Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Police: A new decade and new strategy

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I want to start 2020 by saying thank you for the great work over the seasonal period. We came back after what is a generally a busy period in good shape. This is very much my reflection of 2019. We are all pulling together! 2020 is a big year so let me make a few points:

We are reliable: Call handling times are good. There is a good use of webchat. We are much more reliable on attendance to calls. Great work.

We are cutting crime: Homicides have reduced. Burglary and vehicle crime are falling as are firearms discharges. Robbery is static. There are promising signs on violence. Positive outcome rates in these key crimes are good. Great work.

We have challenges: There is a big pressure to reduce outstanding domestic abuse offenders. This area of demand is still going up. We want to bring more people to justice for rape. Everyone needs to support PPU colleagues who work so hard. We need to make a bigger dent in violence.

We are recruiting: We are recruiting around 24 police officers a week. That’s not just to replace leavers (PS more...

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Police: Time to celebrate

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. An important time to celebrate the birth of Christ. A time to celebrate with family and friends.

It is also the time, of course, when officers and staff across the force give up time at home to protect the public. I never lose sight of the sacrifice you and your families make in this festive season and I thank you and your loved ones for this sacrifice.

Dave Thompson

The work of our diverse staff from other faiths who are willing to cover for those celebrating, is also never taken for granted.

Christmas can only be a peaceful time through the guardianship we provide.

The last few weeks, with the terrible terrorism attack in London, has reminded us all of the need to be vigilant at a time when so many people are out and about enjoying themselves in our towns and cities.

I know you have been doing this in our normal friendly style by engaging with the public we serve.

I’m also acutely aware that effort to keep the public safe is also a critical role for those who work in less visible roles. It takes all of us to...

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Police: Making strides

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

The headlines are very election dominated at the moment and indeed there is a great deal of work ongoing in the force around the election. There are a number of marginal seats in the force and election visits are thick and fast. There is a comprehensive operation in place. The murder of Jo Cox MP during the referendum and the volatile political environment reminds us all how important it is that the democratic process is safeguarded and protected.

An election on the run in to Christmas is unusual and comes at a time when the force is getting busy. I have spoken to a few of you on the Christmas market in Birmingham and also had some nice letters of thanks for the warm reception you have provided for visitors. I am aware the Silent Night draws in staff from all over the force to help out. Your flexibility is really appreciated.

Chief Constable David Thompson

Chief Constable David Thompson

While we have recently seen the security threat level drop I would underline that security remains at the forefront of these operations. After the terrible murders in London Bridge clearly there is...

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Police: Looking beyond 2020

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Last month you will have seen the update from the DCC on our performance on this year’s improvement plan. I am really pleased to see some good steps forward. The drop in burglary we are seeing is excellent, there are some good steps forward in other areas where we are preventing crime and ensuring a good response to the public. The focus this year is on working together to continue this good work, specifically on areas like robbery and violence among the under 25s.

The results sit behind some excellent work and I would call out this month the work behind the Operation Polygon series of offences against the elderly in the Black Country. The whole WMP team has come together to manage this threat. A number of men have been charged with offences.

I have had some enjoyable visits out in the force in the last few weeks. My visits to some of the covert policing areas in the ROCU helped me see the excellent work we are doing and the sense of a tight regional team developing. A visit to the Priorities Team in FCID showcased some great proactive...

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Police: Diversity is answer to extremism

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Being diverse and inclusive is the best counter to violent extremism.

Before I delve into the newspaper coverage of a few weeks ago, let’s talk about Chris Burnham.

I don’t know Chris personally, but I recognise his work… He’s one of the best kind, a fantastic cop, someone who makes a difference in his community on a daily basis. He was horrifically injured in the line of duty in Coventry. Vanessa Jardine and I met his family that evening and have been working closely with Cov SLT and FCID as the investigation progresses. A man is now arrested and charged and the hard work continues on the investigation.

My thoughts are with Chris’s family and we will continue to offer them support and friendship as he starts his long road to recovery. I think of you all too, as knowing that a colleague has been injured affects us all. Chris Johnson’s work on establishing if we can do anything to help protect us further continues. I’ll update soon.

A few weeks ago you will have seen coverage in Newsbeat and in the media covering...

