My uncle was in the Isle of Man Police and about 25 years ago I spent some time with him that made me realise I wanted to join too. If I honestly reflect on why I wanted to join it was about having an adventure underlined with a purpose – making a difference. I was at Birmingham University and the idea of being paid to catch a burglar felt like an incredible opportunity. Sometimes through our careers that purpose can get lost in the business and politics of policing. We can spend time on stuff that we think won’t benefit anyone and sometimes we look at what goes on and wonder whether anything will change. I am a Temp ACC so I came into this team not entirely sure what ACC’s do. However when I reflect on my PDR objectives they are the reasons why I joined WMP a long time ago:
ACC Alex Murray
Detect more crime – with an initial focus on improvements in burglary, vehicle crime and robbery.
Our detection rates for these need to improve – it is...
Reaching 15 months in my new role is a great opportunity to look back on what’s been achieved and what’s to come next. I’m very proud to work for WMP and to have the opportunity to create and lead a new function – People & Organisation Development – POD! – although I realise not everyone knows what POD is and what we’re here to do.
Ali Layne-Smith, Director of POD
POD was created in 2017 by pulling the parts of the organisation that focused on our people into one place. That includes Operational Learning, what was Corporate HR including the HR Advisors (who were known as LMAs – Line Manager Advisors), Occupational Health, Workforce Planning and Shared Services. POD also includes some departments that are new to the force such as Performance and Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Reward, Wellbeing, and Resourcing.
There are about 425 people in POD and our purpose is to deliver the People Deal and Leadership Promise the Chief created when he became Chief Constable. ...
My first year in WMP has flown by. I wanted to be part of a force with an ethos of intervention and prevention. Joining WMP has exceeded my expectation. I’ve seen a strong commitment to our communities across the force.
ACC Sarah Boycott
It was a busy and eventful year to say the least. Things are now settling down and there’s great work in Neighbourhood Policing to build on and develop and programmes of work such as DDI (Data Driven Insight), Connect and Fairness in Policing, which will transform the way we operate and relate to our communities. You will see in my PDR objectives an emphasis on preventing people becoming a victim or offender, making places safer for our communities and working with communities to build their confidence in what we do.
We are seizing opportunities to intervene and prevent offending and reduce repeat victims across all areas of policing. I’m looking forward to doing more this year, to tackle the demand and locations that keep...
I’ve never been keen on the word Ambition, always associating it with striving to succeed at all costs. I don’t consider myself as particularly ambitious, which I know is a little odd as a deputy chief constable. I’ve never had my career mapped out and always loved the job I’m in at the time, rarely looking beyond wanting to do my best right here and now. I remember being told I needed a career plan – I avoided that task so long I got there despite one. However, over the years I’ve grown to know it’s not good for me to be too comfortable. I’m at my best when I’m stretched, challenged to achieve and out of my comfort zone.
Part of my job in WMP is to write our Ambition Plan. I know our organisation and our people are at their best when stretched, challenged and not too comfortable, so our plan is unashamedly ambitious. We may not achieve it all but we’ll give it our best shot. As this is my second year of planning here, I’ve learnt a lot from what worked well last time. I heard...
After the first month of this financial year there are lots of reasons to look forward this year!
In January we entered what is my third year as chief. If the first year was laying foundations with new vision, values and a new structure for the force then last year was stabilising and getting back on track. This year is about making big progressive strides.
What makes me so energised?
Firstly, persistent problems are starting to see progress. At times last year it seemed we were juggling challenges with answering our calls, getting to calls, gun crime and a rise in acquisitive crime. Dealing with the here and now challenges was distracting us from a more innovative preventative agenda. We have made progress!
Call handling is good. Our 999 service has the lowest rate of abandoned calls since at least 2014 with an average answer time now of six seconds. 101 is seeing average answer times of around two minutes. That is higher than in the past but today we are dealing with more calls there and then on the call. Around 70% of calls are dealt with...
As you have been watching the television in the last few days I hope your excitement has been building for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022!
Last week I joined four of our staff, as part of a wider Birmingham and UK Government group, on the Gold Coast to begin the process of understanding the requirements of the Games and to begin our own planning.
Before we talk about what we have learned let’s get the obvious questions out of the way. The overall cost of sending myself and staff out was around £13k. The force will receive a budget to pay for Games delivery and we intend to draw down funds for this. I lost four working days as a result of the visit. I flew economy. We attended as part of planned programmes put on by the Games Federation and Queensland Police for nations hosting major games. Yes, there is lots of learning in the UK from Glasgow and London and my own experiences from Manchester which we are using. However the threat picture evolves and it’s vital we and partners are absorbing the learning of a live event as you see it warts and...
This week there have been two areas I would like to update you on.
Sutton Coldfield Police Station
There has been a lot of coverage around police buildings in the last few weeks. Understandably at a time when the public are feeling concerned over crime, people are sensitive about policing changes. I also know lots of you are wondering what these changes means for your work. Let me restate the position and hopefully offer some reassurance.
We have set out our future strategy for the force’s buildings. It is driven by three main issues.
The need for buildings that suit modern policing. The force is and will be investing heavily in technology which will create an ever more mobile organisation. The custody redesign has shown big sites are better than smaller buildings so we need to carry this direction on. We have a Commonwealth Games to police in four years and our command and control site is in need of development. What we have isn’t suited for the future.
The second issue is cost. Some of our buildings are...
There are no jobs quite as sad as those involving children.
The last few weeks has been simply dreadful with the deaths of Mylee Billingham, Jasmine Forrester and brothers Corey and Casper Platt-May.
I think it’s fair to say you can sense the impact on the force on these jobs. Everyone at work feels the sadness of the loss and the impact on families but also the huge impact on colleagues who are dealing with the case. In policing we have a rare privilege of entering people’s lives at their greatest moment of need. Sometimes that can be their final moment and it’s vital we do all we can for them.
I have spoken to some of the officers in these cases. I said that we can all be assured that every team in the force would have done the job exactly as well as they did. The fact it fell to them to do their duty does not take away everyone’s gratitude or the thanks they are due. It actually reinforces our collective pride that we are in a force where we know people will deal with such terrible events with the compassion we would hope...
We still have to maximise the amount of policing we can offer on a reducing financial base. The force will continue to get smaller.
WMP2020 will roll out significant technology in the next two years. We have recently embedded Oracle Fusion, our back office system. Connect our new crime, custody, case and intelligence system will arrive in early 2019 followed by a new Command and Control system. The PNC/PND replacement, the National Law Enforcement Database, new ANPR and biometrics projects and the Airwave replacement known as Emergency Services Mobile Communication programme (ESMCP) arrive in 2019-20. There are national and local programmes on digital evidence. Mobility devices and body cameras will roll out across this period. The scale of the technology opportunity is significant and this is just the basics.
Smart phones reduce the need for you to return to the station to access data
The Data Driven Insight programme is on the cusp of turning on some of the most powerful analytics in international policing and will help...
We can be a highly effective force at preventing crime and protecting the public but we will fail if we are not seen as providing good caring service or being fair to those we protect.
In the next two years there will be a stronger focus now on making sure we understand how our services feel if you receive them (quality) and making sure we are fair in how people are treated (fairness). This needs some reflection by us all
I want to see us all:
Recognising that important things are not the same as urgent things: We are treating too many calls as urgent and not responding as effectively as we could to important ones.
Making sure we are reliable as well as speedy. When we say we will do something we should.
Never leaving the public carrying obvious risk; but that is not the same as doing things “just in case” or to “cover my back” but it’s not leaving them waiting for us if they could be in harm’s way.
Using our judgement and values on what is important – not just the process or grades.