Chief’s Blog December 15 2014

Last week saw something of a watershed moment for the force and our partners across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as we hosted the first Working Together Summit.

More than 160 people from organisations across the force area came together at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday to share views, insight and radical ideas for transforming the way we do business.

While the force has a long history of working closely with our partners, there is undoubtedly more that can and needs to be done to revolutionise joint working and problem-solving in order to meet the financial and resource challenges of the future.

One of the highlights was a presentation by ACC Phil Kay, which graphically demonstrated the breadth of demand we now face in policing. The fact is that crime is only a relatively small percentage of the totality of what we deal with and I know that many of our partners were taken aback by the scale and nature of incidents we attend.

I shared with the conference one of my favourite quotations, from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, which anyone who has visited my office will know has long been writ large on the whiteboard in my office. It epitomises the challenge that we all face to reduce the demands on our services:  “There comes a point you have to stop pulling people out of the river, get upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

The Right Reverend Tim Stevens, our Bishop, danced expertly through challenging questions for senior leaders, including the Chief Officer team, as an independent facilitator. As a legacy of his 16 years as the Bishop of Leicester, he set us a key challenge: to turn the many ideas that emerged from the event into real action.

Health and welfare features heavily in some of the additional demand upon our service – we attend concerns for the welfare of individuals in the community every 16 minutes. Last Friday the Chief and Senior Officer Team discussed work to understand that demand more fully and to consider how we can deal with it more efficiently with other agencies.

I would like to publically thank Bishop Tim for his huge contribution to the debate and Chief Superintendent Rob Nixon and his team, who worked incredibly hard to make it happen. Rob will be leading on this important work and we will, of course, keep you updated with developments as it progresses.

It was a huge honour to be able to speak about the work of the force as a guest speaker at the University of Leicester’s Department of Criminology on Tuesday evening. This gave students an insight into the challenges of modern policing, from the local to the global, tacking threats such as cybercrime, modern slavery and child sexual exploitation.

The following day I had the opportunity to take a last look around the Bramshill, which after nearly 60 years of being occupied by the police is being vacated by the College of Policing. The British National Police Library, which is the largest of its kind in Europe, the National Missing Persons Bureau and Serious Crime Analysis Centre, as well as the training facilities for senior leaders, will all be moving to new premises in 2015. I took the opportunity during a training event on cyber crime and CSE to say a personal farewell to the grand old house – and to have a photo for old time’s sake.

arrived back at Force Headquarters to sign the Time to Change pledge along with the Police and Crime Commissioner. We are the third force to sign the pledge and commit to a national campaign to end the stigma associated with mental ill health and tackle mental health discrimination in the workplace.

Part of that drive the force will involve an independent audit of support services for officers and staff who experience mental ill health, which affects one in four people in the UK. To find out more about what you can do to support colleagues click here.

Chief’s Blog December 08 2014

The ties that bind the officers and staff of Leicestershire Police as a family are strong and achieve some remarkable results.

This was clear for all to see last week as Bharat Soma began a 23-year prison sentence for a brutal knife attack on a young couple as they walked along a city street in broad daylight.

Mr Justice Saunders praised the swift actions of the first officers at the scene as Darshana Narotam and Prashant Govinde lay with grievous injuries in East Park Road last January. Their tremendous efforts to save life – the first principle of policing – were captured on body-worn video played to the jury. The officers had the presence of mind to use that technology to record what they believed may be the dying statements of the victims and secure vital evidence against their attacker.

This was followed by a painstaking investigation led by the Force Serious Crime Team, supported by our forensics and Criminal Justice teams. Incidents like this demonstrate the dedication and professionalism of our workforce and everyone who played a part should be very proud of their contribution.

Cases such as this also demonstrate the care that we and our partners provide for victims of crime. A great deal of work is currently being undertaken to improve victim care still further, commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner. Victims are the most important people in any investigation and the reason why we do what we do. The Police Service and our Criminal Justice colleagues have a duty to support people who have suffered harm from the moment they report a crime through to giving evidence in court and beyond.

It was good to see we had a really positive response to the recent visit of the Health Bus, provided by Police Mutual, with 167 employees taking the opportunity to have a free medical check-up. Meanwhile many of you also took the opportunity to have a financial check-up with PMAS advisors.

Last Tuesday I welcomed the High Sheriffs of Leicestershire and Rutland to Force Headquarters for a tour of our many departments. They were very impressed by what they saw, from the “calm and efficient” work in the control room to new developments in our forensics teams. They have asked me to thank all of those who made them feel so welcome and for giving them an insight into the huge amount of work that goes on “behind the scenes”.

