Covert policing and the BBC

My week started with a visit to Warwickshire Police’s secret facility where their covert operations are based from, providing me with a fascinating insight into some crucial areas of work.

Ron Ball and Det Supt Ben EltonQuite often we focus on local community policing nowadays, so Monday gave me a new perspective on another area of the force’s work, and that while covert operations is an expensive resource, it’s a vital resource.
In order to get effective and usable evidence against some of the ‘high value targets’ requires the use of sophisticated techniques and a lot of man hours – critical in order to get serious criminals in custody. We also got briefings on child protection, protecting vulnerable adults and dealing with missing persons.
I was joined by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Eric Wood and we clearly asked too many questions because we ran out of time to visit the forensics team and will have to go back some other time for that.
We did get a briefing on the firearms arrangements for the alliance now which is one of the areas where we’ve managed to both improve resilience and save money by doing things once and not twice.
Meanwhile it’s been a busy week for me with the media, with a lot of radio work this week.
Monday morning I was on Radio 5 live together with two other commissioners responding to the report from the electoral reform society highlighting the fact that in their view the elections were poorly organised and pointing out that approximately one in ten people know who their PCC is.
Thursday morning I did a session on the Shane O’connor show answering questions about if and when PCSOs are going to get increased powers in Warwickshire, and the on Friday morning Andy Parker and I did a joint 45 minute session on Annie Othen’s show (also BBC Coventry and Warwickshire) answering questions from her and from the public.
I did community forums in Stratford (at King Edwards School) and at Trinity School in Leamington with the North Leamington community forum. Saturday morning I attended the WALC (Warwickshire Association of Local Councillors) conference at the Wellesbourne Campus of Warwick University. An old school friend-John Whelan-was there. His claim to fame is that while working for Dunlop Aerospace he was personally responsible for authorising a large slice of the funding for Richard Noble’s successful attempt on the world land speed record. The car is in the transport museum in Coventry.
Thanks also to Chief Executive Mark Gore and policy officer Debbie Mullis, who attended a conference in London concerning the Independent Police Complaints Commission and prospective changes to that body.
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