Chief’s Week – w/c 16th March 2015

King Richard III’s reintermentCity Police Officers and horses

Day one of the reinterment of King Richard III took place on Sunday 22nd March, 2015 and the whole day was fantastic. I, along with thousands of other people, watched the cortege travel through Leicester and Leicestershire. Outside The Curve theatre, the crowd fell silent in respect as they passed by, and people threw white roses onto the coffin.  The atmosphere was electric. I grew up in Market Bosworth and the story of KRIII was part of my childhood, I never dreamed of seeing such events here in Leicester.

The cortege left the University of Leicester and travelled to Fenn Lane Farm.  From there it moved through the villages of Dadlington, Sutton Cheney, The Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre, Market Bosworth, Newbold Verdon and Desford before arriving into the City Centre.  Thousands of people came out to witness this unique event.City Police Officers and horses at the Curve

Again the work of Leicestershire Police and our partners provided excellent support for such an event. So many people volunteered and gave up their own time to support the policing operation. Without the support of you all we could not have run this operation so smoothly.  I would like to thank each and every one of you. I must single out the many Special Constables who supported the work, and also the tireless efforts of the planning team led by CI Steve Potter.  Social media was very busy with #richardreburied giving a live time feed too, which we must think of in relation to other operational policing challenges.

The comments I have received from the public show the planning and hard work paid off.

‘Lots of richly deserved praise for @leicspolice on social media tonight. Great job all, discreet yet clearly present, a tough balance struck.’

‘Thank you for such fantastic support from your team in #MarketBosworth today over 7000 souls kept safe and happy #community.’Queues at the Cathedral

The pictures show the view I had from the Curve theatre on Sunday (22nd March). The queue to view the coffin that that formed on Monday morning (23rd March), was winding its way through the Cathedral to the Lanes!

Chief’s Week – w/c 9th March 2015

The last week has provided some fantastic news for three of our colleagues who contribute to the future of the Police service, and our organisation in particular.

Monday – Fast Track programme

The week started with the excellent news that both Sgt Emma Maxwell and DS Helen Woodbridge-Swann had been successful at the National Assessment Centre for the Fast Track programme. Friday was graduation day for Rachel Swann after three long months on the Strategic Command Course.Simon Cole and Rachel Swann

All three have worked fantastically hard to get to this point and I wish them the very best for the next stage of their careers.

The Prince’s Trust has recently advertised for Assistant Team Leaders to support work with groups of young people. This is a really good opportunity for us all. Chief Inspector Chris Conrad has written to me to thank all our staff that took part in the practical sessions last week and also Caroline Neal for her work in setting the event up.

Tuesday/Wednesday – Police Advisory Group on Race and Equality and the Youth Commission

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings I met with the Police Advisory Group on Race and Equality and the Youth Commission respectively to take questions on a range of topics, including Stop Search and how police engage with young people. We also discussed the PREVENT programme.

Thursday – Home Affairs Select Committee International Drugs Conference

Also on Thursday I was invited to the Home Affairs Select Committee International Drugs Conference in Cambridge. This was an informative day hearing from various speakers around harm reduction and discussing how the various agencies need to identify and work with those at risk from the perils of drugs rather than criminalising all. Our work on stop and search was highlighted in relation to drugs searches.

Leicestershire Police rugby team and charity efforts Leicestershire Police rugby team

I was very proud of the Leicestershire Police rugby team (@Leicpolicerugby) on Wednesday night in reaching the first national semi-final since 1974. The game was hosted by Coalville RFC, and drew a large crowd. We battled hard against a well drilled team from South Wales, eventually going down 33-5.

I have previously mentioned the charity quiz set up to remember the late Tony Merriman; I was really pleased to hear from Sheila Merriman and how much it meant to her family to see so many people at the recent event which raised £2,260 for LOROS. This means not only have they reached the target of £15,000 but exceeded it. Fundraising now stands at £16,019. I  am told that, as a last act before heading to work for EMSOU, Detective Chief Superintendent Stu Prior helped his team greatly by insisting that Sigourney Weaver played Princess Leia in Alien! Luckily Stu is better at policing than he is at quizzes. I wish him well at EMSOU; he has been an absolute star here in Leicestershire.

