I have not written a blog for a few weeks due to my leave and, of course, a pending interview I had.
Last week I was very pleased to be named as the preferred candidate to be the next Chief Constable of West Midlands Police. You may not quite understand what this means. I have been selected for the role by the Police and Crime Commissioner after a two day process.
At the next stage I will appear at a confirmation hearing of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel who scrutinise the appointment and either confirm it or if two thirds oppose they can veto it. The panel is an important part of how the Police and Crime Commissioner is held to account for his decisions and that includes key appointments he makes. I am looking forward to the panel.
Because I have one last leg of the journey to go and because I am not due to start in the new role until the Chief retires in January I have said very little. I will offer just a little more.
Firstly, I am really pleased! I seem to have been subject to some speculation as to whether I intended to return to Manchester as their Chief’s job was open at the same time. My time in Manchester was great but there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to stay here with you all. A great deal has been achieved and some big challenges and opportunities lie ahead and I wouldn’t want to be working with anyone else to face them. This is an outstanding force.
I also need to say that the Chief and I have a considerable time working together before we hand over. We have had a great partnership and the only sadness of the new role is we will not get to work together in the future. Needless to say the next few months will see me firmly cemented in my current role. That is important, as I do want to set out clearly the areas I feel we need to work together on in the future but only when I take up the Chief’s position. There is also a great deal needed to be done now!
Whilst there will be some new areas I believe we need to address I want to be crystal clear now that I am firmly committed to the WMP2020 programme that is progressing at speed. People need not fear that we are progressing something that will not be adopted. The programme is firmly part of the partnership between the Chief, I and the command team.
As I get ready for the transition I am looking to change the blog a little. I am looking to give some of this space in the next few months to other members of the team as we launch into WMP2020. Watch this space.
Right a few village notices.
Firstly, the silly season on media stories continued with “Sirengate”. I really have not got anything to say about this beyond the fact it has nothing to do with cuts, we try to buy the best cars for the roles you carry out, hence the Insignia for response. I do not want officers doing high speed driving in Corsas (however great they are) and hence we restricted what they can do. The fleet will be reviewed on the back of the 2020 operating arrangements.
Secondly, I am really pleased to see our Roads Policing Unit has transitioned across to become an integrated part of the CMPG. I really hope this works for our traffic officers who play a critical role in road safety and fighting crime. I also am excited we have been able to create dedicated Family Liaison Officers in the team so we are offering good care to victim’s families.
Finally, when persuaded I am up for a bit of advertising. Police National Database! (PND)
PND allows us to access intelligence from all police forces. It is a brilliant crime fighting tool but one that was limited to a number of users due to its confidential security classification. PND went on desk top six weeks ago at restricted level and is available in intelligence units. Our usage last month is now higher than it has ever been. The transition from the confidential system to the restricted system has enabled a number of features, (including facial recognition), that were previously unavailable. We have had some very notable successes using this tool specifically when we have been able to capture an image of a possible suspect.
Please speak to your local intelligence team on how to access PND. Even when you do not have an image, nicknames can often be searched for in open source to secure images in areas like social media. David Wilson, Detective Inspector at FIB is the SPOC and I attach his newsletter here. (Newsletter is only accessible internally to officers and staff on WMP computers.)
Job done David!