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.