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Police: A week is a long time in politics and WMP

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

If you have been watching the news you will see a great deal is going on concerning a national increase of 20,000 police officers. I want to update you on what I know and what this means.  Before I do that a few other things.

Firstly, a huge thank you for the brilliant work over July.  More detail here, but there is considerable reduction in outstanding calls to what we have seen over the last two years.  We are no less busy but the impact of strong planning, escalation policies, more mobility, banded shifts, new control rooms shifts, webchat and general grip and hard work has resulted in much greater control.

Operationally we are starting to see a shift in the right direction on crimes like burglary. More work is needed still on robbery and violence but we have seen less high profile serious violence in the last few weeks.  August will keep on testing us but we are definitely in a stronger place than last year. Thank you.

August sees the start of our technology changes with MyTime, the new duty management system,...

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Police: Tipping Point

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

I have written this blog several times in the last few weeks and restarted it as things keep changing.

Let’s start off with good news

On Thursday I was pleased to join PCs Lorna Walsh and Adam McWalter at the Police Federation Bravery Awards. They both faced up to men armed with knives. They, and colleagues from London were recognised for their bravery.

On the subject of bravery, and sadly sacrifice, this year I am cycling the West Midlands Chapter of the Police Unity Tour. This cycle ride is 200 miles over three days and raises funds for the Care of Police Survivors charity. WMP participation has been quite low and I would be keen to see more of us join this event. This year it looks like it will be Gill Wall from Intelligence, Richard Cooke from the Police Federation and I. Sponsorship is welcome and here is our just giving page Try to imagine me flogging myself up a big hill as Richard lobbies me for more TASER!

Operation Fort was perhaps the most high profile investigation we have seen as a force...

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Police: An amazing opportunity for a vibrant, diverse and young city with amazing communities

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Did you know Coventry is the 11th biggest city in England? It’s bigger than Belfast and Newcastle upon Tyne and across the pond St Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the USA. We all know that right? I’m not so sure. We are a force with three large cities in Birmingham and Wolverhampton too. In any other force Coventry would be the biggest city!

Given the geography of the force it’s quite possible you may never have even been there. However If you are from Cov you are, quite rightly, proud of the place.

Coventry 2021

In 2021 the rest of the country is going to get excited about the city because Coventry is the UK City of Culture.

This is a massive opportunity for West Midlands Police. I want to explain why this is important and get us thinking about how we maximise this opportunity. I want to do this now as in July we’ll see the tempo of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games pick up and it’s important we max out on Coventry first!

Coventry is a vibrant,...

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Police: Chief’s blog: People deliver performance

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

Dave ThompsonThis week is Diversity and Inclusion week and brings together a number of activities.

Two weeks ago we released the results of the Big Conversation, our staff survey, and indeed we released every result for every department for everyone to see. I am very pleased with the number of staff that took part. 53% of staff completing it is a very high rate of completion for any internal survey. I cannot help be pleased that 75% of those who took part say they love their job.

You may have noticed we have not come out with a force response; that is deliberate. You will see through Team Talk we want you all to discuss this and identify key things your team think are important to concentrate on. That’s exactly what we as an Exec Team are doing. The survey is the start of a conversation, so join in the debate! In the next few weeks we will be sharing the details of the innovation fund so your ideas on how to improve how things have the opportunity to access some cash.

In terms of the Executive Team a few...

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Police: A week can be a lifetime in policing

Written by RSS Poster CC Dave Thompson

A week is a long time in politics but it can be a lifetime in policing. There is a lot going on at the moment so I wanted to recap on a few things.

Chief Constable David Thompson

HMICFRS PEEL inspection of the force 2018

This was released at the start of the month and rated the force as good overall. The only two areas that have detracted from this were a backlog in vetting and our management of vulnerability in calls. While there are areas to improve here and some very good work going on, our challenge is pretty clear. Staff are having to manage extremely high levels of demand that we do not have the resources to send to. We are being marked on our ability to juggle very high risk and demand.

As an example the report showed WMP call levels. WMP is about 4.9% of policing spend but we are 7.2% of 999 calls and 6% of 101 and that’s often how most aspects of demand reflect.

We generally account for more of our national share of policing than we receive in funding. I think it is to the credit of everyone that our call handling performance is so very good...

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Latest CC Dave Thompson Stories

A new decade and new strategy
Time to celebrate
Making strides
Looking beyond 2020
Diversity is answer to extremism

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