Lincolnshire Police has been assessed overall as ‘Good’ in the latest HMICFRS report on police legitimacy published today, Tuesday.
The inspection of the force by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services took place earlier in 2017 and examined three core elements within the overall context of legitimacy.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate said Lincolnshire Police was ‘Good’ at keeping people safe and reducing crime; ‘Good’ at understanding the need to treat people with fairness and respect but needed ‘improvement’ in treating its workforce with fairness and respect – although it noted that the force had made good progress in some areas.
Welcoming the latest report, Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor said he was pleased that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate recognised the work the force had done since the last similar inspection in 2015.
It notes that the force is now fully compliant with all aspects of the Best Use of Stop and Search (BUSS) something that had been lacking two years ago.
“The report acknowledges that we record the views of all people who have been stopped and searched and then publish the details on our website and it recognises the establishment of the stop and search panel which meets quarterly to review body worn video footage," said Mr Naylor.
"In its overall assessment of ‘Good’ the report comments that leaders clearly understood the need to treat people with fairness and respect. It noted that ethics and values are well established in the force which was also good at providing complainants with clear and relevant information throughout the reporting and investigative process. "
The report also covers the force’s approach to the wellbeing of its officers and staff and says that in this area that it still ‘requires improvement’.
“Wellbeing has been a major priority of Chief Constable Bill Skelly since his appointment in January 2017 and since the inspection numerous wellbeing initiatives have been undertaken and continue to be introduced,” said Mr Naylor.
The report acknowledges that the force has ‘… made good progress in some areas … and has some very good schemes to promote a preventative approach to the wellbeing of the workforce …’
The report says that the concept of legitimacy is well established in UK policing and is crucial in a democratic society. ‘The police have powers to act in ways that would be considered illegal by any other member of the public … and it is vital that they use the powers fairly and treat people with respect …’ it says. ‘Police actions perceived as unfair or disrespectful can seriously undermine the legitimacy of the police in the eyes of the public.’ The 2017 inspection also assessed the role that the force’s leaders play as ethical role models and the way the force identifies and selects it leaders.