Agenda item

Presentation by the Chief Constable

To receive a presentation from Chief Constable Roper on the challenges identified, and improvements she has put in place, to deliver the objectives of the Police and Crime Plan and work to move out of ENGAGE.


Chief Constable Catherine Roper updated the Panel about the improvements she had put in place to deliver the objectives of the Police and Crime Plan. She also spoke about the ongoing work to move out of ENGAGE process, the response to an inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS). She explained that at the core of her approach were her three operational priorities of creating safer public spaces, tackling violence and reducing burglary. Key points included:


·       During her 107 days in post, she had implemented a number of reforms including reorganising her Chief Officer Group, introducing a new performance framework and increasing the number of press releases to improve transparency.

·       She highlighted the importance of delivering a fundamental improvement in service delivery above and beyond the requirements of the ENGAGE process to develop a force that the public would be proud of.

·       Key areas of focus would include developing a better strategic framework and enhancing victim support.

·       She explained that burglary was a priority as it was an ‘indicator crime’, often being an indicative of other issues such as the need to fund drugs. 

·       In order to improve their accessibility to the public, Wiltshire Police were reviewing their estate strategy and setting up 24-hour deployment points.

·       She emphasised the importance of recruiting a workforce with a mix of cultures and experiences.

·       An interim Assistant Chief Constable had been recruited, with an aim to make a permanent appointment in the autumn.

·       The rank of Chief Super Intendent, previously abolished in 2014, had been reintroduced to improve governance and leadership.

·       Wiltshire Police were looking to recruit more Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and Special Constables, volunteer officers who have the same powers and responsibilities as regular officers.

·       The Force were undertaking a review of their frontline uniform resources to ensure they were best deployed to meet the needs to different types of investigations.

·       An internal audit inspection framework had been developed to give better oversight to the Chief Constable and PCC.



During the discussion the following points were made:


       The Panel thanked the Chief Constable for the update. They also took the opportunity the praise the work done by Cadets, Community Speed Watch and Special Constable volunteers.

       In response to a question about Special Constables, the Chief Constable reported that they had lost a large number of volunteers during the Covid pandemic but were now running a recruitment drive. She underlined that it was vital to ensure that the appropriate level of training would be in place.

       The PCC explained that he felt that reinforcing the Road Policing Unit would be a better use of funding than purchasing fixed cameras as they tended to be expensive and inflexible. The PCC was pleased to report that there had been a reduction in speeding in a number of speeding hotspots.

       The Strategic Planning and Performance Officer at the OPCC, John Derryman, praised the 930 volunteers in Wiltshire across their 115 Community Speed Watch Teams. He noted that the information from the teams helped to inform the deployment of resources and encouraged the public to report speeding issues. The teams also held quarterly meetings to share ideas and acknowledge the great work of volunteers.


Further details of the Chief Constable’s plan are available in Agenda Supplement 2.

Supporting documents: