire has pledged to make the county the “safest place to live, work and visit”.
Chief Constable Chris HawardChief Constable Chris Haward
Chief Constable Chris Haward

Speaking at a recent public assurance meeting, Chris Haward said his three key ares of focus would be stopping crime and anti-social behaviour, protecting people from harm, and helping those in need.

Mr Haward, who took on the role in late December, said: “We’ll be making sure that our communities are secure and that they feel the difference. It’s about listening to them and understanding their diverse needs.”

The meeting was told that crime in the county has reduced 13% over a 12 month period, but it was also pointed out that it is widely accepted Coronavirus lockdowns have had a positive impact on the number of offences being committed.

Mr Haward said: “We know that the impact of Covid-19 has had an effect on our figures but we also know that we continue to see some offence types clearly showing positive reductions compared to the expected levels, such as burglary, theft offences, and vehicle crime.

“These are offences which can have a huge effect on how safe people feel in the areas where they live and we continue to work with our communities to develop and prioritise neighbourhood policing to ensure we are preventing crime and responding appropriately when it does happen.”

Mr Haward has spent time since his appointment communicating his strategic vision to all officers and staff at Lincolnshire police to ensure all members of the organisation know what is expected of them, and what they can expect of him.

“We have a workforce made up of incredibly hard-working people who come to work every day determined to do their best and help people,” he said.

“They are doing a tremendous job and I am continually humbled by their efforts. My job is to ensure that they are physically and mentally well enough to do their job effectively, they have the right tools for the job, and that everything I do as a Chief Constable is about enabling them to police with vision and purpose in order to keep people safe in this county.”

Other areas of concern tackled at the meeting included call handling, with the force seeing a significant improvement in 101 call handling times, with an average of 94.8% of emergency calls a month answered within 10 seconds and a 0.4% abandonment rate (last 12 months), well above the national standard of 90%.

In terms of road traffic collisions, the initial lockdown saw traffic on the county’s roads reduce significantly, which reduced the number of those people seriously on the roads, but as traffic volume returned to ‘normal’ levels so has the number of those seriously injured.

In the twelve months to end of November 2020, 48 people were killed which is a decrease of 9% on the previous 12 months (five fewer fatalities). The number of those seriously injured has reduced by 24%, with 367 people seriously injured in the last 12 months, a reduction of 115.

Mr Haward added: “It’s encouraging to see the decrease in these numbers but I am not complacent about them because even one death on our roads is one too many. Behind all 48 of these tragic fatalities are 48 families or groups of loved ones who are bereaved. I am committed to focussing on our county’s roads and doing all we can to reduce these numbers even further.”