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Police: Game on

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

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...

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Police: Changes to our estate and the latest HMIC report

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

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...

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Police: A tough time for dedicated colleagues

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

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.

Chief Constable David ThompsonI 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...

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Police: Efficiency – The digital revolution

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

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.

PC Louise Ruddick using the mobile smart phone.

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...

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Police: Helping Those in Need

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

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.
  • Using the value ‘I challenge and address poor...

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Police: Protecting the Public – Building on success, becoming games ready

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Protecting the public ranges from terrorism and organised crime to the approaches we take to managing everyday calls. We have made good steps forward but more work is needed.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson on high visible patrols for Operation Temperer after the Prime Minister raised the national security state to Critical.
PCs Adam Davenport and Lee Roden

The events of summer 2017 showed how we can step up at times of crisis and a new reality of the terrorism threat. The events following Manchester really tested us and we effectively protected the public. The firearms build the force has gone through has seen us create a bigger and more skilled resource. The work of the CTU has also made us proud in intercepting many serious threats. However the terrorism threat has seen a sustained uplift.

The next few years will see us needing to strengthen our efforts. Starting with Prevent we must all ensure we use our eyes and ears to be on the lookout for those who may pose a threat or are vulnerable...

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Police: Preventing Crime – short term threats, long term solutions and getting the public involved

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Preventing crime was at the start of my vision statement. It is Peel’s first principle. We can and all should have more ambition than we have been able so far to deliver. I want us to make a massive impact on crime in the next two years.

Residents of Sparkbrook have formed a new Street Watch scheme in partnership with local neighbourhood police officers.
PCSO Jason Creed on patrol with Colin Hall and Rio the dog.

We have seen significant rises in traditional acquisitive crime, although in areas like vehicle crime, the methods are quite different.

This rise is a national trend but for us came at a time when we were in a state of re-organisation and then were hit with an incredible level of summer demand that blunted our proactivity. We are still now in a phase where we need to prevent this crime and the greatest priority for the force is at this stage to quickly bring down burglary, robbery and vehicle crime. This will need to be done by ensuring clear...

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Police: Two Years In

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

At the end of January 2016 I set out my vision for West Midlands Police “Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need”.

Two years on it is time to reflect on what has been achieved and refresh that outlook.

This week I will take a theme each day and reflect on where we are, and where we need to be.

Looking back at my speech in truth little has changed for what we set out to build even if events have created new challenges on the journey.

Since we all signed up to our new vision the world has evolved. We have opted to leave the EU. Technology has moved at great pace. The UK has faced sustained acts of terror. Here in the West Midlands we can now look forward to Coventry as the City of Culture and Birmingham as the 2022 host of the Commonwealth Games. None of this was predicted in January 2016.


Deserted – the foundling (1873), Frank Holl. Image courtesy of Art Gallery New South Wales.


The core of the vision remains as solid as ever, though not everything has been achieved yet. You will remember Holl’s picture, Deserted – the...

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Police: The office of Constable: A life of service to the public

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

In a week where we saw real horror in the West Midlands and the immense professionalism of staff a reminder of our oath and my advice to recruits who joined us this week.


Declaration for Office of Constable

I…..of the West Midlands Police do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law.

New constables of the West Midlands,

May I offer the congratulations of our force, those assembled here tonight and my own as you join our ranks.

Those ninety nine words you have just said are some of the most profound you will speak....

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Police: After a frustrating 12 months it’s time to take more risk, be agile and be innovative

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

This week is my first back in 2018 as I took the week off after New Year.

Dave ThompsonCan I thank all the staff who worked over Operation Silent Night. As a smaller force we need to draw on roles across the force to deal with peaks in demand. I am aware some of you were in unusual duties. I got the chance to speak to a number of you on New Year’s Eve and we were embracing the one team effort. The Christmas period was well managed in terms of demand, so thank you.

I am afraid Christmas and New Year saw some nasty assaults on officers, which can never be regarded as acceptable. As of this week I shall be submitting an impact statement as part of any prosecution file where one of our officers or staff is assaulted. This has had a good impact in West Yorkshire where the idea originated.

We have been working closely with CPS in our region to get it right and will be making sure for each prosecution of an assault on one of our officers or staff, that the court understands the impact this...

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Latest CC Dave Thompson Stories

Game on
Changes to our estate and the latest HMIC report
A tough time for dedicated colleagues
Efficiency – The digital revolution
Helping Those in Need

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