Tuesday marked the United Nations International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and I attended a special event at De Montfort University to speak about the work we do as a force to combat modern slavery. It is hard to believe that nearly than 200 years after William Wilberforce led the campaign to abolish slavery, human beings continue to be trafficked and forced into slavery and servitude in the UK. Nine years ago Leicestershire was one of the first forces in the UK to successfully prosecute a case of international trafficking for sexual exploitation and for the last seven years we have trained all new recruits in spotting the signs of trafficking and slavery. We have investigated a number of cases, the majority of which have led to prosecution, and secured the freedom of some very vulnerable individuals.

Next year the Government will introduce the Modern Slavery Act which will streamline and strengthen our powers to tackle those who trade in human misery. You can find out more about the new measures here. This is an issue which we shall overcome only with the help of communities and I took the opportunity to encourage more people to report any suspicions either directly to us or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. They can now translate calls in 150 languages!

Building trust in communities is a key factor in encouraging more widespread reporting of serious crimes. I have been greatly impressed by the work that Acting Special Sergeant Izzy Kos has been doing using social media to engage with the Polish community in Leicestershire and beyond. Izzy and our Social Media Team have developed a Polish language Facebook account which now has nearly 3,000 followers in Leicester and many more all over the world. The number of followers has doubled in the last two months alone. This is a groundbreaking project which is transforming the way the people we serve communicate with us, as well as highlighting our work and local issues to a global audience.

We police 365 days a year and, like many other caring professions, Christmas is one of our busiest times of the year. Our officers and staff have been out and about across the force area targeting would-be “Grinches” and helping those who need our help and support as the number of Christmas shopping days edges towards single figures. Thank you to all who dealt with some very challenging incidents over the weekend.

Congratulations to all of those who found out last week that they were successful at the recent boards for promotion to Inspector. They are:

Chris Baker

Stephen Bunn

Dan Eveleigh

John Farndon

Reme Gibson

Mike Phillips

Nicola Preston

Steff Shellard

Mark Sinski

David Swift-Rollinson

Rob Widdowson

 

On Sunday retired colleagues regaled DCC Edens, ACC Kay, ACC Bannister and I with stories of Christmas past at the National Association of Police Officers’ festive lunch. This year we were joined by a very special guest – former Chief Constable Matt Baggott. Matt has very fond memories of his time here in Leicestershire and has asked me to pass on his best wishes to all of our staff and their families over the festive season.

 

 

Chief’s Blog December 01 2014

Simon ColeEveryone in the force should be very proud of their achievements over the last 12 months, which were highlighted by the publication of the very first PEEL inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) last week.

The hard work that you have put into protecting communities, reducing and investigating crime and tackling anti-social behaviour achieved a “Good” rating across the board. HMIC commended the force for its commitment to neighbourhood policing and singled us out as leading the Service on cutting crime.

This has been achieved during a period of significant change and financial constraint. Deputy Chief Constable Simon Edens was the first to acknowledge the “dedication of every officer and staff member” and the “strength of our partnerships and our collective efforts to keep communities safe”. He is much too humble to mention his part in that, so I would like to publicly thank him for his strong leadership and personal commitment in driving this work and steering us through transformation.

If you haven’t read HMIC’s findings yet, click here.

If you’ve ever wondered what being a Chief Constable involves, last week just about had it all, from launching a counter-terrorism campaign to presenting the Girl Guides’ awards and a great deal in between.

On Monday I addressed 200 staff at City Hall at the launch of a national campaign to highlight Counter Terrorism Awareness Week. The current national threat assessment indicates a terrorist attack is likely and it is therefore vital everyone is alert to suspicious behaviour. In the evening I joined the Police and Crime Commissioner and Rutland LPU Commander Inspector Lou Cordiner in Oakham to explain the force transformation to councillors and local people and to reassure them that they can continue to expect a good service post ‘Project Edison’. That will include a front enquiry service shared with Rutland County Council, and a newly built police office. I also urged the farming community to keep fertiliser safe as part of CT awareness week.

I was privileged to be invited to join a spirited discussion in the “City of Dreaming Spires” on Wednesday, when All Souls College hosted the Oxford Policing Policy Forum. This looked at the future of Neighbourhood Policing.

The College of Policing is developing an evidence base on Local Policing and what works. This is work that I commissioned on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and was approved in January 2014 at the College’s Professional Committee. It is a three year programme developing an evidence base for:-

  1. Effective demand profiling and response
  2. Processes for proactive and response policing
  3. Increasing public participation and engagement
  4. Embedding crime reduction

The overall aim of the programme is to deliver the right people, at the right places and in the right numbers, in order to create neighbourhoods that are safe and feel safe.  Those people may not just be Police Officers or Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) and those places may be virtual!

