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Police: Troublesome changes or common sense?

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Wednesday 13 May saw COVID regulations change what is permissible as part of the government’s easing of the lockdown.

Let’s all start by acknowledging this is a tricky ask. The government needs to contain the infection rate, allow a reasonable level of easing and start up the economy. Quite hard.

Before we get to the changes to the restrictions we need to recognise:

  • The lockdown has been very successful in achieving the aim of reducing infections. This is to the great credit of the public and to British Policing who have helped keep this on track. Well done. We have managed to be sensible and proportionate in our approach.
  • It has been so successful it has created some caution about returning to work. Starting up is harder than slowing down!
  • We geared up for a significant rise in hospitalisation and deaths. The news has been grim but the peak has not matched our worst fears. We now have capacity built and ready if events turn. A thank-you to everyone who has got us ready.

A visit to Wolverhampton custody

This new phase is now...

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Police: Keeping the rainbows coming

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last week we marvelled at the British public, often reserved yet always showing their thanks for the big moments, come out for a huge round of applause for the amazing nurses, doctors, ambulance staff and indeed all the staff of the NHS. I would include social care staff too who are doing an amazing job.

You will have felt some of that love in the rainbow pictures, sandwiches and thanks from the public we have received too. We need to keep that love coming as we have some tough weeks ahead. Thank you for this card from Joshua on behalf of St Edmund Campion.

I say this because last week we set about encouraging people to follow guidance and enforcing some the most restrictive laws we have seen in our nation. We are doing this because of an emergency and our need to save lives and protect the NHS by stopping the infection rate. The purpose is more important that the powers.

You will have noticed the powers don’t quite cover all the government’s advice. The government has issued quite a lot of advice on social distancing but only a...

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Police: COVID 19 – Peel would have never imagined this… or did he?

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

At each stage of my messages to you I have tried to ensure we prepare for the next stage.

As events have shown this is moving quickly. Events in Italy feel more proximate. More people will be ill and more are going to die. This is going to be the toughest moment of our careers in policing.

So where are we?

An increasing proportion of the force is self-isolating or confined to home with underlying conditions. Some have sick family. We will be offering more guidance on asthma and diabetes as staff only need to be at home in serious cases. We have seen the NHS advice for staff in direct contact with COVID19 so some people with mild asthma and diabetes will be as safe as the rest of us at work.

The workplace is looking more controlled with new tidy habits. Keep it clean. Look after PPE. As you can see this is precious.

The major incident structures are up and running. We have done some refocusing on services and there will be more of this. Our absence levels will grow when more people become ill...

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Police: Covid 19: Our biggest ever challenge

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

A great deal has happened since my last message. I think a great deal more may happen and I want to use this blog to prepare ourselves.

To recap:

I cannot emphasise enough on the need for workplace hygiene. Washing hands properly, every two hours. Clean desks and workspaces. I have asked Commanders and Heads of Department to do captain’s rounds! If you do not have cleaning materials, tell them. This is everyone’s job.

PPE has been issued. We have good stocks compared to other sectors but we cannot be sure when we can replenish. You must use gel, gloves and face masks wisely. Keep clothing and vehicles clean.

We are tracking staff who are off work through sickness, self-isolation or social distancing. The numbers have increased. Occupational Health can advise on whether staff fall into these criteria. If you do you MUST go home and social distance. It is not a choice. Leaders can take advice from Occupational Health as conditions such as asthma can be very wide and not everyone falls into this group.

Our IT&D colleagues are...

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Police: Taking stock and looking forward

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

This week some of you will have seen the Police and Crime Commissioner has extended my fixed term appointment until January 2023. Chiefs are appointed on five year initial terms and an extension can be granted for a maximum period of three years.

I am pleased to be staying on with you in our amazing force for longer and supporting a new Police and Crime Commissioner. It is an exciting time with City of Culture and Commonwealth Games and I want to ensure both are a success and we use the new technology and people we have arriving to make an even bigger impact on crime.

For now we are already busy completing WMP 2020 and concentrating on cutting crime.

Firstly, on WMP 2020. We have agreed as an Executive Team to implement ControlWorks as the new Command and Control system on the 26th February. This is a huge moment as we have had Oasis for 25 years and there is a huge exercise in transferring markers and plugging in new systems to this kit.

This is not a change without demands, risk and stress. I am encouraged as I go round contact...