Chief’s Week – w/c 2nd March 2015

Much of the past week has been spent promoting the work we do around young people and mental health.

Monday – Transition to Adulthood (T2A)

On Monday I was invited to speak at the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) convention. T2A is both a programme of work and a campaign for change steered by an independent chair and 14 leading health, youth and justice charities in the UK. Young adults are an important priority group for the police, both as victims of crime and perpetrators, research has shown that young adults’ importance to the night-time economy and stop and search means that they require a distinct approach.

As the ACPO lead on local policing and partnerships, I was able to give my perspective on what sort of operational police approach there should be to young adults. This emphasised our work Photo of Chief Constable Simon Cole of Leicestershire Police and MP Nick Clegg on LBCon the Young Adults Programme, supported by the PCC. Grace Strong, from the Community Rehabilitation Company (probation in old money!) here in Leicestershire also spoke about our work across the force with partners.

The day was rounded off by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg interviewing me at LBC studios in Leicester Square! This was a rather unusual media request and continued the subject of policing mental health

Tuesday – Out and about

Tuesday was really useful to be out and about at Beaumont Shopping centre with, PC Joe Postlethwaite and the PCC, listening to concerns raised by victims of crime but also receiving lots of positive feedback about the work our staff are involved with.‎ I was able to hear for myself the work of Youth Police Advisory Group in Force when the PCC and I met with them. They observe our training and improve how we work, enabling communication around what we do and how we interact with young people and reflect the approach of our other independent advisory groups for disability, LGBT and the Police Advisory Group for Race and Equality.

The Strategic Command Course for senior officers is nearing its end at Sunningdale with graduation only a week away.

Thursday/Friday – Mental Health

On Thursday I was invited to present along with Inspector Michael Brown of the College of Policing, AKA Mental Health Cop (@mentalhealthcop), during the partnerships week. Our presentations discussed policing in mental health and disability and highlighted ‎much of our work on triage and liaison and diversion too.

This theme continued into Friday when I was at Admiralty House attending the launch of the Blue Light Programme. The launch was attended by senior leaders representing emergency service employers, trade unions, peer associations, support organisations and government. As Leicestershire Police have recently signed the Time to Change pledge, they were keen to showcase us as an example of best practice. I was able to say why we signed the Time to Change pledge, the impact of the action plan on the Force’s approach to mental health and why it is important for other emergency service organisations to sign the pledge.

The Blue Light pledge is aimed at the estimated quarter of a million people who work and volunteer in the emergency services who are at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the general population, but are less likely to get support.

Update from Inspector Lou Cordiner Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Police Commander

Welcome to February’s blog update for the Eastern Counties Neighborhood Police Area.

Insp Lou Cordiner

As I am sure many of you are aware on the 9 February the new force structure was launched. This sees Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray and Rutland LPUs merging to become the Eastern Counties Neighborhood Policing Area.

There are still police stations in all of these locations from where your dedicated Neighborhood officers work from.

Crime investigations are now dealt with by another specialist department which has freed up the time of our dedicated neighborhood officers to focus on community engagement, patrol and anti-social behaviour. These are exciting changes for the force which we are already seeing the benefits from.

 

Campaign launched to discourage agricultural thefts

We have recently launched a new scheme within the Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Policing Area, with the aim of reducing thefts of agricultural trailers.

Plant sticker picture

Large reflective signs which display the message ‘Please stop if seen driven between 10.00pm – 5.00am’ are available to all owners of agricultural trailers. They are being distributed to members of ‘Farm Watch’ and the local farming communities.

The reflective signs aim to highlight vehicles to the police to help them recognise vehicles that should not normally be moved between the hours of 10.00pm and 5.00am. By stopping the vehicle and speaking with the driver, it can be identified as to whether or not the vehicle has been stolen.

