As Commissioner I will ensure our police are properly equipped, trained and motivated with the latest tools and technology to make our policing more effective. This will help to reduce the time officers spend in police stations and more time out in the communities. Equally we need to invest in the health and well-being of officers and staff so they feel valued and respected, and are motivated and able to protect local communities.
Getting the greatest impact for every pound spent is crucial and Warwickshire taxpayers deserve to know their money is being well spent. The pressure to deliver policing as efficiently and effectively as possible remains, alongside the need to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of our communities and the changing nature of crime. I will ensure that Warwickshire Police is ahead of the game in responding to these changes, while also recognising the public’s desire to see locally-focused officers on the beat in communities across Warwickshire, enabling people to feel safer and more secure.
Having a police service where officers and staff are properly equipped, trained and motivated with the latest tools and technology will not only make policing more efficient but will also improve the service they can give to the public. While investment in technology in the past has not kept pace with developments, I have been determined to reverse this trend. Over the last twelve months I have made a number of significant decisions on investment, which in the long term will result in Warwickshire Police being transformed into a modernised force.
— Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe
My approach will be to:-
- Work with my counterpart in West Mercia, John Campion, to provide governance and oversight of all the modernisation and transformation programmes taking place across the Alliance.
- Fund over my term of office a significant programme of technology modernisation. This will include a roll out of mobile devices for frontline officers, enabling them to easily and quickly access and process the information they require without having to return to a police station, increasing the time they can be visible within communities.
- Scrutinise the police budget to ensure it is managed effectively and efficiently to enable officer, specials and PCSO numbers to be increased.
- In partnership with the Chief Constable, invest to save, so the force can be more adaptable and make best use of its resources.
- Support the Chief Constable to ensure our police are properly equipped, trained and motivated with the latest tools and technology to make policing more
- Support the Chief Constable to increase data quality in particular around compliance with national incident and crime recording standards.
- Ensure the force is focused on solving crimes and providing positive outcomes for victims.
- Support the internal Alliance Health and Wellbeing agenda for officers and staff, recognising the direct link between a fit and healthy workforce and achieving high levels of service for the public.
- Ensure the public can contact Warwickshire Police easily when they need to and, when they do, that they can be confident that they will receive a good
service in a reasonable time.
- Scrutinise the estate strategy to ensure that we spend less on buildings overall, while ensuring that those we do hold or make use of are cost-effective
- Give credence to the Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search scheme assessment of the force.
- Support the Chief Constable in ensuring the force is more reflective of the communities it serves and understands and responds to the different needs of
- Promote the benefits of the Special Constabulary ensuring people with a broad mix of skills and backgrounds are encouraged to offer their time, with a view to increasing the impact and effectiveness these roles have in supporting regular officers.
- Support the Warwickshire Police Cadet, Citizens’ Academy and Police Support Volunteers schemes.
- Support the Chief Constable to review the current processes and performance of firearms and explosives licensing and identify improved ways of
- Review Operation Devonport and work with the Chief Constable to look at how in the long term funding can be mainstreamed into regular police budgets.
- Oversee the Independent Custody Visitor scheme, whose role it is to visit police cells to check on the welfare of people held in custody.
- Give credence to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) inspection findings.
- Scrutinise the performance of the force to ensure that complaints to the police are recorded and responded to within nationally-determined timescales.
As a result of this plan I aim to:-
- See increased levels of public confidence in Warwickshire Police, as measured by the Office of National Statistics Crime Survey for England and Wales, my own annual survey and the force quarterly performance reports.
- Equip and train officers with appropriate modern technology to enable mobile working, resulting in them spending more time in the community and in turn increasing police visibility and efficiency.
- Increase police officer, special constable and PCSO numbers.
- Record incidents and crimes accurately and appropriately according to national standards.
- Improve outcome rates for reported crimes.
- Have strong and healthy workforce with reduced officer and staff sickness levels.
- Have an efficient and effective Special Constabulary which can evidence its added value and benefits to Warwickshire residents.
- Reduce the numbers of abandoned calls to the 101 service and shorten waiting times for calls to be answered, with the primary focus being delivering the right service at the right time.
- Have improved and viable alternatives to 101.
- Have strong estate management which maximises opportunities for co-location with partners and reduces the number of vacant and inefficient buildings.
- Provide the community with an opportunity to engage and support the force to add value.
- Have a workforce whose composition is reflective of the demographic makeup of Warwickshire.
- Use Stop and Search in accordance with national best practice and maintain compliance with the Home Office ‘Best Use’ scheme.
- Reduce the number of temporary firearms licences being issued and for applications and renewals of licences and certificates to be processed in the timescales recommended within the national guidelines.
- Align the additional resources provided by Operation Devonport with the new county policing model and agree a long-term decision on funding with the Chief Constable.
