Police chiefs are making ‘outstanding progress’ in their bid to save £54.3m in the spending review, according to a report published today.
The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that the Force is on track to meet its financial challenge of the spending review period - but must make sure recent increases in crime and reduction in satisfaction don’t have a long term impact.
The regulator also found that Lancashire Constabulary: has plans in place to deliver all of the savings needed in 2014/15 (£16.7m) and 2015/16 (£5.6m);is developing ambitious and innovative savings plans for 2016/17 and beyond; has increased the proportion of officers in front line roles despite reductions in overall numbers; and provided a good quality of service to its communities by delivering crime reduction over the spending review period, although not as fast as elsewhere.
HMIC’s Valuing the Police programme has tracked how forces have made savings following the government spending review in October 2010.
Today Lancashire Police said it must make £80m of savings by 2017/18. £60m has been identified. Deputy Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: he was “extremely pleased” that HMIC has recognised that the Constabulary has responded well to the financial challenge it faces.
But added: “Whilst we have succeeded in minimising the impact on frontline services so far, the remaining £20m is going to be more painful. There is no doubt that the public will start to feel a difference in how we police and that was always going to be an inevitable consequence of losing over 600 police officers.”
Roger Baker, HMIC for the northern region said: “Lancashire Constabulary has identified that it needs to save £54.3m over the four years of the spending review.
“It has plans in place to meet this requirement as well as preparing to meet future austerity.
“Overall, the constabulary understands the issues facing it, and it has a comprehensive and well-managed change programme in place to deliver the savings required, while minimising as far as possible the impact on frontline policing.