It is hoped that this scheme will reduce the number of vehicles thefts from rural locations.

Farmwatch launched in Market Harborough

Farm Watch

After the successful launch of Farm Watch in the borough of Melton Mowbray and Rutland, we have now launched the scheme in the district of Market Harborough.

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.

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.

The scheme is free to join; all you need is a mobile phone capable of receiving text messages.

If you are interested in becoming part of the scheme please call 101 and follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer. When promoted key in the relevant officers identification number:

  • For Market Harborough – PC Lucy Cross 6671
  • For Melton Mowbray – PC Sharon Roscoe 4364
  • For Rutland – PC Steven Houghton 6127

Officers are on the buses!

Officers in Rutland and Market Harborough are “all aboard” their village Library Bus services within their local communities.

The scheme involves officers and PCSO’s jumping on board the local village library bus with the aim of being more accessible to local residents in the area.

Please come along and see us if you have a library bus that visits your village.

Fatal 4 Operations

Over the coming months there are a number of ‘Fatal 4’ operations planned for the Eastern Counties. These events are aimed at educating drivers caught committing the four main offenses that cause accidents. The offenses include speeding; driving whilst on a mobile phone; not wearing a seat belt; and drink driving.

I will let you know the results of the operations once they have taken place.

Spring is almost sprung!

I also wanted to take an opportunity to remind you all that any moment now we will all be opening the sheds after a long winter. If you are anything like me, the next stop will be off to the garden centre to buy new essential gardening tools. Please can I ask that you check the security of your sheds and check that the lock is fit for purpose? We spend £100s on good garden equipment, but then spend as little as possible keeping it safe.

Similarly as the weather turns better, we may choose to go out walking in our local beauty spots. Please do consider using the formal car parks as they afford you a higher level of safety for your cars and belongings than choosing the grass verges.

I will speak to you all in my next update, in the meantime – roll on the kinder weather
Inspector Lou Cordiner

Eastern Counties NPA Commander

Chief’s blog – Tuesday March 03, 2015

Another busy week in Leicestershire Police with two visits from the High Sherriff who has been able to witness the PolAMB (PolAmb will see a paramedic and police officer respond to town centre based 999 calls on a Friday and Saturday night, in a specially adapted ambulance vehicle which acts as a Medical Assessment Unit).

The High Sherriff of Rutland has also been in touch with me this week; he was very impressed with the calm professionalism of officers when he joined them on a Friday evening shift recently –  a special thank you to the officers who made him feel very welcome.

Loughborough is a lucky town following the opening of the new, improved police station on Monday 23rd February. Sir Clive and I went to the opening event organised by Inspector Tracey Willets. The station was opened by Jamell Anderson basketball player for Great Britain and the Leicester Riders. Jamell, who is 6’8” tells me he is considering joining the police which will be a challenge for our supplies department …

Jamell-anderson

At the Strategic Assurance Board on Tuesday we discussed the long-standing goal of the Force workforce being more representative of the communities it serves with new initiatives focusing on the entire workforce. This on-going work has recently resulted in Leicestershire Police being award the Gold standard for the Business in the Community campaigns of Opportunity Now. We are in the top 10 public sector organisations for both Race and Gender. No other police force features in this group. We are looking to develop a plan to remain in the top 10 addressing how we work with communities and staff groups to identify how we can attract and retain talented, committed and enthusiastic individuals for the variety of roles we have available.

I also received an update on the performance of departments since the changes to the Force have launched on 9th February. The percentage of time that neighbourhood officers spend on patrol and carrying out community consultation and engagement has more than doubled compared to before. Keep up the good work!

Chief’s blog – Monday February 23, 2015

The last few days have been challenging for Leicestershire Police starting with the discharge of a firearm, a potential murder investigation and road closures around New Walk yesterday as the Council building was demolished. This is in addition to the continued changes in Force. Many people have worked extended hours over the weekend to progress these investigations. Thank you to all involved.

