Happy New Year! 2015 will be an important year for the force and there is much to be excited about in the 12 months ahead.
With the strains of Auld Lang Syne still ringing in our ears, it’s perhaps a good time not only to look forward, but to take stock of the year that has just gone. A public satisfaction level of nearly 83% gives us every reason to believe that there is much we should be proud of.
In 2014 Leicestershire Police received more than 120,000 999 calls and more than 550,000 non-emergency calls. We dealt with 201,507 incidents, including more than 60,000 crimes.
16,414 prisoners came through the doors of our three custody suites. We attended 17,726 domestic incidents and we investigated 2,400 missing persons reports.
We achieved all of this with a reduced budget and a reduced workforce, policing a population of more than one million in an area of 2,470 square kilometres.
As the clock struck midnight last Wednesday, 45 “guests” saw in the New Year in our cells, which are open all night and all day, 365 days a year. Meanwhile our officers and staff were out in their communities, doing their duty.
A personal highlight for me last week was to see DCC Edens and our former Temporary DCC Steph Morgan recognised in the New Year’s Honours. Both will receive the Queen’s Police Medal for their services to policing not only in Leicestershire, but nationally. Their contributions to the Service, and the support they have given to me personally, have been immense. Simon celebrated by covering the office for the rest of the Chief Officer Team! Meanwhile Steph was in France, blithely unaware of the important letter waiting on her doormat. It was a joy to ring her with the good news.
I was also delighted to see my predecessor Matt Baggott also recognised for his work, and I’m sure his many friends here in Leicestershire would join me in congratulating Sir Matt on his knighthood.
I’d also like to congratulate our shared Head of Forensic Services, Jo Ashworth, who received an OBE, which is a testament to her hard work for the East Midlands forces.
It was nice to finally see the city celebrate some sporting success over the weekend, with a rare “double” – Leicester City’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle in the FA Cup Third Round and the Tigers’ 17-8 win over Bath, which was sweet revenge for the thrashing they gave us in September!
On a sporting note, the force rugby team are preparing for their biggest match in years later this month. Their defeat of Greater Manchester Police earned them a place in the Area Final of the Police Sport UK Cup against West Midlands Police, which kicks of at 3pm on Monday January 19th at South Leicester RFC. A win will see them through to the final stages of the national competition and potentially put one over my first force!