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 in a period where we have no major change programmes hitting us. Uplift is now lifting the force numbers – with 900 additional officers since recruitment started, the post pandemic world is settling and we are in a pre-Commonwealth Games period. As a result we are now in an intensive phase of focusing on improving key performance outcomes without distraction. We do this through our focus on continuous improvement and focused accountability.
Our main continuous improvement focus is currently on investigations with two important pieces of work. We are carrying out an end-to-end review of investigations to look for efficiencies and, with external support, we have a project to help us improve rape investigation outcomes. There is considerable opportunity for those working in these areas to offer their views. I know this is happening which is great news. It is of course everyone’s job to improve WMP. Remember we want your ideas through the Innovation Portal. We have already had 128 ideas with many being actioned across the business. If you are a leader what initiatives are you running to improve how we work?
Good performance is also achieved by people being very clear on what we are trying to deliver and a real detailed grasp of what we are doing with our time. As leaders we need to get “into the work” and understand what is happening.
There is also a danger that we “over task and under direct” as leaders. There are always so many tasks and priorities but if we can’t step back and say what are we trying to achieve then lots of tasks lack a clear purpose. If you lead a team are you always clear on what we need to achieve today, this week, this month? If you can’t set this out how can your team help you?
Time is the most precious commodity in policing. We spend very little money that is not on people and so what we do with our time is critical. Sometimes we can find very good ways of using technology like Chiqa, our crime allocation robot or Bob-E the webchat robot, to release people from repeat tasks and improve efficiency. Sometimes it requires good intrusive supervision and analysis. At a time when our numbers are increasing we need to be sure that we are getting more from the additional people.
The last month has been a very busy time for the Police Federation. New reps are being elected and shortly all Federated ranks will vote for the new chair. A big welcome to new reps and I hope all Federated officers will take an active interest in the chair election. I wish all candidates the best.
Finally, I am so sorry to learn of PC Paul Williets’ tragic death. I know Paul will be missed by colleagues in the force and my thoughts are with you and Paul’s wife and children at this difficult time.