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Police: Courage and Service

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

One of the best parts of my job is giving out commendations at the Chief Constable’s Achievement Awards at Tally Ho. We try very hard to share great stories from these evenings as there is so much great work and that is just the tip of the iceberg!

Last month Parminder Hunjan and Maninder Hunjan were convicted of wounding with intent on PCs Leon Mittoo and James Willetts. I have to say the bravery by both on that day, which was graphically shown on the body cameras, was beyond extraordinary and one of the most courageous things I have seen in 32 years in policing. The determination to attack is extraordinary and the actions by both officers is incredible. They will be recognised.

It is a sober reminder to the public that whatever the imperfections in policing it is made up of some of the most amazing people. They were also both student officers.

Which brings me to some very unhelpful media coverage on student officers recently, which I found really annoying.

Ever since Robert Peel invented policing we have recruits join who, despite...

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Police: Freedoms and futures

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I am sure like me you have been stunned by how our world has been upended by the events in the Ukraine. I know there has been considerable empathy for the bravery of the Ukrainian people and people are keen to help. We are advising people to contribute to recognised charities as a means of helping.

If events have shown us anything then it is how much democracy and freedom and the institutions that flow from this are valued by people who are new to this. They are literally fighting for the very things we can be complacent and sometimes even cynical about. I suspect we all ought to appreciate the democratic institutions we have, that are a cut above what we see in other parts of the world. 

The last week has seen two important reports on policing. The first was the Police Foundation’s Strategic Review of Policing by Sir Michael Barber and the second was the Chief Inspector of Constabulary’s State of Policing report. I share these as I am well aware that for those of you in operational roles in the frontline of policing it’s harder to...

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Police: We must be relentless in demanding the best from our police

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The last few months have been traumatic for policing in London and have damaged confidence in our service.

Let’s be clear. There are no excuses for the appalling behaviour shown in Operation Hotton at Charing Cross or the disgraceful and disrespectful attitudes shown in the grotesque treatment of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry. These cases frighten us all as they show the graphic thoughts of those to whom we entrust our safety. Horrifyingly, these deplorable people appeared to find like-minded souls in a service that stands for justice and law. Cases where officers have exploited their position for sexual gain are far too frequent. The Couzens case is beyond words. Be under no illusion, we are a service horrified by the events we have seen. The public are right to be shocked.

I do however feel duty bound as Chief Constable to offer a perspective from within the service at this turbulent moment.

Policing must create a stronger culture that eliminates bias, discrimination and racism and misogyny...

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Police: The best of people

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

When I attest our new recruits I always give the same speech. I draw your attention to one section:

Expect to be tested. You will see the absolute worst of humanity and a cruelty to others that will break your heart. So, make sure you are seen as the best of people in this role. You will be the rescuers of many at their darkest times. Don’t judge those you serve. So many of them lack the opportunity you have had. Your friendship and service to those in need is unconditional. Never become jaded or think the public are not behind you. The British Public are in their character reserved and silent in their quiet support.  Saving thanks for the big moments but always knowing you stand between them and the dark.

Last week the IOPC published Operation Hotton into misconduct by Metropolitan Police Officers at Charing Cross Police station. I am sure like me you were horrified by the language and content of the report and I thought of the section from my speech.

Policing is an incredibly challenging profession. People join with the desire to make...

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Police: Threat, efficiency and improvement

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

This week we have seen the shocking events of the terrorism incident in Liverpool. The national threat level has been raised after two attacks in the last month. It is a timely reminder that this threat never goes away and all our eyes and ears are vital. I do not know anything more about the facts of the incident in Liverpool but what we are increasingly seeing is lone actors moving from self-radicalisation to attack. This can be much harder to detect and so, as we attend calls and jobs and move around as ordinary citizens, we need to be vigilant. We have a key role in gathering intelligence.

Last month I got to see around 1400 of you at the roadshows. I hope you enjoyed the event and learned a little and shared some of your views. Personally I found this round of roadshows to have been the best. Great questions from you all and some brilliant stands at the Expo. If you missed it you can find out more on Newsbeat. Thank you to all those who made the roadshows possible and everyone who came.  

We are now...

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Police: Sarah Everard.