- Maintain an effective Independent Custody Visitor scheme which provides reassurance that those detained in custody are treated fairly.
- Ensure Warwickshire Police is rated at a minimum as a ‘good’ force in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary PEEL Legitimacy inspections, and can sustain or improve this rating in future.
- See complaints recorded appropriately and responded to within nationally determined timescales.
Key recent achievements:-
The overriding ambition of Warwickshire Police over the next few years is to become ‘Great at protecting the most vulnerable’. In order to achieve this Warwickshire Police has to become a more technologically-modern force, ensuring that our resources are utilised as effectively and efficiently as possible and targeted at those matters which cause the greatest harm to the most vulnerable.
The Commissioner has therefore jointly approved with the PCC for West Mercia an alliance budget of £5 million for a transformation programme running through to 2020. It will enable the force to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of our communities. The role of the Commissioner is to closely scrutinise the programme to ensure that it progresses within the given timescales and budget.
This comprehensive and complex programme has developed over the last year and through investments in technology, mobile working and with a focus on delivering efficiency savings it will fundamentally change the way in which the force operates and enable it to meet the £11.74m of savings required in the four year medium-term financial plan.
Policing Change Model
Delivering the ‘Looking to 2020’ vision also means putting a new policing model in place to address the force’s immediate needs for the 2018/19 financial year. As a consequence a number of innovative changes to the way the force functions are to be implemented in April 2018, the purpose of which is to: –
- Ensure that resources meet demand in the most effective way.
- Prioritise and reduce demand to make the force more effective.
- Make the most of our new technology to ensure that the force is as efficient as it possibly can be.
Services to Policing
This element of the programme aims to ensure that Warwickshire Police has `The right people, in the right place at the right time with the right skill and attitude to deliver`. It is about ensuring the force has Supporting and Enabling Services designed to provide an efficient, effective, professional and business focused approach to service delivery, consequentially making it easier for the police officers and police staff to do their jobs.
This element of the programme will deliver a modern flexible infrastructure to support new information and communication technologies.
In the last year the Commissioner agreed to the roll-out of three significant new technology programmes for the Alliance: –
Operations Communication Centre (OCC) and Saab SAFE
The significant work to refurbish and equip the new OCC in Warwick has progressed well and it is anticipated that it will become fully operational early next year. The building is named Stuart Ross House in memory of Stuart Ross, a Warwickshire police officer who tragically lost his life while on duty with the Air Support Unit in 1998. The move of the OCC from its current location will also enable the sale of the Leek Wootton site to progress, with the realisation of capital funds.
The OCC will be enabled with latest technology, including the state-of-the-art Saab SAFE system. This incident management database will provide live-time access to the information officers and staff need to make the right decisions, together with a new call handling system that will help provide an effective response to 999 and 101 calls from the public and deliver the ‘right service first time’. It will be easier and more convenient for the public to interact with Warwickshire Police, ensuring more effective contact in a way that meets the public’s needs.
The Athena ICT system was fully introduced into the force in the autumn of 2017 and will deliver efficiencies by linking systems and improving processes. It has been developed with a number of police forces working together to find the best solution and provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ to manage intelligence, investigation, case preparation and custody management. It covers over 70% of operational process and practice and is enabling smarter and improved critical real time decision making, as well as streamlining processes.
The impact of such a major change to existing working practices has been challenging and some obstacles have been experienced. The Commissioner has closely monitored Athena’s implementation and ensured that steps have been taken to address the issues identified.
By using new technology and adopting new ways of working, the force will be able to meet the changing needs of its communities by providing a more agile, visible and responsive po-licing service, they include: –
- Mobile Working – The increased provision of laptops and mobile phones to front line officers and staff.
- Telematics – More than 1,000 alliance vehicles fitted with a telematics device as part of the drive to improve the efficient, effective and safe use of the alliance’s fleet.
- Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) – To monitor and record registration plates, supporting the detection and disruption of criminal activity.
- Corporate Gazetteer – To enable accurate and effective management of location-based information in sup-port of operations workspace.
- Data Network – Providing a modern infrastructure that supports current and new technologies that will enable new ways of working.
- Emergency Services Network (ESN) – The replacement of the current national Airwave communications system.
Body Worn Video (BWV)
In 2016 the Commissioner jointly approved the business case across the policing alliance to equip frontline police officers with BWV to assist officers to achieve better outcomes and capture important evidence to bring cases to court. The roll out of BWV has now been successfully completed, going live in the autumn of 2017. The Trust, Integrity and Ethics Committee has also scrutinised its deployment into operational policing.
Experiences elsewhere have shown that BWV helps reduce assaults against the police, as both police officers and the public often modify their behaviour when on camera. It has also reduced the number of spurious complaints against police. The latest indications are that violence against Warwickshire police officers has reduced by 45% since BWV’s introduction.