New five year policing plan seeks more Eastern European officers and extra part time cover for busy weekend shifts

Chief Constable Bill Skelly. EMN-171020-111128001 EMN-171020-111128001
Chief Constable Bill Skelly. EMN-171020-111128001 EMN-171020-111128001

Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable Bill Skelly has launched the police force’s new strategic plan for the Force in support of the aims of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

Mr Skelly says the plan will be a ‘living document’, published on the Force web site which will be updated as adjustments are needed.

“The mission of the force is to empower and involve communities working to prevent and reduce harm,” he says. “I see the role of policing in our county as playing a leading part in making the lives of our public as safe as possible.”

The new document outlines the force’s commitment to support the Police and Crime Commissioner in the aims of the Police and Crime Plan in the areas of community safety and prevention; listening, responding and being accountable; protecting and supporting victims and the vulnerable and policing that works

“I have two broad goals for Lincolnshire Police,” says Mr Skelly. “To provide a service that meets the expectations of our communities and to support our staff to feel healthy and valued.”

Mr Skelly pledges that the force will be better at managing demand and being clearer about the levels of service the public should expect. “These will go hand in hand with providing the right tools to get our people into the right place at the right time,” he says. “Supporting our people in their wellbeing and how they feel valued is vital to achieving our mission for the public of Lincolnshire.”

According to the Policing Plan document, an average day in the life of Lincolnshir Police includes over 900 calls, only 12 per cent being typically ‘crime’ calls (110) - 240 of them are 999 emergency calls, 35 concerns for safety, 10 reports of missing persons, 25 road collisions, 60 incidents of anti-social behaviour and 35 arrests were made.

Mr Skelly explains in his document that the ethnic diversity of his current staff does not fully reflect the communities they serve. He states: “In particular we do not have enough officers and staff from Eastern European communities.”

This is something they will actively seek to rectify in areas of high foreign immigration such as Boston and the south of the county.

Looking ahead, he intends it to be a supportive workplace, empowering his staff to talk about mental health and wellbeing confidently, to reduce levels of sickness absence.

He hopes to develop a more flexible workforce of officers and staff that can meet the varying demand at certain times of the week and across the year. This may include part-time, on-call officers to respond to peak demand periods at weekends, major events and on the coast where there are seasonal influxes of tourists.

With the growing threat of digital crime and pressure of funding on staffing levels, Mr Skelly also intends to invest in technology to maximise the presence of frontline staff in communities, enable better data sharing between systems and partners to access information at the right time, reduce bureaucracy and update contact and control room systems to maximise flexibility and efficiency.

Physical technology such as drones would also become a greater tool.

To maintain a physical presence in communities, the force will seek to co-locate with partners, such as is happening with the joint fire and ambulance station in Sleaford. This would also minimise cost to the local taxpayer.

While making sure buildings are fit for purpose, they will also provide a vehicle fleet that reflects the urban and rural nature of

the county, investing in 4x4s and electric cars to cut emissions and save money.

With such things as the new Community Speed Watch scheme, which looks to train members of the public to report speeding motorists using speed guns and other devices, the force will use designated powers to enable others to play a larger role.

He says the force also intends to better engage with the voluntary sector and other partners to explore different approaches that could enhance the safety and security of communities.

The force also plans to introduce further energy reduction initiatives and use technology to identify ways to operate more efficiently while also looking at employing staff across the county rather than commuting to headquarters at Nettleham, adding to emissions.

The force is also continuing to press government for a fairer funding formula as it states it is, per head of population, the lowest funded force in the country.