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Police: Threat, efficiency and improvement

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

This week we have seen the shocking events of the terrorism incident in Liverpool. The national threat level has been raised after two attacks in the last month. It is a timely reminder that this threat never goes away and all our eyes and ears are vital. I do not know anything more about the facts of the incident in Liverpool but what we are increasingly seeing is lone actors moving from self-radicalisation to attack. This can be much harder to detect and so, as we attend calls and jobs and move around as ordinary citizens, we need to be vigilant. We have a key role in gathering intelligence.

Last month I got to see around 1400 of you at the roadshows. I hope you enjoyed the event and learned a little and shared some of your views. Personally I found this round of roadshows to have been the best. Great questions from you all and some brilliant stands at the Expo. If you missed it you can find out more on Newsbeat. Thank you to all those who made the roadshows possible and everyone who came.  

We are now...

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Police: Sarah Everard.

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last week we learned the shocking facts of how Sarah Everard was taken from the street by a police officer abusing their powers and raped and murdered. How this happened is as much of a shock to me as it is to you.

I cannot think of anything quite like this in policing’s history. I am sure you feel as sick as I do.

There has been a great deal said about policing in the last few days. Most of it has been bad.  This blog is primarily aimed at my fellow male officers.

To the dads, brothers, husbands, grandads, partners and sons, who work with me in policing.

I am sure many of the things you have heard this weekend about policing will have hurt, as they have me. Like me, you joined to protect people. The idea of a fellow officer abusing his powers to abduct, rape and kill a woman is against everything we believe in. I can understand the desire to see Sarah’s killer as a bad apple. Police officers are of course people that should be trusted. The facts are extraordinary.

This is the wrong lens through which to see these events.

An act like...

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Police: It keeps on coming

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Every year we put in place a summer demand plan. This requires us to adjust our normal operating roles to recognise increased demand. We used to have autumn, spring, summer and winter in the West Midlands calendar. Our plan for increased demand has been ongoing for five months. Much as I am happy to skip autumn our summer demand plan is now our exceptional demand plan!

The world is a little unsettled as we return after the pandemic. Shortages of Co2 disrupting food suppliers, hospitals, fizzy lager or a can of pop. Disruption to supply chains due to HGV shortages. Not all public services are back at capacity. More things to protest about and night time economies settling down with new staff and new premises.

The extra calls and demand are not unique to West Midlands Police and our region. You may have seen a number of ambulance trusts seeking military support. All forces in the region and all Chief Constables are seeing these challenges. We are trying to do some analysis on this across the region as these calls are not often crime...

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Police: Serving the public: Paying the price

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The last week has been one where the costs of policing and the sacrifice of officers and staff have been set out.

On Wednesday I attended the dedication ceremony of the new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. After seven years of fundraising and planning, the new memorial has exceeded the expectations any of us could have. The new memorial is a doorway representing a threshold to a different space and the dangerous places where the police go. It stands tall across the arboretum as a place of focus; policing standing tall and taking its place in such a special places of memory. I strongly recommend you visit it.

Sadly the day was a painful one for families. I introduced families from the West Midlands, West Mercia and West Yorkshire to the Prince of Wales. They talked about the impact on them of the day and their loss. The pain remains no matter how many years have passed. I am so grateful to the many staff from the force and our Comms Department who helped make the day special.


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Police: Growing Pains

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last week I had a few days away from work and I hope some of you have been able to have some time off during half term. The pace of life is returning and the force is very busy. I know we are working very hard at a time when the chances of a holiday overseas are again receding. I cannot thank you enough for your work.

Having time away from work is important and I do recognise taking time off when you want it is vital, but is actually quite tough at the moment. As an Executive Team we discussed this two weeks ago. We think it’s very important people take leave and will track more carefully when people have leave refused a number of times. We will also be operating extended leave carry over for the next two years. More news to follow.

The last few weeks have seen some tragic events. None more so than the murder of Dea-John Reid. Many of us will have been shattered by the words and emotions of his mother, brother and the rest of his family. Their dignity and leadership in the community have stood out. We cannot put this right but the force has let...

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Police: Holidays, disorder and hate crimes

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Despite the temperatures and the rain this weekend summer is on the way!