The next day I hosted a national “webinar” on POLKA (Police On Line Knowledge Application) to talk about the Police Digitisation Programme and how forces, including Leicestershire, are using technology to become more “user-friendly”, improving the public’s experience. In an age in which you can track a parcel from one side of the globe to your doorstep, book a holiday and do your shopping without ever leaving your armchair, there are real opportunities to rethink and reshape some of the interactions we have with the people who call upon our services. In Leicestershire we’re heading in the right direction with innovations like “Rate Your Police” and instant victim updates by text. This doesn’t mean we will lose the human touch, which is as important now as when Peel first set out his Principles of Law Enforcement in 1829.

Those principles are all about being part of communities, meeting people and listening to and responding to their concerns. The Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Clive Loader, and I took the opportunity to do just that with shoppers at the Highcross in the city centre last Thursday. What we heard confirmed what HMIC had already told us – that you are doing a really good job. The most common issue raised was the absence of lit street lighting; I was able to reassure that there is no evidence of any consequent crime uplifts.

A great example of Peel’s principles in action came to my attention last week when a serving firefighter wrote to the force to praise the efforts of PC Emma Jayne and her colleagues in working with students on her Clarendon Park beat over the last three years to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. Emma has been working closely with the Fire Service, combining fire safety checks with crime and ASB advice.

He wrote: “She and the PCSOs have been a great help this year and it was noticeable that lots of locals see her and come and pass on their concerns. They open up in a way maybe they wouldn’t with other agencies as they know she is genuinely interested in their concerns. She is a real asset to yourselves and Clarendon Park”.

Fantastic work Emma, your hard work is clearly very much appreciated and making a real difference to your community.

On Friday I visited the LGBT Centre in Wellington Street to find out about the array of services it provides. We work closely with the Centre on hate crime in particular. I was please to agree to the Force being part of the Centre’s Twelve Partners Programme

I opened Leicester’s Got Talent on Saturday, which was staged by our great friends at Crimestoppers to showcase the positive contribution many talented young people make to life in the city and to highlight the work the charity does to help communities fight crime. The audience were disappointed; they were expecting Simon Cowell not Simon Cole!

Thank you to all who have once again shown great generosity and comradeship in supporting Operation Red Cap this year. A total 127 boxes of festive gifts will be winging their way from Leicestershire Police to Military Police colleagues stationed abroad over Christmas. I have been asked to pass on their gratitude and I remind you that the last free posting date is this Friday (December 5th). The Cole family box is now being hastily prepared for sending!

On Saturday the Police Charity Mess raised over £4000 for Rainbows Children’s Hospice. The Hospice, based at Loughborough, does great work for local children.

On Sunday I did some TV interviews about the issue of children being detained in cells in the absence of suitable Places of Safety. Then the Police Rugby Team took on England Deaf Rugby in a tough game of rugby. Supported by the PLOD (Police Link Officers for the Deaf) scheme the game attracted a lot of attention in local media. The sight of the Red Rose on a shirt brought the best out of the Police team, captained by Ed Prowse. A last minute try saw England home 13-7, having been clinging on at 7-8 up deep in their own half. A great game of rugby, the opportunity for the PLOD scheme team to sign, and money raised for charity made for a great day. The beneficiaries this time being the Leicester Deaf Action Group (via the Diocese of Leicester), and the England Deaf Rugby team themselves.

Rugby match

 

facebook background darker nights

Rutland Police – October update

Welcome to my update for October.

We have had a busy few months since the last blog was published.

West Midlands woman sent to prison following offences committed in Rutland.

Just after the last blog was published in July we received news of a conviction of a woman following a walk in theft at a Rutland care home.

Templeton

Toni Ann Templeton, from Willenhall near Coventry, was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court to three years and three months imprisonment for offences of fraud and theft in Rutland.

She pleaded guilty to one offence of conspiracy to steal and one offence of conspiracy to commit fraud. The offences relate to a care home in Rutland where three members of staff reported thefts from their purses and bags, and subsequently reported fraudulent activity on their bank cards.

The thefts and fraudulent activity took place in December 2013.

Farmwatch launched

In August we launched Rutland Farm Watch which is being coordinated by PCSO 6127 Steve Houghton.

farm watch

The Farm Watch initiative has been set up to provide a line of communication between local farmers, contractors, landowners and the police, in order to gather information that may be useful in catching criminals. Two-way communication is essential and members are asked to report all crimes, incidents and anything suspicious, so that intelligence can be gathered and information can be acted upon quickly.

