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Police: Stepping up to protect the public

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

_DSC6451The events in Manchester I talked about in the last blog have sadly been proven not to be unprecedented. The London Bridge attack and the terror attack on those coming from prayers at Finsbury Mosque in London have shocked the nation and saw the force act through Operation Decisive.  Everyone in West Midlands Police wants to prevent an attack in our region.

Once again you have all stepped up to offer the protection the public have needed and been embraced by the public. You have also kept normal business going. This is a huge strain and do not think that I am not aware of the impact on you and your families. This is also a sustained and determined threat that is not going away anytime soon. We are and must remain in a heightened state of readiness.

A different issue emerged from London Bridge; policing became at last a serious political issue. It arose from incredible bravery from BTP and Met officers who stood between attackers and the public. Their actions have been humbling and like me I am sure you count yourself as honoured to...

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Police: The best of humanity in the face of such horror

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Like everyone in the country I am lost for words after the events in Manchester on Monday night. It is a depraved act of violence against families, young people and children.

We can all identify with victims and their families. Manchester is my home city and I have visited the arena many times with my own family. As details of the victims emerge it will be unbearable.

In this moment of great sadness and anger we also see the best of humanity. The response of Greater Manchester Police colleagues and other emergency services has been outstanding. I have offered the GMP chief constable any support he needs from us in the next few days, weeks and months ahead.

They have made us proud._DSC6561

As part of the national counter-terrorism network we are active in supporting the operation.

On Tuesday the threat level moved to critical, the first time in ten years. At this point I want to reiterate our mission: Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need.

We are facing a sustained and determined threat. Our first...

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Police: My welcome to the Fed in Birmingham

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

This is the speech I gave welcoming members of the Police Federation at their conference in Birmingham this week.

“Welcome to the West Midlands.

“It is an honour to welcome you to Birmingham and the West Midlands. Birmingham is known as the city of one thousand trades and it is great to welcome the practitioners of the craft of policing to the city.

“Birmingham is a fantastic city nothing like the concrete jumble of the past. 1.1 million People live in Birmingham and 2.8 million in the force area. 46% population of the population is under 30 making us Europe’s youngest city and 47% of the population is from Black or ethnic minority communities making us one of the most diverse cities and regions in the UK. It is a great place.

“Policing this region is challenging for West Midlands Officers. We face a full range of policing challenges ranging from one of the busiest road systems, highly diverse communities, organised crime, and international terrorism to everyday neighbourhood issues. We are also a force that, like your own, is...

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Police: Guest blog – DCC Louisa Rolfe: Proud of our people facing tough challenges

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

In recent weeks there have been too many reminders of how fragile life is and the risks and challenges police officers and staff face every day.  This motivated me to clear my diary and get out to speak to our people.  I have thoroughly enjoyed escaping the office and catching up with Response officers at Wolverhampton, our Forensic Coordinators, Firearms Teams and Homicide Team.  I am humbled by their courage, professionalism and commitment.  I know they are not unique.  In my 14 months in WMP I have been repeatedly impressed by the professionalism yet humility of our people.  We have much to be proud of, yet you take everything in your stride, and rarely seek recognition.

Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe

Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe

I’ve not been the only Exec out and about.  The chief has spent time with Force Contact staff at West Bromwich, listening in to calls and we’ve even allowed him out on a Response shift.  He has, as usual, come away with many challenges for me and the other Execs,...

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Police: Chief: Thank you for your professionalism and compassion in demanding times

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The last few weeks have seen you manage some tragic and heart-breaking incidents.  The murder and tragic deaths at Merry Hill in Wolverhampton and last week the terrible murders and stabbing in Stourbridge.

While I cannot comment directly on the facts of the incident at Merry Hill I can say I am hugely proud of our response. It graphically highlights a number of issues. Firstly, the critical role of our call takers and dispatchers.  Secondly a wide range of capability from Tasers, dogs and firearms.

In Stourbridge, again the force stepped up.  Again a horrific scene and the actions of quick thinking and brave officers who ensured the man who ran from the scene was in custody within minutes.  Another inspiring response from call takers, response officers, force support and neighbourhood.  Let us not forget those whose painstaking and difficult work continues when everyone else stands down: forensics; intelligence; homicide investigation; family liaison officers – these officers and...

