There has been some fantastic news in the last few weeks I wanted to flag up. This blog gives some quick round ups!
Firstly, the conviction of Edmunds and Surdhar for one of the most significant firearms supply operations in the country in recent years. The ammunition made by Edmunds and supplied through Dr Surdhar is linked to more than 100 shootings across the country. Their conviction has been an amazing piece of work and a big well done to the team at ROCU and colleagues who have supported across the force.
Very good progress is being made by us on the recent spate of shootings with charges now brought in the case of Mekel Sterling.
Some significant successes with six firearms seized in 24 hours on the 15th November as well as more than 200 weapons handed in through the firearms surrender. There is an intensive drum beat to keep a rapid pace on firearms intelligence so that we act quickly on opportunities.
We must keep the pressure up on weapons as I am convinced the growth in shootings of late reflects an increase in availability.
I was delighted to see the proactive intervention and prevention operation we ran against motorbike nuisance. We raided 28 addresses and have charged seven people with public nuisance with more to come. This has seriously hampered the ability for these idiots to terrorise local people and we had a much quieter Halloween.
On 12th November we ran a major counter terrorism exercise in the Bull Ring and Grand Central to meet a large scale terror attack. Lots of good learning from the day but a real reflection of the increased firearms capacity we now have in the force. We are still not at the end of the uplift programme but our capacity to meet these challenges and the innovation underway to assess how we use new technology in these big challenges is underway.
The preparation is also shown the by increased security around the Birmingham Christmas market. There is absolutely no intelligence driving these changes. I will of course be visiting the market for a medicinal lug of gluhwein and a bratwurst as normal. However we are well aware of the environment we are in, which is why the armed operations in the city centre with BTP are a real positive.
In terms of seasonal challenges we are very focused upon acquisitive crime at force level. As the nights get darker we can see robbery and burglary rise. Vehicle crime is too high. We need to ensure we are really effective in prevention and very determined in catching the offenders. If you dial into force TRM you can see this. This is a whole organisational effort to prevent crime and catch offenders.
This week saw the release of the latest series of Humans of West Midlands Police. I really like this. The aim of the project is to tell the story of WMP one person at a time. And I think it does that really well. If you haven’t had a chance to read the stories yet, I’d strongly recommend that you log onto Newsbeat or catch up on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
There a number of steps under way in the next few weeks to help address the demand on staff.
In terms of mobility the DASH app has launched and the use of force app will be released early January. Corvus, the scene log app and Google Translator App (being tested at the German market!) will be released over the coming weeks. After that the next forms to be worked on are sudden death and community resolutions. These are big steps forward in making you more mobile. There are still 80 apps in the request pot which are being worked through.
Body cameras – I’ve seen some excellent examples recently where body cameras have made a difference to you. The brave officer who chased down the people who pointed a gun at her and the footage with the man with the knife. But the evidence isn’t the only benefit… where there is a challenge against you, in the PSD world we can assess and manage complaints so much more quickly and efficiently… often sparing weeks or even months of worry and concern. There are some contractual issues that we are working through before we can confirm roll out dates. More news soon.
Spit guards are in stock and rollout starts before Christmas with a short training package.
Taser – the new Taser X2 will be rolled out not just to existing users but also to 50 per cent of Force Response Officers, some FSU, traffic, Neighbourhood and OSU personnel. This is a huge piece of work which is being led by L and D with support from firearms. Again, watch this space in the new year.
POD continue to shape the leadership programme for the force. This will be police staff and officer leaders, whether they be new in post or established. It is important that we have everyone’s voice in the development of this programme as we want fair representation from all backgrounds and an authentic representation as the programme is pulled together.
And finally. At the roadshows there was lots of questions around logs being closed and the principles we use.
New log closure principles will be in place by next week which clarify when and how a log will be closed – allowing you to be bolder and to make better decisions. A vulnerability doctrine supports which will help you to manage, escalate and resolve incidents containing risk and vulnerability and ensure ownership and the right risk assessment. This will be further supported by a clear escalation process for really complex and high vulnerability cases.
The Gold on demand continues. And it will do so whilst we iron out our demand and performance challenges. More about that next week.