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Police: Gearing up to prevent

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

This week I want to discuss my views on the second limb of the blueprint; Geared to Prevent harm. To help me I want to step back to 1829 and look at Peel’s Principles set for the then new Metropolitan Police. There are nine principles but I will just use three with a little highlighting.

Prevent

1.To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

3.To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

9.To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

At times policing has drifted away from some parts of the principles. In the 2000’s there was a very big focus upon detection of crime as a police measure. We also went through a very strong phase of looking at ourselves purely as a service designed to offer a high quality...

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Police: Soup?

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

In the last few weeks the Chief has been running a series of road shows on the WMP2020 blueprint. I hope you have had the chance to attend these events and if you have not this video may help. (Non WMP staff please click here)

The blue print is based upon four pillars of change, as shown in the diagram below, built around a more central role for information but with the same vision and ethos that underpins our service.

Soup

I intend to use the next few blogs to talk about what the blueprint means for me, because whilst we will build an intensive programme to deliver the future WMP2020 organisation I think this will work best if we are all thinking about how we operate and staring to work differently. Change is about how people are different, not new exciting IT. This is very much an ethos shift.

I want to start with “Listen and reassure” and with a story.  Detroit as a city has undergone an incredible trauma. A city once of around 2 million people has been reduced to around 700,000 in fifty years. The city infrastructure is unsustainable and large parts have...

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Police: Pride in the Force

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

I am very proud to be a West Midlands Police officer. I think you too will share my pride in working here. You have good reason.

A few weeks ago West Midlands Police held its third Diamond Awards to celebrate outstanding achievement in 2014-15. You can see the winners and the nominees here in newsbeat (internal WMP staff only). Well done to all of them and to colleagues, partners and critically members of the public who recognised their achievements and nominated them. There was some outstanding work on display.

We cannot give everyone an award at an event like this but your collective achievements deserve them not just for this year but for our journey over the last few years. Let me explain more.

I was looking last night not just at how crime has fallen over the last four years as we have changed as a force. It is a remarkable story. Burglary on homes has fallen by 40% since 2010. Over 7,000 less crimes each year. This is the fourth biggest drop in this crime in the country and sees us with much lower burglary than the other metropolitan areas....

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Police: WMP2020, the future of the force and public satisfaction

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

I have not written a blog for ages.  I am really sorry but I have been heavily engaged in developing the WMP2020 work in the last few weeks which has: (a) left me very little time and (b) has not given me much to write about! I promise I will get back to this. This week I will cover the future and how we are treating the public.

Last weekend you will have seen considerable coverage on the news about further reductions in police budgets. In the next few weeks the major parties will be publishing their detailed manifestos which I suspect may offer some choices. I do however think the next five years will present further significant reductions in public sector spending.  It is very possible we may see budgets, (subject to the individual force) cut by 50% over the next decade. I was recently quoted by The Guardian saying the force would be reduced to 1974 staff numbers if this happened.

As a Force we have all been working very hard under WMP2020 to make sure we can create a service that, despite major budget...

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Police: Staff security, WMP2020 and doing the right thing

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

An awful lot has been going on since I last wrote a blog.

Firstly, the dreadful attacks in Paris and the subsequent security alert. The Command Team and I are very conscious of the concern this has raised with you and your families. We have been actively reviewing our response and comparing it with other forces across the country.

A Gold Group is operating under ACC Marcus Beale in order to ensure we are taking appropriate and proportionate steps. A great many of you have viewed the Staff Security site on the intranet where we have consolidated all our security advice and the steps we are taking. Can I recommend this to you all. In the current climate it is very likely this threat level may persist for a very long period and it is vital that you and we as an organisation keep these prudent security measures in place and others as they become necessary.

Please be assured ACC Beale is reviewing our position constantly against the threat picture and intelligence so we can take the right steps to protect you, as you...

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Police: “Let it go, let it go”: Mergers and decentralisation of government

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

My kids are too old for the cartoon “Frozen” but the song “Let it Go!” booms out everywhere.  As the police budget settlement came out the song sounded very appropriate for the discussions I heard in the media on police force mergers.

