Tackling child abuse and sexual exploitation has been named as the public’s top priority in a survey by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Clive Grunshaw launched the online survey this summer to ask residents their views on crime and policing priorities to inform his Police and Crime Plan, which sets out how the police and community safety partners work together.
Some 3,000 Lancashire residents answered the survey, with 91 per cent of respondents ranking tackling child abuse and sexual exploitation as a high priority, followed by investigating serious crime (90 per cent), combatting terrorism and extremism (78 per cent) and tackling domestic abuse and violence (72 per cent).
Mr Grunshaw believes public confidence has been damaged by cuts to the service which has left Lancashire with 800 fewer officers and 350 fewer police staff than in 2010.
He said: “Year-on-year we have less money to deliver policing in Lancashire which is understandably affecting people’s confidence that police will be there for them.
“Reassuringly though 85 per cent of people in my survey who had been victims of crime reported it to police.
“Many of the people I spoke with over the summer were very sympathetic towards the police and at pains to point out that they don’t blame the police, rather they believe they are doing the best with the resources they have.
“Almost half of people asked thought that all things considered, the police did a good job and more than half would be confident if they approached police with a problem, they would take action.
“With government not providing any extra resources but passing the burden onto council tax payers, growing demand and a further £18m to find by 2022, Lancashire’s police service will continue to have to adapt and with fewer officers and resources it is even more important to ensure that our plans meet operational needs but also public priorities.”