Although it is still early days the initial analysis across the Force has shown the number of hours spent patrolling local neighbourhoods has increased by 40%. The Patrol and Resolution Team are spending more time working remotely and therefore more visible in our communities.

Last week also saw the launch of an online survey asking the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to have their say on the future of the Force. We need to continue to transform, responding to a reducing budget and to change public expectations.   To take part in the survey please visit www.leics.police.uk/futureofthepolice. It is available until 9am on 2nd March 2015.

I have received an e-mail thanking DCI Jonny Starbuck and DI Lucy Batchelor who presented at De Montfort University last week. The session was Police Leadership and Advanced Policing during which they discussed their personal experiences of being police leaders. It was an excellent input which the students have greatly benefitted from and voted the best module of their course so far.

Moving over to sports news, it has been an excellent week for both table tennis and rugby.

On Thursday evening Leicestershire Police played Knighton Park in the semi-final of the cup competition. Leicestershire Police won 5-4 after a thrilling match and are now through to the final. This is the first time that the Police team have got to the final and they are also on course for the league double being 11 points clear at the top with 5 games to play.

 

Chief’s blog – Monday February 16, 2015

I must start by thanking all staff for the tremendous efforts made over the past week as the Edison changes go live across the Force.  I have been immensely proud at the hard work, commitment and initiative shown by all sorts of people in every rank and role.

I spent some time out and about talking to those members of staff actually doing work within the new working arrangements.  Unsurprisingly it all feels rather different and sometimes that different feels good and sometimes it feels unsettling! I visited the patrol and resolution team officers at Euston Street and Braunstone as they were coming off and going on duty.  It is clear that, as intended, the officers that I had spoken to had only been asked to attend emergency and urgent issues. Those that had prisoners had found the process of handing them over to the new Force Investigation Unit to  be pretty seamless and positive.

I bumped into a dedicated neighbourhood officer who when I asked her what the changes had brought smiled broadly and said “time”.  Of course that time needs using wisely managing offenders and working with local people and partners to solve problems and get upstream of demand.  The managed appointments team have worked really hard to ensure that we have fulfilled the appointments that we have made and the force investigation unit have been doing follow up investigations, contrary to the national press’s position on the issue!

The IMU teams have been working positively to bring their differing skills and specialisms together to ensure that members of the public get a good service, to make sure that we identify investigative leads to follow up and in doing so have dealt with about 60% of what has been brought to their attention within their own office.

I spent much of the early days of the week dealing with the local media and the nationals too.  In general terms the local media have presented some balanced reporting about what we are doing and tried to weigh up the fact that, with fewer people, things will have to be different against our obvious commitment to fight crime and anti-social behaviour and to make Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as safe as we possibly can for local people and visitors.  The national media were not interested in anything beyond broad headlines and, despite considerable effort on our part, insisted on misrepresenting what we are actually about and what we are doing.  As a citizen I do worry about a world where people make decisions based on half a story.

My media appearances took me to various locations within the Force and also back to Central TV studios in Gas Street in Birmingham.  Walking down Gas Street in my Chief’s uniform made me pause for thought; 26 years ago I was patrolling Gas Street as a Police Constable and it was an area that I regularly walked.  I am now of an age where there seem to have been a number of new buildings built, and a few demolished,  since I was on patrol in that area!

It was good to meet at HQ with senior partners to talk about how we can get upstream of demand together.  The meeting of the Strategic Partnership Board, chaired by Sir Clive Loader our PCC, featured some hard work done by Chief Superintendent Rob Nixon and colleagues.  It was a very positive approach from all partners and we have progressed community safety in a way that sees up well set up for the coming years.  I also chaired some national work about disabilities.  Working on behalf of ACPO I have set up three work streams on accessibility, autism and dementia.  These will create communities of practice, in effect groups of practitioners from all over the country who will be able to support our efforts to give a good service to individuals who have disabilities.