Last week the Force hosted the first ever meeting of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). The Council has been established and replaces what was ACPO. Chief Constable Sara Thornton is the first ever Chair of the NPCC whose role is to co-ordinate operational policing and collaboration amongst Forces at the national level. Much of our first meeting was spent discussing the threat posed by Cybercrime and Child Sexual Exploitation. I was also able to bring in Disability Hate Crime issues. The meeting considered approaches to funding, and the programme that is seeking to replace the Airwaves terminals that you are all so familiar with.
There was a very full agenda, including a discussion on the potential implications of the results of the general election, whatever that is! I was also pleased to take the delegates on a brief tour of Leicester Cathedral, kindly hosted by the Dean of the Cathedral, the Revd Canon David Monteith, and a number of delegates took the opportunity to go to the Richard III Visitor Centre as well. It is important that colleagues see the changes to the City and are in a position to act as its advocates. I know that they were rather blown away by the tomb and the associated display.
A visit from Hungary
As well as hosting the Chief Constables’ Council I was pleased to welcome Major Elvira Vedres-Zsinkai of the Hungarian Police to the Force. Major Vedres-Zsinkai investigates road and rail deaths. She spent some time with the Local Policing Team at Rutland, British Transport Police and colleagues Roads Policing here in Force. Whilst she went away with a Leicestershire Police plaque I was left with some rather terrifying-looking drink that tells me it’s a 41% proof! I shall not be drinking it at any point when I might be driving!
Faith Leaders’ Forum
I joined Bishop Tim and the Faith Leaders’ Forum at the Bishop’s Lodge. I was able to brief the Forum on Child Sexual Exploitation, some local community issues, and the arrival of the pro-democracy camp in the heart of the city. The Forum was then consulted, in Bishop Tim’s absence, on the qualities that we felt a new bishop should have. It is really important that we engage with faith communities and a number of their leaders were very complimentary about the efforts that they see day in, day out.
PC Gary Fagg
I was pleased to see PC Gary Fagg as he retired from the Force to take up a new role with Hinckley Council. Gary has served his country for many years, having joined the British Army in 1978. A brief interlude in “Civvy Street” was ended when Gary joined the Met in 1994, before moving to Leicestershire in 1997. As ever with retiring colleagues, he himself didn’t mention the many commendations that he had received which included arresting a man armed with a gun for attempt murder, restraining a violent man who had seriously injured a colleague, a judge’s commendation for some work carried out with EMSOU, the disarming of a knife man in Earl Shilton and an award for dealing with drugs supply in Barwell. A member of the public writing about Gary said, “A pure professional at work and worth paying my taxes for”. I wish Gary all the best on his retirement.
There are a number of bits of good news that reached me in the course of the week. The Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People wrote to thank us for the amount raised at the last Leicestershire Police Charity Mess Ball. In total, £4,500 was raised in and around the event. It was great to see that so many colleagues had used having a good evening out to the benefit of others.
I know that the next Charity Mess event will be to support the One One One Trust. This is the trust established by Sergeant Stew Sparling to support local sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease. You will know that Stew suffers from the disease himself. 111 is his collar number. I will be pleased to support Stew at the event on the 9th May.
Best of luck to our Leicestershire Police colleague Phil Briggs, who along with a couple of colleagues from Nottinghamshire Police will be part of a group spending the first two days of May climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowden in a twenty-four hour period. You can support their charity fundraising for Headlines Charity by visiting the Just Giving donation page.
England Police Rugby Team
I was also delighted to see six colleagues have been invited to trial for the England Police Rugby Team. They will all have the opportunity to trial and earn a place in the full squad. This is great news for the team who had struggled for a few years and yet have persevered and are now playing a good standard of game.
I wanted to mention an absolutely outstanding set of arrests. Following an incident in Hinckley last week a number of arrests were made after an alleged burglary. The teamwork demonstrated was of the highest order with local, regional and other Force resources co-ordinating a complex and protracted search, whilst supported by EMPASS. This involved closing down the motorway as offenders fled on foot and some real determination. Thank you to everybody involved.