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 connectivity will help teams controlling offenders see their interactions with the force and neighbourhood teams to see incidents in geo-fenced areas. Visualisation of intelligence will transform investigation opportunities. PMPs will help us plan and coordinate prevention interventions. That is Precision Policing.
This is a big change for the force. We have decided to transition to a new operational system for a number of reasons. I know some of you feel we just like change: we don’t. There are serious reasons:
I have put an exclamation mark on this because this is going to be a very big transition. We have to change case, custody, crimes, briefings and intelligence. As you will have seen from your training, it has to be one big change as it’s a connected system. We are currently back record converting our data from the old systems and this is a huge task (we are doing this as we want to avoid you needing to search old systems).
Last week I was chatting with officers about the system and unsurprisingly the question was asked about why you are not receiving classroom training.
It would be logistically impossible.
If you look at my own learning journey, it would be more than one day times everyone in WMP. We would have needed to start it a long time ago and we would have forgotten the training before we went live! For this reason we have classroom trained some roles as they need more in depth knowledge. For the rest, we have used online training and now have a practice system.
Training is not all the support you will be getting. We have super users who we have offered more support to. We will also have a transition support web chat running 24/7 for several weeks and all the ‘self-help’ materials you need are available via https://es-one-stop-shop.custhelp.com/app/wmp2020/connect (Link is for WMP staff only).
What we need from you now:
The key is now for NPUs and Departments to make sure leaders are skilled and able to help, super users are match fit, you have done your training and played on the test system. We have done a lot of research on how other forces went about transitioning to Connect and learned from them.
In other matters, we are now set to see the Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayor elections in May as well as all local authorities, (except Birmingham). We will enter a period called purdah in March where we avoid publicity that could influence an election. Can I ask you are very conscious of your professional obligations of impartiality? We are very much in a live election campaign now.
I also want to call out the appearance of Forensic and Homicide teams in the Real CSI documentaries on BBC2. The force takes a careful approach to the programmes we participate in. We aim for documentaries that show what we do in a considered way. I was very proud of how we came across as an organisation in the first episode on Tuesday.
Professional and compassionate. We are at the same time one of the most progressive forces in releasing bodycam footage of the great work you do.
We do not need a documentary to be in the public eye. Every mobile phone user is a documentary maker. You will be aware we apologised for a recent incident at Solihull that we got very wrong. The matter is now closed but in these difficult times people are watching and filming.
As staff of WMP, we are always on show and the reach on social media of these videos with young people exceeds any coverage of a BBC 2 documentary. Times are hard and policing is messy but let’s keep getting it right so that the focus remains on the great work not the occasional mistake.