Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Police: Diversity and fairness in the force

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

In the last few weeks there has been a great deal of internal and external discussion on diversity in the force. The Birmingham Mail/Live article on promotions, Ali Layne Smith’s blog and the Diversity and Inclusion discussions at the Lead2Achieve events. I suspect there will be further external coverage on a recent input at Force Leadership Conference on the concept of “whiteness” where senior leaders heard from a leading academic about how ingrained certain norms are in our society. It was a challenging input designed to encourage senior leaders to reflect how we work and what we can do to make a fairer and more inclusive force.

Dave ThompsonWe are strengthening our diversity and inclusion work because West Midlands Police does not treat everyone fairly. We are not representative of the communities we face and underrepresented groups often have a different experience working in the force and in receiving our services. A more representative force creates legitimacy, more diversity of thought and ultimately a better police...

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Police: Straight talking

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I want to use this blog to ensure you get a clear view from me on where the force is.

The last few weeks has seen a great deal going on nationally, and in force, and I want to help put this in context.

The financial position of policing nationally is coming to a critical juncture.

The National Audit Office (NAO) Report on Police Financial Sustainability 2018 largely says policing is showing the strain of austerity which is falling unevenly. As the graph shows, West Midlands Police has suffered disproportionately.

Funding reductions

The real criticism in the report is that the Home Office does not really understand the impact of budget reductions. Police and Crime Commissioners, unlike bodies like health service trusts, always have to set a balanced budget.

We balance, but are cutting services to fit in the envelope.

On the 25th October the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee produced its Policing for the Future report. It echoes much of the NAO report but is more strident in its criticism of a “hands off” approach by government, a funding problem and...

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Police: Brilliant team work during a summer of high demand

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last week I came back to work after a period of leave. I left in a red hot summer and stepped back into an autumnal August. The heatwave certainly made us very busy and I am grateful for the brilliant team work we have seen across the force to help us deal with a very high period of demand.

Last weekend was difficult and sad. The tragic double murder in Solihull touched most of us in some respect, whether it was trying to help the family come to terms with their tragic loss, reassuring the community, colleagues in contact, the painstaking forensic investigation, the detective work to find the person responsible or the wide manhunt that as I write is still ongoing. The sad loss of two lives has such impact on family, communities and all of us who serve. I thank all of you and recognise the impact such events have.

Before I went on leave I did an interview with the BBC describing what I think is our challenge. As the service has got smaller more of our work is being done over the phone. In lots of cases that is...

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Police: A hot few weeks and a long blog

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Have you been enjoying the weather? I confess I have a mixed reaction. As Chief I am never really off duty and the great weather at a personal level is lovely but it heralds increased demand on us.


We have stepped up some of our contingency planning to meet the demand that is hitting the force and indeed police forces across the country. We have a tendency to consider the demand on us as exceptional and indeed on some days it is. I am afraid, since really 2017 onwards, I have come to regard this as the upper end of normal. In a recent media interview, I described the impact on police forces in the summer is becoming a little like the NHS winter bed crisis. We back up on demand.

A few simultaneous issues have been focusing the Executive team.

There is a rise in homicide both in numbers but also the complexity of the cases. This has meant we have had to prioritise some secondments to support them. This impacts on other areas of FCID who are of course picking up the extra investigations.

Call handling is very busy with a rise in demand...

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Police: Conversations, reviews and operational issues

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Since I leased out the blog to the rest of the team in May there is a fair bit to cover. I promise to be brief!!

Dave ThompsonWMP Conversations

Remember the People Deal was about what you can expect from WMP and what WMP expects from you. The blogs from the other Executive Team members reflected the objective setting that is underway for senior staff under the WMP Conversations work.

The Executive Team objectives have been set and these are cascading down to senior leaders. We will be rolling out conversations across senior teams this year and then expanding the work to all staff next year.


Police Staff Terms and Conditions Review

I have covered quite a lot on this in the messages you received last week.

As we work through the People Deal, we have to ensure pay and conditions are consistent and our current arrangements in relation to police staff pay, allowances and shifts aren’t. There is never a good time to do a review. We are working very hard with the trade unions to ensure the review is prompt and transparent. It...

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Police: s

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Police: My first year as an ACC but my core values have remained unchanged

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

When I joined 27 years ago, I had no family link to policing but like so many people I have met along the way I was attracted to α career in policing as it looked exciting, there was variety and I wanted to make α positive difference to people’s lives.  As I have grown (much!) older, and I hope (a little) wiser, my core values have remained unchanged; a strong desire to protect vulnerable people, bringing a focus on intervention and to deliver through the talented teams I have the privilege of leading.

Our organisation is full of really talented people who care deeply about the public that we serve. This makes me really ambitious in terms of what we can achieve.

As you’d imagine, I have been considering what the forces ambition plan means to me and how through my portfolio areas I can deliver on my objectives, and the ones where I am working with fellow FET members.

My portfolio consists of Response, Force Contact, CMPG and Operations covering many important areas of delivery...

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Police: Aim to be the best and to prepare for the worst

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I’m going to talk about two key aspects of my development plan for 2018-19 and I hope you will be able to see there is an operational focus to what I’m trying to achieve. I’ve tried not to just consider a year’s worth of activity but to try and embed some practices that will take us beyond this period.

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann

2017 was an incredibly difficult year for the CT network; five terror attacks left behind numerous victims of these appalling crimes. It is with this in mind that I am asking officers and staff who work in my departments to do two things; to aim to be the best and to prepare for the worst. These objectives have been set for my departments but I think they are relevant for all of us.

Firstly, if I take aiming to be the best. This is about learning lessons from incidents and operations not only in the West Midlands but nationally and internationally where appropriate; making sure we learn from the experience of others and build best practice into our...

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Police: We will get the basics right and we will support the force in driving improvement

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

2018/19 will be a significant year for Commercial Services. My team are leading, delivering or supporting lots of large WMP2020 projects as well as maintaining their commitment to business as usual.

WMP can only continue to operate effectively and efficiently if my team make sure all of our ‘assets’ are to the right standard, in the right place at the right time. Assets are our physical resources, be that vehicles, budget, equipment, buildings, systems, etc. That’s what my team do.

Neil Chamberlain 57918Acting Director of Commercial Services.

Neil Chamberlain, Director of Commercial Services.

The force is making a lot of changes at a fast pace which is both challenging and exciting. I recognise that at times over the last few months the high standards I expect from my services have not always been met and we may have let you down. That’s why for this year the focus is simple. We will get the basics right and we will support the force in driving improvement.

We’ll be supporting the continuing rollout of mobility...

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Police: Although loads changes over time the heart of policing remains the same – making a difference

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

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:

Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray

ACC Alex Murray

  1. Detect more crime – with an initial focus on improvements in burglary, vehicle crime and robbery.


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Latest CC Dave Thompson Stories

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