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Police: A new decade and new strategy

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I want to start 2020 by saying thank you for the great work over the seasonal period. We came back after what is a generally a busy period in good shape. This is very much my reflection of 2019. We are all pulling together! 2020 is a big year so let me make a few points:

We are reliable: Call handling times are good. There is a good use of webchat. We are much more reliable on attendance to calls. Great work.

We are cutting crime: Homicides have reduced. Burglary and vehicle crime are falling as are firearms discharges. Robbery is static. There are promising signs on violence. Positive outcome rates in these key crimes are good. Great work.

We have challenges: There is a big pressure to reduce outstanding domestic abuse offenders. This area of demand is still going up. We want to bring more people to justice for rape. Everyone needs to support PPU colleagues who work so hard. We need to make a bigger dent in violence.

We are recruiting: We are recruiting around 24 police officers a week. That’s not just to replace leavers (PS more...

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Police: Time to celebrate

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. An important time to celebrate the birth of Christ. A time to celebrate with family and friends.

It is also the time, of course, when officers and staff across the force give up time at home to protect the public. I never lose sight of the sacrifice you and your families make in this festive season and I thank you and your loved ones for this sacrifice.

Dave Thompson

The work of our diverse staff from other faiths who are willing to cover for those celebrating, is also never taken for granted.

Christmas can only be a peaceful time through the guardianship we provide.

The last few weeks, with the terrible terrorism attack in London, has reminded us all of the need to be vigilant at a time when so many people are out and about enjoying themselves in our towns and cities.

I know you have been doing this in our normal friendly style by engaging with the public we serve.

I’m also acutely aware that effort to keep the public safe is also a critical role for those who work in less visible roles. It takes all of us to...

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Police: Making strides

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The headlines are very election dominated at the moment and indeed there is a great deal of work ongoing in the force around the election. There are a number of marginal seats in the force and election visits are thick and fast. There is a comprehensive operation in place. The murder of Jo Cox MP during the referendum and the volatile political environment reminds us all how important it is that the democratic process is safeguarded and protected.

An election on the run in to Christmas is unusual and comes at a time when the force is getting busy. I have spoken to a few of you on the Christmas market in Birmingham and also had some nice letters of thanks for the warm reception you have provided for visitors. I am aware the Silent Night draws in staff from all over the force to help out. Your flexibility is really appreciated.

Chief Constable David Thompson

Chief Constable David Thompson

While we have recently seen the security threat level drop I would underline that security remains at the forefront of these operations. After the terrible murders in London Bridge clearly there is...

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Police: Looking beyond 2020

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last month you will have seen the update from the DCC on our performance on this year’s improvement plan. I am really pleased to see some good steps forward. The drop in burglary we are seeing is excellent, there are some good steps forward in other areas where we are preventing crime and ensuring a good response to the public. The focus this year is on working together to continue this good work, specifically on areas like robbery and violence among the under 25s.

The results sit behind some excellent work and I would call out this month the work behind the Operation Polygon series of offences against the elderly in the Black Country. The whole WMP team has come together to manage this threat. A number of men have been charged with offences.

I have had some enjoyable visits out in the force in the last few weeks. My visits to some of the covert policing areas in the ROCU helped me see the excellent work we are doing and the sense of a tight regional team developing. A visit to the Priorities Team in FCID showcased some great proactive...

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Police: Diversity is answer to extremism

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Being diverse and inclusive is the best counter to violent extremism.

Before I delve into the newspaper coverage of a few weeks ago, let’s talk about Chris Burnham.

I don’t know Chris personally, but I recognise his work… He’s one of the best kind, a fantastic cop, someone who makes a difference in his community on a daily basis. He was horrifically injured in the line of duty in Coventry. Vanessa Jardine and I met his family that evening and have been working closely with Cov SLT and FCID as the investigation progresses. A man is now arrested and charged and the hard work continues on the investigation.

My thoughts are with Chris’s family and we will continue to offer them support and friendship as he starts his long road to recovery. I think of you all too, as knowing that a colleague has been injured affects us all. Chris Johnson’s work on establishing if we can do anything to help protect us further continues. I’ll update soon.

A few weeks ago you will have seen coverage in Newsbeat and in the media covering...

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Latest CC Dave Thompson Stories

Troublesome changes or common sense?
Keeping the rainbows coming
COVID 19 – Peel would have never imagined this… or did he?
Covid 19: Our biggest ever challenge
Taking stock and looking forward

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