High Sheriff of the West Midlands gains insight into work of regions police force

The High Sheriff with representatives from the West Midlands Police Cadets

The challenges facing West Midlands Police and the priorities set out by the force now and in the future came under the spotlight at a meeting with the High Sheriff of the West Midlands.

Louise Bennett OBE DL spent a day with officers from across the force, including the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable, Central Motorway Police Group and Police Cadets.

The Chief Constable, Sir David Thompson QPM DL, spoke about the wide-ranging challenges facing the force, including major changes to the general nature of policing as the world continues to evolve.

Technology has a huge impact on the police – both in terms of the force’s own operations and the ever-increasing problem of cybercrime and data protection. Today the force spends almost one third of its time dealing with cybercrime, with one third spent on traditional policing and one third on community policing.

During her visit Louise learned of the force’s challenges in reducing its carbon footprint, all the while remaining hot on the pursuit of the region’s criminals. West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster also talked about priorities and challenges, particularly in terms of managing the budget.

Louise also met with the Central Co-ordinator of the region’s police cadets, Sam Booth, who explained the cadets’ work with police dogs, their assistance on patrols and out in the community, and their work in crime prevention. The day ended out on patrol with the Central Motorway Police Group, during which Louise accompanied officers on a high-speed chase of a stolen motorbike through the centre of Birmingham. Louise said:

“Historically the role of a High Sheriff was to maintain law and order within a shire. While the role has evolved, supporting the Crown, the judiciary, police, prison and probation services remain central elements of the role today as well as working with crime prevention agencies and the voluntary sector.

“My day with West Midlands Police gave me a fascinating insight into the hard work that goes on behind the scenes every single day in a bid to keep our communities safe.

“From hearing first-hand from the top about the challenges facing the force and the thought process behind the decisions that are made today for ensuring the force is equipped to manage crime across the region over the long-term, to meeting our officers of tomorrow.

“There is so much work that goes on in every city, town and village across our region on a daily basis, but it’s not something we would ever think about until we need the police ourselves, or unless we’re lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse. It certainly was a day to remember."


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