2024 marks fifty years of West Midlands Police

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of West Midlands Police and the occasion will be marked with a range of activities to showcase the history and progression of the force.

West Midlands Police was formed on 1 April 1974 following the Local Government Act 1972, which created the new West Midlands metropolitan county.

It incorporated Birmingham City Police, West Midlands Constabulary (Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Oldbury), Coventry, Solihull, Chelmsley Wood, Sutton Coldfield and Halesowen.

Speaking about the landmark celebration, Chief Constable Craig Guildford said:

"This is an incredibly special year for the force as we not only look back over five decades but also look forward to the next 50 years.

“The force has changed drastically over the years and we are very proud of the modern force we have today with increasing representation of the diverse communities we police.

"The technological changes have revolutionised policing particularly in respect of in our efficiency and effectiveness to solve crime.

“In 1974, officers used two-piece radio sets to communicate, now they have handheld devices to use wherever they are which can do everything from viewing images and information on suspects, checking bail or curfew conditions to running on-the-spot checks on crime suspects to ensure they’re not giving false or misleading information.

“Huge forensic advances mean that we have moved on from a reliance on fingerprints to sophisticated DNA retrieval techniques, allowing us to detect suspects from the tiniest particles of evidence, giving criminals fewer places to hide than ever.

"Over the years there have undoubtedly been difficult times. However, the force has met each of these challenges with professionalism and dedication and many of the lessons learnt from these challenges has helped shaped how the force polices today.

"Our uniforms have changed and our vehicles modernised, but the one key thing we have always been able to rely on has been the support of the community we serve.

“The contribution the people of the West Midlands have made - and continue to make - in helping us to fight crime and disorder and through the Special Constabulary, partnerships and the many watch schemes that we operate, cannot be underestimated.

 "One thing is clear; whatever the year on the calendar, police officers and staff have shown the kind of loyalty, dedication and passion for serving the communities of the West Midlands that will carry the force forward into the future."

The force will be celebrating its past in a variety of ways throughout 2024, with regular features, events and activities particularly at the West Midlands Police Museum.


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