A police watchdog has highlighted a lack of strategy, training and investigation into crimes in Lancashire Constabulary.
The findings emerged from a HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report into crime prevention and police attendance in police forces in England and Wales.
The report, published on Thursday, September 4 found UK policing to be a ‘postcode lottery’ with members of the public receiving a different response from the police for the same type of crime or incident, depending on where they live.
In Lancashire inspectors found that more than half of ‘unattended crime reports’ contained no evidence of any investigation.
It was also revealed that there was ‘no overarching crime prevention strategy’ and that officers had not received crime prevention training.
The report said: “There is no overarching crime prevention strategy, this would provide greater clarity to officers, staff and the public, of the importance to the force of preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and how it will be achieved.
“Staff working within neighbourhood teams told us that they had not received crime prevention training and were reliant on their own knowledge and experience to advise members of the public on these issues.
“Fifty unattended crime reports were examined. Thirty-four of those files contained no evidence of any investigation, 35 had no evidence of any form of supervisory input and 35 were filed within 24 hours.
“The inspection found that the force does not have a thorough understanding of how staff spend their time when performing duty away from the police station.
“Although some basic management information is available, supervisors told us that they were mainly reliant on their own personal observation in assessing officers’ performance.”
Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson said that the findings were a ‘concern’.
He said: “The report is a concern to residents, but you have to remember the austerity that the police are facing.
“Of course not investigating crime is a concern as it makes criminals think they have free rein. I think the findings are a matter for the police and crime commissar to address, as the rate payer has got to have a good service.”
Lancashire’s Deputy Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “We are obviously pleased that HMIC have highlighted some real positives in this report but it is disappointing that some of the learning points raised are presented with very little accompanying context.
“Alongside this report should be some context about where policing finds itself in light of reducing budgets and resources.
“We will of course reflect on the recommendations from HMIC.”