First up: Commonwealth Games leave restrictions. I’m well aware restrictions are never popular after what could be two years without a proper summer holiday. I’m sorry we’ve had to do this and I understand the impact this may have on you and your families. It’s why we wanted to tell you about the restrictions more than a year in advance.

The games are a huge operation for the force. The event is going to be exciting and a fantastic time for policing in the region. I want to assure everyone that we will do all we can to be flexible on leave around these dates as the plans develop. We will keep you updated.

The progress on lifting restrictions and ending our responsibilities under COVID legislation will be welcomed by all of us as police and private citizens. However, I don’t think this is the end of the COVID related challenges.

Having watched the disorders in Europe and the extraordinary scenes in Manchester at the weekend, there is a...

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Police: 180,000,000

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The number at the top of this blog may strike you as a little odd.

This is the number of files the force has moved from its legacy computer systems into Connect. Pieces of data from various systems that we had to pick up and transfer into our new operating system in a way we can access and use them. Ever tried to transfer the address book from one phone to another? Not easy, and you can see why this has been such a huge project. Technology is a little bit like an iceberg; those of us using the system only see the tip and not the huge complexity below the waterline.

I make these points as this last week has been a seismic change for West Midlands Police. We have never before had a fully integrated operational policing system. Over the years, we have grafted pieces together with loose ends and compromises. With so many systems involved, some would age and become sick and replacement was not a choice. Some systems were at end of life. Today, the force has the UK’s most modern operational system.

I want to offer a big ‘thanks’ to everyone...

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Police: Our world has changed so much

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Looking back even fourteen months ago, it is hard to imagine we would ever see the events of 2020. Our world has changed so much.

For some this has been a dreadful year of tragedy. We mourn those we have lost within our own West Midlands Police family and today think of those who have died in our communities. We are looking forward to enjoying a brighter future that sees us meeting up with family and friends again.

A handmade thank you card to police officers reading Thank You for everything that you are doing in the service of others
One of the many thank you cards we received

This year has also been inspiring in so many ways. The miracle of science that has created the vaccination programme, the tireless work of NHS staff and those in care homes. Acts of kindness across communities.

Our own work has been outstanding. The preparation for mass fatalities saw us work with partners to create the largest temporary mortuary in the country from scratch. The work of our community deaths teams earlier in the year was remarkable. The quality of coordination with partners and, of course, the tireless work of all of you in enforcing the COVID...

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Police: Chief Constable’s blog: Policing and Sarah Everard

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The tragic murder of Sarah Everard this week has had a seismic impact on society and policing. The circumstances of her death and the occupation of the man charged with her murder has stunned all of us.

There are so many issues from this case but I want to discuss the two most pressing.

COVID restrictions

The events on Clapham Common have brought into sharp focus the difficulties of balancing freedom to assemble and protest with the substantial restrictions that have been passed by Parliament to manage the public health crisis.

The police cannot work with organisers to facilitate a gathering that is unlawful under the COVID legislation; it would be a serious breach of our role. I believe people who feel the police should have done this at the weekend are wrong. The rules have varied during the pandemic but are very clear and parliament has restricted gatherings to prevent infections of COVID.

You will see we advised local groups we could not do this which led to events being cancelled in...

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Police: Chief’s blog: why Connect is critical

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

One of the areas we have talked about in the “This Work Matters” strategy is Precision Policing. We want to develop this concept to blend evidence based policing, our data capability with our need to be efficient in using resources and ensure communities are policed fairly. This requires us to be smart in understanding problems, setting objectives and ensuring resources are used well.

I mention this as I was thinking about this as I reached the final leg of my Connect Learning Journey this week and looked at the new Proactive Management Plans (PMP). Connect is critical to Precision Policing.

Yes – I have a Connect training journey of 19 lessons and around 8 hours! Connect is a huge change for WMP and everyone needs to understand it. This is critical for leaders. Some of you may have heard me say we need digital leaders not analogue managers. Leaders have core roles in Connect, but also need to understand how to exploit it to improve our policing and help all staff with new ways of working.

The systems...

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Latest CC Dave Thompson Stories

Threat, efficiency and improvement
Sarah Everard.
It keeps on coming
Serving the public: Paying the price
Growing Pains

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