As Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, I have welcomed some significant changes made by new Chief Constable Catherine Roper in her first four months but I do have to caution more time is needed for sustained performance improvements across all areas.
Some of the measures introduced include:
Greater police visibility – increased community patrols and focus on bringing policing to rural communities with additional mobile police stations.
Increased policing – proactive, intensified policing in communities where necessary and use of all available powers.
Focus on service – ensuring staff are moving from a back-to-basics approach and evolving to drive improvement in the service received by residents.
Putting victims first and at the heart of every police interaction.
Focus on performance – driving slimmed down governance, introducing key roles back into the policing structure, giving greater control to commanders, driving up standards.
Opening Wiltshire Police up to enable more recruitment by dismissing need for mandatory police officer degrees.
Recruiting an experienced chief officer was a conscious decision on my part to drive the improvements Wiltshire Police needed to navigate its way through the Engage process but also so it can deliver the police service residents want – and deserve.
Despite only being in post for nearly four month, CC Roper’s vision for Wiltshire Police is coming to fruition.
There has been a defined focus on quality of service, on driving performance, an increased focus on victims and quality of investigations to boost outcome rates. We have seen a determined effort by the Chief to encourage leaders within the Force to take control and drive up standards and for our communities to receive more visible, proactive policing.
Of course, we are both aware the scale of work required cannot be resolved in a short amount of time. There isn’t a quick fix to sustained performance improvements across all areas and time is needed. The Chief and I are also acutely aware there will be challenges ahead for some time yet but the important point is: the right steps are being taken.
However, and more importantly, I have always known Wiltshire has many dedicated and hardworking officers, staff and volunteers and now they will be able to focus on what they want – delivering a quality, frontline, policing service which delivers for its communities.
Head of Communications and Engagement