I’d like to start by thanking everybody who worked so hard across the weekend. Between midnight and 2am on Sunday we took 119 calls, that is a call every minute. That added to the 1,006 calls we had already received on Saturday. Colleagues in Contact Management found their new shift pattern tested very thoroughly. Colleagues patrolling found themselves dealing with all sorts of jobs; there were a number of sexual assaults, evidence of tensions between groups in the City, as well as ample evidence that the hot weather meant that ‘when the drink is in the wit is out’. I’d also like to acknowledge the work of our Signal Team who are dealing with a significant workload at the moment. Their hard work continually leads to the identification of offenders who pose a risk to local people. What they are achieving is tremendous.
On Wednesday I attended a Local Policing workshop at Ryton. As the national lead for Local Policing it was refreshing to hear ideas and views from across the country, sharing ideas and looking to the future. Local Policing is at the very heart of everything we do and I am constantly leading debate on the subject and how we need work in partnership across sectors to find long term and effective solutions. To this end I will be addressing the Home Secretary and fellow Chief Constables later this month. This will be part of a wider transformation in policing where some capabilities will be collaborated and organised differently, to better support local policing. The event was memorable both for the quality of the inputs, but also for the heat!
Last week many departments and individuals supported our work experience students. I enjoyed hearing about the students experiences and presenting certificates prior to closing the event at Headquarters on Friday afternoon. One parent has written to me to say what a fantastic and inspirational experience their son has had. Jeremy O’Dwyer led this new way of delivering work experience, and it seems to have worked!
Messages of thanks
I have received several messages of thanks, the first from A/DCC Colbourne from Bedfordshire Police who wanted to personally thank Leicestershire Police for the support we provided to Bedfordshire Police on the occasion of the Britain First March in Luton on 27 June 2015.
This protest presented significant threats and risks, happening during Ramadan, coinciding with difficult critical incidents and following uninvited visits by Britain First to local Mosque premises and Muslim communities. The tragic events in Tunisia the day before this operation also caused concern. At such times Forces rely heavily on the assistance of the wider policing family in order to keep the peace. I am grateful for all of those who attended.
Lord Mayor’s Civic Service
I was honoured to be asked to represent the Force at the Lord Mayor of Leicester’s Civic Service. I was also asked to read an excerpt from Nelson Mandela. The words seemed very apt;
“When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that this is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom.
Rik Basra Leukemia Campaign
As you know Inspector Rik Basra beat Leukaemia thanks to eventually finding a stem cell match. Rik has gone on to do great things trying to grow the register to help others to find a donor in their time of need. We are seeking volunteers from within the police family and beyond to help grow the register by encouraging others aged between 16-30 to sign up. Hopefully with all our links to schools, colleges, universities and our wide reach within the local communities we should be able to really help grow this campaign. If you do feel that you could help promote this vital work simply email Rik Basra.
We started this week by saying a final goodbye to Stew Sparling in a celebration of his life at St Marys Church in Melton Mowbray. Thank you to all involved in the service, and in supporting Stew and his family. It was a very proud, sad and joyous event all at the same time. Stew’s ability to turn his illness into something positive through the Treble One Trust is an inspiration to us all.