Extra officers for roads, rural crime, online and neighbourhood policing in new Chief Constable’s new strategy for Lincolnshire

Extra officers for roads policing, rural crime, online, and neighbourhood policing are all part of Lincolnshire Chief Constable Chris Haward’s new strategy and vision for the force.

Lincolnshire Chief Constable Chris Haward. EMN-211006-081117001

As part of this strategic vision and plan, Mr Haward has identified three key priorities for Lincolnshire Police to help keep the county safe:

• Stopping crime and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

• Protecting people from harm

Re-introduction of a roads policing unit for Lincolnshire.

• Helping those in need

In addition, he has outlined final plans for a growth of 108 police between now and March 2022, as part of the national uplift in police officer numbers funded by the government.

He will prioritise new officers to be allocated in several priority areas including neighbourhood teams, incident response, rural crime and road safety, as well as additional resources to tackle online exploitation of children. The Roads Policing Team is to be re-established.

“It’s my privilege as Chief Constable to set out the new strategic direction for Lincolnshire Police which, in short, puts people at the heart of everything we do,” Mr Haward said.

Police update

“This means focussing on seeing sustained reductions in offending; working with our communities to not only keep them safe but help make them feel safe, and also making sure every member of staff in Lincolnshire Police is knowledgeable, confident, skilled and equipped to do their job well.”

Mr Haward became Chief Constable in December last year and has spent a good deal of time since his appointment reviewing safety in the county and assessing the force’s strengths and weaknesses. The strategy he has designed and recently implemented across the force aims to make sure the 700,000 residents of Lincolnshire get the best possible service they need from police officers and staff. All of this is supportive of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s plan.

Mr Haward’s decision making has also considered the ongoing work since late 2019 when Prime Minster Boris Johnson announced all police forces in England and Wales would be allocated funding to increase their officer and staff numbers. For Lincolnshire, that means an extra 108 posts which will go into areas of the highest need.

He said: “My ambition to make Lincolnshire the safest place in the country to live, work and visit, is based around some key areas such as investing in our skills and people; engaging with and understanding our communities; having effective partnerships; recognising and celebrating diversity; encouraging creativity; and understanding and scrutinising our own capability. Basically – people. Policing is all about people and the more we work together, allow each other to contribute openly and positively and, have their say, the better we will become.”

Mr Haward continued: “Any member of the public hearing this might be asking, ‘okay, what does this all actually mean for me?’ And that’s a fair question.

“I hope that communities in Lincolnshire will be able to see that we understand important issues in the county and aim to tackle them through where we’ve placed the additional resources. Our roads, our rural communities, our neighbourhoods are all areas in need of investment and prioritisation. The new resources and teams being created will begin to address this and, over time, will have a positive impact on the safety of our communities.

“This means that we will focus our resources and attention to fight crime and help people, both in terms of getting them the support they need but holding people to account who have harmed others.

“I want to ensure that we have a strong and skilled workforce who can protect and serve the public so that they will be in the right place, at the right time when the public needs them. This means that we are trying to stop crime either before it happens or before it escalates, protecting people who have become victims, and helping when we’re needed. I will be investing in training and methodologies to help my officers and staff achieve this as well as promoting collaboration and partnership where this is the right thing to do.”

He added: “I’m confident that with the combination of our new force strategy and these extra resources, we will be able to make a significant positive difference in how we serve and keep our diverse and vibrant communities in Lincolnshire safe.”

The new approach will see additional resources in the following areas:

Response Policing: 46 Constables, 5 Sergeants and 2 Inspectors. This will be phased over the next 12 to 18 months providing additional support to shifts and local policing.

Roads Policing Unit: 18 Constables and 2 Sergeants. Lincolnshire Police will re-establish a dedicated Roads Policing Team who will provide pro-active capacity to help reduce serious incidents, deter criminal use of the roads and support local policing response.

Rural Crime Action Team: 8 Constables (mix of PC and DC) and 1 Sergeant. A new multi-disciplinary team to provide problem solving, proactive capability and investigative support will be created to reduce community and rural crime. The team will be linked to and support Neighbourhood Policing (NHP) teams. There will be greater commitment to tackling crime in rural neighbourhoods, a greater flexible capability to support NHP problems, and capacity to investigate wider actions of travelling criminals as well as providing reassurance and confidence to rural communities.

Neighbourhood Policing: 12 Constables. Each of the priority neighbourhoods will be allocated a Community Beat Manager supporting existing resources.

Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT): 6 Constables, 1 Sergeant (plus funding for a Police Staff ‘Victim Identification Officer’). This is an ever increasing and high-risk area of policing. With increased national tasking and growing complexity of the investigations (as well as the ICT platforms) additional resources are seen as essential in this area.

Digital Forensics Unit (DFU): 2 Constables. There is an major rise in the need for DFU capability whether this is phone, computer or other connected device downloads and investigation. By increasing the staffing in DFU it is anticipated wait times will reduce and demand falling to other teams in relation to digital investigation can be eased, to some extent.

Miscellaneous: 4 Sergeant / Inspector posts and 1 Chief Inspector. These roles will be essential for managing projects or initiatives. This is now formally acknowledged in the structure to reduce abstractions from front line roles in the future and mitigate the disruption this can cause.