A SURVEY by the police and crime commissioner has highlighted tackling serious crime as the public’s key priority for policing in the county.
Running from June to September, the policing priorities survey saw over 2,700 residents respond online and in person at events across every district in Lancashire and asking for views on crime and policing priorities, informing commissioner Clive Grunshaw’s plan which sets out how the police and community safety partners work together to keep Lancashire safe.
Of those who responded, 95 per cent said that investigating serious crimes such as tackling organised criminal gangs should be a high priority, with 86 per cent saying that tackling child abuse and exploitation should also be one of the main priorities.
Meanwhile half of respondents said that patrolling areas with low areas of crime should be a low priority.
Lancashire Constabulary’s major investigations teams are dedicated to tackling serious crimes including child criminal exploitation, supported by the work of response and neighbourhood officers.
This year has also seen the launch of local task forces across Lancashire, with the responsibility for tackling local priorities including drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and burglary, alongside disrupting organised crime group activity and targeting outstanding offenders.
The vast majority of respondents said they felt safe where they live but confidence levels were mixed when asked whether they think the police will be there when people need them.
Mr Grunshaw said: “After almost a decade of austerity in policing, it is understandable that people’s confidence that police will be there for them has been impacted, however people also repeatedly said that they feel officers are doing the best they can with the resources available.
“This is also supported by Government inspectors who consistently highlight the efficient service delivered by policing here in Lancashire.
“Tackling major crimes such as breaking up criminal gangs and protecting vulnerable people are key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and I recently visited several of the Major Investigations teams all doing fantastic work, protecting young people from criminal exploitation, removing drug dealers from our neighbourhoods and bringing offenders to justice.
“Thanks to support from the public, for the first time since 2010 investment has been made into policing here in Lancashire, which has seen task forces launched, with action already being taken on issues raised in this survey and the regular public feedback I receive in my role as the public’s voice in policing.”