A high flying week

Some very encouraging end of year performance figures were the subject of my start to the week, meeting with Warwickshire Police’s Chief Constable Andy Parker.

Ron custody suite leamingtonThis was followed by a tour of the Justice Centre in Leamington, making me realise again how fortunate Warwickshire is to have this centre providing courts, CPS, probation, victim support etc all under one roof making co-operation so much easier.

Tuesday morning I enjoyed a lengthy phone conversation with a fellow independent commissioner sorting out which independents will be sitting on which boards on behalf of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). I have become the de facto leader of the independent group.

Ron UKBA ParcelforceIn the afternoon I gained an interesting insight into the Parcelforce operation at Coventry Airport. All inbound parcels to the UK come through Coventry. I was shown around by UK border force staff, responsible for finding any illegal drugs/counterfeit goods/firearms etc.

Still at the airport, I met with the airport security group on which I sit. I was given a tour of the airport including seeing 2 ATP aircraft that I used to fly 23 years ago. There not as good as they were, but then perhaps nor am I!

Ron meeting air ambulance pilotTuesday finished up with an evening presentation to Warwick’s Chamber of Trade at a meeting held at Warwick Racecourse.

On Wednesday I had meetings with Rod Reynolds and Gary Hollis of the Safer Roads Partnership. There were very interesting discussions about speed camera effectiveness and designing accidents out of road layouts.

This was followed by a visit from national RSPCA representatives seeking to ensure that wildlife crime is on our agenda and that we are working as effectively together as we can.

There was then a brilliant evening at Warwick School for the swearing in of 14 new special constables. I was so impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the people I met.

It was a big day on Thursday with the APCC. I’m lead independent of the 12 independent commissioners now and have been chosen as one of the seven members on the board. I’m also the regional representative on the board of the National Police Air Service. The Home Secretary has decreed that we need our helicopters organised nationally and not into ad hoc odd groupings and I now have a role in getting that organised. My Deputy Eric Wood is going to represent us on the board liaising with the LGA.

On Friday I should have had a meeting with the West Mercia team, but the horrific weather forecast put us off attempting that so we did a conference call instead. The saved travelling time was put to very good use disposing of a mountain of paperwork that has accumulated over the last few weeks.

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3 comments

  1. val ingram · · Reply

    How many special constables do we have in Warwickshire? How many have been recruited since you announced we needed 400? Many thanks

    1. Hi Val, thanks for your comment. The situation concerning Special Constables is that we currently employ 243 with a further 60 in the pipeline. I was absolutely delighted to be a guest at the attestation ceremony at Warwick School last Wednesday where 14 new officers were sworn in. I was genuinely impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the individuals that I met that evening. Also there-proudly wearing his very well deserved MBE-was Glyn Gardener, the Chief Constable of Warwickshire’s Special Constabulary.

      I have announced a major ramping up of the recruitment programme for Specials. This is a priority for me, but it isn’t something that can happen overnight. The organisation is gearing up for this as we speak. Recruitment, selection and training are all priorities and are being processed as quickly as possible. The eventual target is to achieve an establishment in excess of 400. I’m not giving a commitment on timing for that yet other than to say that I would like recruiting to be undertaken as quickly as is practicable.

  2. val ingram · · Reply

    Thank you for your reply. Can you please tell me if there is an upper age limit and if there are any exceptions as to persons not able to stand as Specials? When in post how long do Specials normally remain with the force? How much does training cost and as this is an unpaid role what do Specials receive in terms of expenses? How are you aiming to promote recruitment? How many hours training do Specials receive before they go solo? As Warwickshire is working in partnership with another force is this the same ratio as Specials to regular officers?

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