The debate last week started with an article by the Commissioner of the Met but has been on and off for about eight years. Sir Bernard’s article set out lots of things the service needs to think about for the future. In my view these were perfectly good ingredients, but not a recipe for change. There was no formula for the extensive mix of proposals, but it did include nine regional forces.

Before you read on I need to be clear that I am not advocating the status quo. Things have to change. They need to change quickly. In some cases mergers of forces will be correct. The issue is however the challenge is much bigger now than a simple redrawing of force boundaries; which is the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Austerity will continue for at...

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Police: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

Can I start by wishing everyone a very merry and peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.  As always Christmas is a time of work for the force and many will be on duty at times they would rather be at home with loved ones.

Policing has many values we share with Christianity and the other major religions. Our job is to make other people safe by our presence and to ensure that people who need a friend at times of need get one.

Once again this year I have seen countless examples of how we are doing this as a whole organisation. Crime is falling and much lower than the other major cities. We have the lowest rates of offending in the country. We are recording crime accurately and ethically as evidenced in the most rigorous HMIC inspection I have ever seen.  Our approach to stop search has seen a better use of our powers, something young people will notice. Our overall service as a force is rated by HMIC in its new PEEL inspections as one of the best in the country and easily the best Metropolitan Police Force. This year we have...

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Police: What does a Deputy Chief Constable do?

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

I did one of these a few years ago so here is a snapshot of two weeks in November so you get a feel of what I do!

3rd November – 7th November.

Day 1: Regional Chief Constables teleconference for the Chief as he is out of the office.  Morning Chief Officers’ meeting to review events of the week and discuss future issues for the week. On the train to London attend the Ending Gang and Youth Violence Inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Norman Baker MP who resigns the following day, (not taken personally by me).  A meeting with NCA colleagues on gangs and gun crime.

Day 2: Calls and meetings with staff from the Force on various issues.  The Commissioner’s Strategic Policing Board where we discuss the WMP2020 programme and the Force response to Child Sexual Exploitation is scrutinised.  Meeting to review progress of the Service Transformation Programme which is modernising investigation and the Public Protection Unit.

Day 3: Meeting with Accenture, the Chief and Commissioner to review the performance of the partnership,...

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Police: CSE, inspections and WMP2020

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

Last week saw more coverage on child sexual exploitation.

This began for us with the publication of a HMIC inspection into the Force on child protection. It was followed by the Coffey Report in Greater Manchester and a paper on our current position on CSE which we discussed at the Commissioner’s Board.

I also think the All Party Report on Police and Children was also relevant to these debates as it explored how many young people do not find it easy to trust the police.

You may recall I have been critical of some of the HMIC work of late. I remain concerned about their approach in many areas however as we promote the good things they say about us we must also acknowledge areas we have not got right yet. This report was a fair assessment of where we were in June 2014 and whilst identifying good work showed some clear areas to improve.

The growth in PPU is a very significant investment that we believe will enhance our impact on vulnerability. Sentinel will continue the awareness training we are carrying out. We agree with the...

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Police: Pelkin and reasserting our ambition

Written by RSS Poster DCC Dave Thompson

Can I start off by offering my thanks for the great work on Operation Pelkin – the Conservative Conference? It is a large and complex operation and it was really great to see how well this has been organised and executed.

Two points stood out for me as I wandered around on Tuesday night. Firstly, the general satisfaction with the catering at Tally Ho, which is lovely to hear as it is our Sports and Social Club, and the success of Teapot 1 provided by the Police Federation. Welfare is really important and it is good we are getting this right. Most importantly was the appearance and the polite and helpful style in which those of you on the operation carried out your work. Honestly, the best planning in the world cannot guarantee warm and friendly staff but once again that stood out in the way you go about your duty. It is one of the things we just assume happens but it doesn’t everywhere and is one of the great features of the force. Well done and it was noticed by visitors to the city.

I promised a performance update. The aim of...

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