Welcome to the first of what will be monthly updates from me, where I will share with you the key activities and issues that my office has been working on, as well as my own personal observations on the role.
It's now just over a month since I was elected as Warwickshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and as you'll see below I've been using that time to get to understand the working of the force and its partner agencies better, trying to meet as many people as possible. I've been extremely impressed by what I've seen and there is little doubt that Warwickshire is fortunate to benefit from a very able and dedicated team of officers, police staff and volunteers.
Warwickshire Police has for some time been in an alliance with West Mercia Police and without it, I suspect it would have been very difficult for Warwickshire's force to survive on its own. There have been very many positive benefits from working so closely together, with yet more still to come. Nevertheless, it is important for the people of Warwickshire that they continue to have a force which retains its own separate identity and leadership to ensure that the priorities which matter to local people here most are both heard and acted upon by the force.
One of the first conversations I had with my counterpart John Campion, the new Commissioner for West Mercia (pictured with me on the left), was to reaffirm my commitment to the alliance model but to also confirm that I wished to retain a Chief Constable for Warwickshire, rather than having a combined leadership model or begin exploration of a full merger. I think having a strong voice for Warwickshire within the alliance is important and the current arrangements serve us well.
Police and Crime Commissioners are very much the voice of the people in policing and community safety, who can speak up on your behalf and hold forces and other partner agencies to account. I see public engagement as one of the fundamental aspects of the role and I want to ensure that my first Police and Crime Plan fully reflects the needs and concerns of local people. Later this month I will be launching a consultation to find out the issues which are important to you and I hope you will be able to take part. Together we can ensure that Warwickshire remains a safe and prosperous place to live, work and visit, so do please look out for the survey when it launches.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this new format of newsletter, which I intend to publish in the first week of each month. Let me know what you think - you can always get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the social media links at the bottom of the email.