Force does a ‘good’ job protecting vulnerable victims, new report finds

HM inspector of constabulary Mike Cunningham
HM inspector of constabulary Mike Cunningham
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More than a third of domestic abuse investigations launched in Lancashire end up with a suspect being charged, new figures show.

A report published today by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)) ranks Lancashire Police’s ability to protect vulnerable people as ‘good’.

Lancashire Police has made good progress in putting clear processes in place to identify repeat and vulnerable victims, and needs to ensure it maintains this level of performance to continue to improve

It highlighted the charge rate in domestic abuse inquiries, which has risen to 39 per cent in the county – the fifth highest in England.

HM inspector of constabulary Mike Cunningham said: “Lancashire Police has made good progress in putting clear processes in place to identify repeat and vulnerable victims, and needs to ensure it maintains this level of performance to continue to improve.

“The force has invested in specialist teams with the sole remit of investigating child sexual exploitation cases. These teams have made headway in targeting organised crime groups whose objective is to coerce vulnerable young children into sexual activity.”

The Gazette revealed earlier this year how police are dealing with a ‘staggering’ increase in online child abuse investigations. The force set up its online child abuse investigations team to tackle the problem, which made 41 arrests in its first three months.

Today’s reports said: “Operations of this type provide strong indication of the constabulary’s preparedness to proactively tackle child sexual exploitation.”

Lancashire Police was one of 12 forces to get a ‘good’ rating from HMIC today. No forces got the top ranking of ‘outstanding’ and four were classed as ‘inadequate’.

The report said Lancashire Police manages missing persons investigations ‘effectively’ and risk assessments around involving vulnerable people have improved.

It adds: “The constabulary still has work to do to ensure that frontline officers understand the full range of safeguarding routes for 
domestic abuse victims for the constabulary to achieve performance that HMIC grades as
outstanding.”