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Police: A new ‘business as usual’

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

It is now just over a year since I became the Chief. It is natural at this point to reflect on where I have got to on the commitments I set out to you and what the next year holds.

Where are we now?

November saw a big shift in how the force is organised. I am pleased with how things are settling and the potential in place. We do have gaps that we are filling in key areas which will make the position better. I am particularly pleased that we rolled out the new technology we promised in 2016 – more than 3000 mobile devices, 1000 laptops and over 1600 body worn cameras. That’s a lot of kit! The future roll out on these areas is in planning. I was also pleased we rolled out new PAVA and batons and made some warmer coats available.

We are now organised in a way that matches the future and helps us prevent crime, protect the public and help those in need. A big focus now is delivering on this promise.

If 2016 was a big change year then 2017 is a year of making sure the public feel the impact of us delivering better outcomes....

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Police: Commercial Services chief lifts lid on new role

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

On occasion the Chief Constable hands over the reins of his blog to others in the force who share important updates and the latest developments in key areas of policing.

This edition sees Neil Chamberlain take over the page to talk about his new role as director of Commercial Services, which includes IT&D, Information Management and other departments.

His commitment to the public sector, the force’s financial state, and the future of the departments which enable frontline officers to be the best, are all discussed.

Email Neil with your suggestions or use the comments section at the bottom of the page to have your say.

Who am I?

Neil Chamberlain, director of Commercial Services

Neil Chamberlain, director of Commercial Services

Having been with the force for two and a half years as head of Finance and Shared Services, I was very proud to be asked to temporarily take up the role of director of Commercial Services recently.

I am a qualified accountant by profession, but don’t hold that against me! I have worked in large public sector organisations (including...

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Police: Welcome 2017

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

A Happy New Year!

For those of you celebrating Christmas, and also Hanukkah, and those of you not, I hope you had some time with family over the last few weeks.

The drumbeat of policing never stops and we had a busy seasonal period. I would like to pay particular tribute to some excellent police work in response to the shootings we had across the Christmas period and the response. There was some brave and exceptional work. I think the planning of the Christmas Market in Birmingham was shown to be sensible, particularly after the terrible events in Berlin. The Boxing Day appeal we made on the twenty year anniversary of the disappearance of David Spencer and Patrick Warren from Chelmsley Wood as well of that of Surjit Takhar shows we never give up if we have a chance of finding the answers. Most of all I want to thank those of you who worked hard over the period.

Before I pack 2016 away I also ought to mention the collective response of the force to the disorder at HMP Birmingham. One of the things that fills me with great pride is the ability of UK...

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Police: Guest Blog by DCC Rolfe: “One vision, one force, one team!

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson
Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe

Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe

Just over two weeks after implementing some of the biggest changes to affect WMP in a long while it’s right that we take stock and ask how are things going. Be assured, we have been checking daily with the support of our change network, senior officers and the Federation but it is a good time to step back and check again.  What’s going well and what issues do we need to address here and now?

Whilst I will specifically focus on the challenges and what we are doing about them, overall I am pleased with progress and proud of the work you have done to deliver such substantial change so smoothly.  Our WMP2020 operating model is already enabling us to better deliver our vision of preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need.  Our Contact teams have led the way in using THRIVE+ and the new grading framework to great effect.

Earlier this year we worked with you to shape our organisational values and we deliberately emphasised the values...

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Police: Transition State 1: Thank you

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Monday the 28th November is a big change for us as we move to the new operating model. Before we start anything: Thank you.

I am not a great lover of re-organising structures. I much prefer improving how we work but on this occasion it is needed before we can go to the next stage. I am always aware that changing structures does mean some disruption for all of you. We have worked very hard to minimise this but it does mean, for some of you, new locations, different shifts and new colleagues. Thank you for making these moves.

I want to thank you in advance. With such a big change there will be some challenges as we adapt. The Deputy Chief and staff from the 2020 programme are running a Transition Centre to monitor the implementation of the new operating model but I also accept and hope that there will be things that you and local leaders will need to adjust and use your initiative on. Please let the transition centre know about adaptions you need to do or think may be needed. There will be some changes as we get going but we need to be...

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Latest CC Dave Thompson Stories

Stepping up to protect the public
The best of humanity in the face of such horror
My welcome to the Fed in Birmingham
Guest blog – DCC Louisa Rolfe: Proud of our people facing tough challenges
Chief: Thank you for your professionalism and compassion in demanding times

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