The scheme uses a Fast Text system where the police are able to share information with registered users with a single text message. For example, if a suspicious vehicle is reported to the police the details can be sent out by text to members, and if the vehicle is then seen its location can be reported by ringing 101 and reporting it to the police.

So far we have had 80 people sign up to Farm Watch in Rutland and I would like to expand the scheme to as many farms as possible. It is free, and all you need is a mobile phone capable of receiving text messages. If you are interested in becoming part of the scheme please get in touch with PCSO Houghton by ringing 101 and when prompted key in his identification number 6127.

2000 followers for Oakham police on twitter

joe lloyd

I am keen that all of the officers at Rutland LPU provide a visible, on the ground policing presence, and I am sure that you are aware that policing a largely rural community brings its own challenges.

This is supplemented by our presence on facebook and twitter where you can find up to date information about what is happening in Rutland. PC 1312 Joe Lloyd is the Beacon Officer for Oakham and Barleythorpe and runs the @OakhamPolice twitter account. Joe recently achieved his 2000th follower making it one of the most popular accounts run by Leicestershire Police.

When Joe took over the account two years ago there were just over 500 followers and he was set a challenge to achieve 750. Joe said that if he managed to achieve the target before Christmas he would dress up as Santa, which PCSO (now PC) Jay Cooper as his elf. Joe achieved the target and did as promised and became Santa at a local school for less able children, which now does every Christmas.

We have one facebook account, and four twitter accounts for Rutland LPU, you can find out more information by visiting these links.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rutlandpolice

Inspector Lou Cordiner: www.twitter.com/rutlandlpu

Oakham and Barleythorpe Police: www.twitter.com/OakhamPolice

Rutland Police (including Rutland North and Rutland South): www.twitter.com/RutlandPolice

Uppingham Police : www.twitter.com/UppinghamPolice

Burglary

darker nights 2

Over the course of the last few months we have suffered an increase in burglaries to sheds, garages and outbuildings. We have worked hard to provide targeted patrols and crime prevention advice together with initiatives such as our volunteers on horseback and Farmwatch.

In August the total was 26 of which only one was a house burglary. In September we received 14 reports of burglary of which three were house burglaries. The early results in October indicate that the figures are continuing to go in the right direction.

As a reminder there are a few simple steps that can be taken to help prevent you becoming a victim of a burglary.

  1. In early evenings when your house is unoccupied leave a light on. Better still, use a light timer. We have some for sale at Oakham police station.
  2. Ensure all doors and windows are locked, even if you are only leaving the house unoccupied for a short time.
  3. Store all keys out of sight – Ensure valuables are not on view from outside.
  4. Remove, or secure, any climbing aids or tools that may be used to break-in to your home, e.g. ladders, wheelie bins, gardening tools etc.
  5. Use good quality locks and padlocks to secure sheds, garages and outbuildings.

Until next time,

 

Lou Cordiner

Inspector

Rutland Local Policing Unit

Hinckley and Bosworth LPU Commander – September 2014

We are currently in the middle of a busy couple of weeks here at Hinckley.  The force launched the fourth phase of Operation Tiger activity on Monday 15th October and local officers have been carrying out extra patrols to target crime and antisocial behaviour across the borough.  We’ve been tackling crime and ASB in other ways too.  By working closely with local second hand shops to help them spot stolen property, we are cutting off a potential disposal route to criminals.  And by seizing vehicles which are used antisocially or without insurance, we are reducing the misery caused by irresponsible motoring.

On 6th October, I will be moving on to pastures new and handing over the reins to Inspector Mike Cawley.  Mike has got lots of experience, most recently as an Operational Command Inspector, looking after critical incidents across the whole county.  He has also previously held a senior position at Blaby LPU, our nearest neighbour with whom we already ready work closely.  Mike is looking forward to taking over the team of dedicated officers here at Hinckley, and you can look forward to his updates over the coming months.

One final parting plea – Although the number of houses and flats being burgled keeps coming down, these offences still happen far too often.  And in so many cases, the burglars simply walk or climb in through unlocked doors and windows.  Please keep your homes secure, particularly as the darker nights roll in as the clocks go back.  By taking a few extra precautions, you can massively reduce the chances of a break in at your home.