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last week we learned the shocking facts of how Sarah Everard was taken from the street by a police officer abusing their powers and raped and murdered. How this happened is as much of a shock to me as it is to you.

I cannot think of anything quite like this in policing’s history. I am sure you feel as sick as I do.

There has been a great deal said about policing in the last few days. Most of it has been bad.  This blog is primarily aimed at my fellow male officers.

To the dads, brothers, husbands, grandads, partners and sons, who work with me in policing.

I am sure many of the things you have heard this weekend about policing will have hurt, as they have me. Like me, you joined to protect people. The idea of a fellow officer abusing his powers to abduct, rape and kill a woman is against everything we believe in. I can understand the desire to see Sarah’s killer as a bad apple. Police officers are of course people that should be trusted. The facts are extraordinary.

This is the wrong lens through which to see these events.

An act like...

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Police: It keeps on coming

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Every year we put in place a summer demand plan. This requires us to adjust our normal operating roles to recognise increased demand. We used to have autumn, spring, summer and winter in the West Midlands calendar. Our plan for increased demand has been ongoing for five months. Much as I am happy to skip autumn our summer demand plan is now our exceptional demand plan!

The world is a little unsettled as we return after the pandemic. Shortages of Co2 disrupting food suppliers, hospitals, fizzy lager or a can of pop. Disruption to supply chains due to HGV shortages. Not all public services are back at capacity. More things to protest about and night time economies settling down with new staff and new premises.

The extra calls and demand are not unique to West Midlands Police and our region. You may have seen a number of ambulance trusts seeking military support. All forces in the region and all Chief Constables are seeing these challenges. We are trying to do some analysis on this across the region as these calls are not often crime...

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Police: Serving the public: Paying the price

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The last week has been one where the costs of policing and the sacrifice of officers and staff have been set out.

On Wednesday I attended the dedication ceremony of the new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. After seven years of fundraising and planning, the new memorial has exceeded the expectations any of us could have. The new memorial is a doorway representing a threshold to a different space and the dangerous places where the police go. It stands tall across the arboretum as a place of focus; policing standing tall and taking its place in such a special places of memory. I strongly recommend you visit it.

Sadly the day was a painful one for families. I introduced families from the West Midlands, West Mercia and West Yorkshire to the Prince of Wales. They talked about the impact on them of the day and their loss. The pain remains no matter how many years have passed. I am so grateful to the many staff from the force and our Comms Department who helped make the day special.

The...

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Police: Growing Pains

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last week I had a few days away from work and I hope some of you have been able to have some time off during half term. The pace of life is returning and the force is very busy. I know we are working very hard at a time when the chances of a holiday overseas are again receding. I cannot thank you enough for your work.

Having time away from work is important and I do recognise taking time off when you want it is vital, but is actually quite tough at the moment. As an Executive Team we discussed this two weeks ago. We think it’s very important people take leave and will track more carefully when people have leave refused a number of times. We will also be operating extended leave carry over for the next two years. More news to follow.

The last few weeks have seen some tragic events. None more so than the murder of Dea-John Reid. Many of us will have been shattered by the words and emotions of his mother, brother and the rest of his family. Their dignity and leadership in the community have stood out. We cannot put this right but the force has let...

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Police: Holidays, disorder and hate crimes

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Despite the temperatures and the rain this weekend summer is on the way!

First up: Commonwealth Games leave restrictions. I’m well aware restrictions are never popular after what could be two years without a proper summer holiday. I’m sorry we’ve had to do this and I understand the impact this may have on you and your families. It’s why we wanted to tell you about the restrictions more than a year in advance.

The games are a huge operation for the force. The event is going to be exciting and a fantastic time for policing in the region. I want to assure everyone that we will do all we can to be flexible on leave around these dates as the plans develop. We will keep you updated.

The progress on lifting restrictions and ending our responsibilities under COVID legislation will be welcomed by all of us as police and private citizens. However, I don’t think this is the end of the COVID related challenges.

Having watched the disorders in Europe and the extraordinary scenes in Manchester at the weekend, there is a...

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Latest CC Dave Thompson Stories

Courage and Service
Freedoms and futures
We must be relentless in demanding the best from our police
The best of people
Threat, efficiency and improvement

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Emergency Shorts:
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