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. The focus on building new neighbourhood teams to prevent crime, build active communities and reduce demand now becomes one of ensuring that we are delivering. Engagement has to have a purpose in reducing crime. The same requirement to deliver is to be said of Response policing, Investigations, Contact, Intelligence etc…
This year we want to see crime fall, with an emphasis on high harm or crimes of public concern, offenders brought to justice and offending reduced, vulnerable people better protected and response to calls matching public need with good public satisfaction with services.
The force has now set out the Ambition Plan, which sets out the policing outcomes and activities we will concentrate on this year. I look forward to increasing discussions now on how we are delivering our ambitions, not on how we are managing change.
Some changes are still ongoing. The Investigations work is still in progress with changes on the East and West planned in the coming months. The Next Generation Enabling Services programme is continuing apace and is an area where we will all notice a difference in how we work.
There are areas where we have not yet achieved all I set out in January – namely our People work, Professional Standards and our work on building trust. I still think too much work is too risk averse and we still seem to do some dumb things. I still need your help on these through ‘Tell the Boss’.
We are still in the foothills on the People Deal. I think there has been some good work understanding the values but I always saw the work as a five year journey. The People Deal and Leadership Promise is in place. I think we have made a good start on Wellness and have in place a new leadership team in People and Organisational Development under Ali Layne-Smith. The challenge now for 2017 is to get some momentum behind this programme with good leadership programmes, performance reviews for staff, more work on creating a more diverse and inclusive force and improving the voice you have in how your team and the force is run.
Whilst we are concentrating on this delivery we need to be clear that there is more change to come.
The next few years will now be less about how we are organised but more how we work. A new replacement for PNC and PND, a new radio system, a new police qualifications framework and digital justice to mention a few projects.
We are planning the next phase of force change and where the emphasis will be. The Executive Team have recently written a strategic intention document to base the direction of the next three years of the WMP2020 programme. I attach this here and if you are not a big reader there is a summary PowerPoint.
We are using this document to discuss the next steps of the programme with senior leaders and I am keen to listen to your views on this through the Tell the Boss email. In addition I will be hosting a web chat on Wednesday 8th March at 1.30pm to discuss what’s next in 2017 – 2020.
We also launch the Big Staff Survey this week. The answers you give help shape our way forward. It is only 15 minutes long. The first survey we did in 2015 really helped us to understand what was important to you and helped steer the direction of the force. There’s even a prize for one lucky winner!!
I am hugely proud of what we have achieved so far and the great work we do in West Midlands Police, 2017 will see us deliver improved outcomes for those we serve but continue our planning for a rapidly changing world.