Inspector Jonny Starbuck

Hinckley and Bosworth Police

A significant element of our work at Hinckley is to tackle the issues that are important to the community. We regularly engage and consult with large part of the community as well as statutory and voluntary partners. I would therefore be grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete our on-line questionnaire and tell us about issues that you feel need tackling. It can be found by visiting this link.

http://www.leics.police.uk/local-policing/consultation-survey

We use the results from this survey to assist us with setting our neighbourhood priorities.

If you want to receive regular policing updates and information about the Hinckley area please sign up to our community messaging system, Neighbourhood Link.

https://www.neighbourhoodlink.co.uk/

You can also follow me on twitter

https://twitter.com/HinckleyLPU

Beware of the booze

This last week has been the ACPO alcohol awareness week where nationally each of the police forces concentrates on initiatives to tackle alcohol related crime and to raise awareness around the consequences of excessive drinking. Not only is there an implication around crime but also excessive drinking adds to health problems and is a ticking time bomb that may go off in years to come. When you are young you think of yourself as invincible and looking ahead to the effects in later life is not on people’s radars. The statistics are quite shocking with 50% of all violent crime being linked to alcohol; whilst not the sole cause it is very often a contributory factor. When I was a custody sergeant I remember on a regular basis detainees waking up and not being able to remember how they ended up on the receiving end of our hospitality. The most amusing story (although not at the time for the victims) involved a call from a family to report they’d found a drunken man asleep in their garage. Officers attended and moved him on to then receive a second call to say he had returned, had got into the house and had gone to sleep in one of their bedrooms. When police tried to help him out of the door he became violent and was arrested. The next morning it transpired he had got so drunk he had gone back to his old house rather than his current address leaving him very embarrassed Stories like this are funny to relate looking back but very often there are more serious consequences which play out on our televisions.

This week my staff have been into schools speaking to young people about the dangers of alcohol misuse. On Monday night staff conducted a test purchase operation targeting supermarkets and it was pleasing to see them all pass. The last 2 operations targeted smaller off licensed premises and also pubs and again we had no fails. This is the first time we have seen this across the board which is very encouraging and these operations will continue. I noted a comment on our Facebook page asking us why we are not concentrating on catching real criminals. I do understand this comment especially if you have had your house burgled but these operations to prevent crime are important as we have to respond to assaults and antisocial behaviour so if we can reduce the numbers of these and the damage done to victims who are assaulted both domestically and whilst out for a night then it will free us up to spend more time on other things.

Other activities will be using the alcoblow which is like a wand that indicates if what appears like a can of coke contains any additional ingredients to tackle youth drinking on parks as well as confiscating alcohol. Breathalysers are being trialled at some of the pubs to try to discourage pre-loading and to support the door staff in some of their discussions with customers. If this is successful then I would like to see the scheme broadened. The strength of Melton is that we enjoy a close relationship with Pubwatch who are all committed to making Melton a good night out.

Next month sees the start of Octsober which is a chance to raise money for charity by abstaining for a month. This is great for your health and for a good cause so why not sign up or sponsor someone who has.

Hinckley and Bosworth LPU Commander – August 2014

Over the last month, the station has been visited by Chief Constable Simon Cole and our Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Clive Loader.  Mr Cole was pleased to see the hard work going on in relation to tackling anti-social behaviour and targeting criminals.  There are a few areas of focus around the borough at the moment, two in particular being the community centre in Markfield and the Northern Perimeter Road in Hinckley.  Both of these areas are subject to extra policing activity, so it was good to see the work recognised by a senior figure.

Sir Clive met some of the staff from the multiagency antisocial behaviour team and later went out on foot patrol with PC Julia Brown.

As the nights begin to draw in, we are heading closer to the clocks going back.  Over the years, we often see an increase in house burglaries around this time so I want to reiterate a few really important messages to make sure you don’t suffer a break in.  Use lights on timers, keep your doors and windows secure, even when you are in, and report any suspicious activity in your area to the police.  Dial 101 to pass us any general concerns, but always use 999 if you think a crime may be about to happen.

Inspector Jonny Starbuck

Hinckley and Bosworth Police

A significant element of our work at Hinckley is to tackle the issues that are important to the community. We regularly engage and consult with large part of the community as well as statutory and voluntary partners. I would therefore be grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete our on-line questionnaire and tell us about issues that you feel need tackling. It can be found by visiting this link.

http://www.leics.police.uk/local-policing/consultation-survey

We use the results from this survey to assist us with setting our neighbourhood priorities.

If you want to receive regular policing updates and information about the Hinckley area please sign up to our community messaging system, Neighbourhood Link.

https://www.neighbourhoodlink.co.uk/

You can also follow me on twitter

https://twitter.com/HinckleyLPU