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 creating calls, setting missions for problems solving. By taking a SARA problem solving approach we can reduce those more consistent and difficult issues. I’ve heard many good examples, we need to seek more opportunities to share approaches and what has worked on similar problem areas.
Involving our communities (doing more with more!)
I’ve been amazed at just how much our communities want to get involved and help. Many want to support their community to be a safer place to live. Over 300 people expressed an interest in the recently advertised volunteer roles, this over subscription is a nice challenge to have.
The recruitment campaign for special constables looks like it will present us with a similar problem. I’m hoping we can nearly double our special constable numbers during the next 12 months. We have 28 Blueline Specials joining in June, who will work full time with us for a year once their training is complete. This will bring a great addition to the 2,000 plus hours our special colleagues do on average each month.
By July we should have in place the small team who will support us to harness our volunteering, so get your thinking caps on for how you can use volunteers to support your department.
Volunteering doesn’t all have to be against formal roles. Many people just want to help out on an ad hoc basis. We have over 45,000 people signed up to WMNow so there’s an easy mechanism to ask the public for help. It could be anything from keeping themselves safe, to information to help detect offences or more creative ways to support….feel free to be creative, WMNow is more than just a tool for neighbourhood teams.
We need to continue to grow the numbers on WMNow so it is a really representative proportion of all our communities, Neighbourhood teams are driving up use. Can you help encourage people to sign up to WMNow too?
Last year we invested in training neighbourhood PCSOs and officers in specialist skills around connecting and building communities. This year I’m looking forward to hearing how this training is being put into practice. We can’t solve all problems alone and our communities can very much be part of the solution. Equally we need to listen to and understand their concerns, working with them on the things that matter to them. Streetwatch schemes are just one of many examples. There’s been a great start last year in getting new schemes and there’s now over 24 set up across the force, with over 231 members. One scheme completed over 92 hours last month, supporting on issues as diverse as the local Easter egg hunt, homelessness, recovery of stolen vehicles, high profile deterrence around ASB and criminal activity… to name but a few, and they really enjoyed making a difference in their community.
So I’m looking forward to what more we can do in 2018/9 to preventing crime through more problem solving, involving the public more in our effort to protect the public and in helping those in need. It’s a time to share learning, be creative and bold.