LANCASHIRE'S police and crime commissioner has criticised the Home Secretary after she ‘failed to recognise’ the constabulary's performance on domestic violence.
Clive Grunshaw has written to Theresa May asking her to visit Lancashire and see first-hand the work the force and its partners are doing to tackle all forms of domestic abuse.
The Home Secretary wrote to all police forces and police and crime commissioners in the wake of domestic abuse inspection reports published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and labelled police forces as ‘simply not good enough’. She also said the ‘current police response to domestic abuse is failing victims’.
But both the commissioner and Lancashire's Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan, have been left angered by the letter, which they said failed to recognise the ‘excellent performance’ of Lancashire Constabulary's public protection unit.
Mr Grunshaw said: “Lancashire Constabulary was told by HMIC its residents could have confidence in reporting domestic abuse, and inspectors praised the force for its investment in well-trained and specialist staff. The strength of the work we undertake with our partners was also recognised.
“I am very proud of the work of our public protection unit and believe the officers and staff involved should be praised for their performance. Therefore, to receive a generic letter which implied police forces across the board were failing victims was extremely disheartening.
“This does not mean I am complacent about the challenge we face when it comes to tackling domestic abuse. I am committed to ensuring we consistently strive to do more. Domestic abuse is a problem, and there are no easy answers.
“But I believe there are many things we do extremely well, and I feel the Home Secretary should see for herself what HMIC inspectors regarded as the strongest example of a good domestic abuse provision. I hope she will accept my invitation.”
The Chief Constable has also written to the Home Secretary to express his disappointment and to urge her to accept the commissioner's invitation.