Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner - News Updates
18th January 2022
Police and Crime Commissioner January Newsletter
Listening to recent results of how Wiltshire Police officers feel about their job, their morale and general state of mind causes me great concern.
Hearing people’s lived experiences are often very, very, different to what you think you know. I talk to our frontline officers regularly and these results aren’t surprising given the last six months Wiltshire Police has had – and how policing is regarded generally at the moment.
But we can’t just look at one element of these survey results in insolation.
Everything I, and my office, have been working on in the last few months – getting the right person for our next Chief Constable, the police precept and ensuring we have a budget that balances investment with efficiency, increasing performance, looking at strategic leadership and culture issues – is inter-connected with improving morale.
I heard an interesting quote this week: ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. And it’s so true!
We can have all the strategies, plans, documents we like but if our workplace isn’t in a good place, our standards and culture is off balance then we must acknowledge it will have direct impact on those working for the organisation.
Why does this matter? Why aren’t we just getting on with policing?
Well, if we have more happy, satisfied, officers out on our streets – if they are staying in their jobs longer than a few years – then this ultimately has a knock-on effect on our communities, on the police service being delivered and it will contribute to Making Wiltshire Safer – the primary goal of both Wiltshire Police and my office.
Someone said this week that policing had been trading on the goodwill of its officers and staff for quite a long time – it is now time to redress that imbalance.
One good area to start would be to tackle pay – I believe police officers deserve to earn a decent salary – and Wiltshire Police deserves to have a fairer slice of the central government pie.
And that’s why I will be adding my voice, along with other PCCs, on both of these issues at a national conference in a few weeks’ time.
We all know lobbying for change takes time and that is why, in the meantime, I will be focusing on this – and how to tackle the root causes of these worrying results – over the coming months with our current leadership and our incoming new Chief Constable.
It has been a busy start to 2023 for us all.
From the PCC Philip Wilkinson:
12th December 2022
Police and Crime Commissioner asks for public support to increase precept
Please click on the image to access the PCC Survey on police funding.
From the PCC Philip Wilkinson:
It is my job as your Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure Wiltshire Police have the necessary resources to fight and prevent crime.
As with your finances during this time, your Force is facing increased financial pressures too. With an indication of a 1% increase in central funding from Government for 2023/24, Wiltshire Police faces making £5.5m savings.
This is at a time when we need to invest in the policing service to ensure the necessary changes and improvements are made to keep the county safe – and to bring the Force out of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Engage process (special measures).
For 2023/24, I am asking all residents to support an increase of 83p a month, per average household (Band D). This is a 4.1% increase and would mean a Band D household would pay an extra £10 a year – £251.47p – for their police service.
At the extreme ends of the council tax bandings, this increase means a Band A household would pay an extra £6.66 a year, 55p a month, and a Band H household would pay an extra £20 a year or £1.66 a month.
With your support for an average 83p a month precept increase, Wiltshire Police would still need to make savings of £3.1m BUT the saving becomes more manageable and would be made from ensuring the Force is being as efficient as it can be.
During the last year, communities have reinforced the need for more frontline police officers – and I agree with them. Using your precept support, we will have more visible policing.
Working with the Chief Constable, and on his operational advice, we will deliver 40 additional police officers for neighbourhood and volume crime teams by the careful review of the current workforce mix so Wiltshire Police will better meet the needs of our communities.
These officers will bolster Wiltshire Police’s work in the community and crime investigation and are in addition to the Uplift officers who are also coming through the recruitment and training pipeline into our communities, as well as specialist roles and the rural crime team.
I know in normal times an increase in contributions will be felt by our communities but in the current economic situation I realise this increase will be felt more keenly than ever before.
Here is the full police precept council tax table:
|Band||Current Police Precept 2022/23 (annual payment)||Proposed Police Precept 2023/24 (annual payment)||Increase per Year|
The decision to ask for your support for an increase has been a difficult one – and one that I would not make if there was an alternative.
I encourage you to fill out the survey – it is only by using your voice that we can truly understand the views of local people. It is short and should only take a few moments to fill in. Plus click on the image to access the survey.
30th November 2022
PCC Quarterly Performance Report Newsletter
Please find Philip Wilkinson’s Quarterly Performance Report Newsletter by clicking on the image. This report highlights some of the projects, initiatives and policing achievements that were delivered earlier this year.
All of these highlights have been delivered in line with the priorities within the PCC Police and Crime Plan and which you helped to shape with your valuable input and engagement during my Use Your Voice consultation.
15th November 2022
Parish Magazine December/January column – PCC Philip Wilkinson
Policing has been under the microscope in the last year and I don’t see this scrutiny letting up any time soon – and neither should it.
The public want their police force to keep them safe, protect vulnerable people, put victims first, catch the criminals responsible, produce quality investigations and lock the bad ones up.
Wiltshire Police has had its fair share of criticism. It has received a poor PEEL inspection report and is currently in ‘special measures’. I can reassure you progress is being made and my scrutiny of that performance is ongoing.
We have had some solid successes too. You told me road safety and speeding was a key concern. I have committed investment into the roads policing unit, increasing the number of officers and cars by 20%.
We also tripled the capacity of the speed enforcement team, with extra police staff and state-of-the-art cameras. With this joined up approach, there are more traffic officers on our streets and there has been an increase of 42% of the number of people caught speeding and given tickets.
There is still more to do but our roads will become safer as the deterrent of speeding tickets and prosecution starts to bite.
The rural crime team has also doubled since I committed investment in the team and in extra equipment. I was also pleased with the force’s commitment to visit all victims of home burglary – let me know if this doesn’t happen and I will act on your behalf to scrutinise that commitment.
We are also in the process of recruiting the next Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police and I hope to have them confirmed in post by mid January. We look forward to welcoming them to the county.
In the meantime, our current Chief will carry on implementing the improvements needed to satisfy HM Inspectors and provide stability so the force can continue making Wiltshire safer for all.
Please also make sure you take part in my survey, taking place in December and January, which will ask you about your confidence levels in Wiltshire Police and about the policing precept for 2023/24.
It is important we capture as many people’s thoughts as possible and you will find this on my website from mid-December.
As ever, I wish you a safe and happy Christmas and new year.
21st September 2022
Parish Magazine October column – PCC Philip Wilkinson
Every burglary victim knows the impact is deeper than simply having your possessions taken. Burglary violates a safe space and you expect the police to respond appropriately when you report it. Sadly, that expected police service when you are a home burglary victim has been severely lacking in recent years. This is consistent across the UK – not just in here in Wiltshire.
That is why I am pleased Wiltshire Police have now pledged to attend every home burglary. It’s a leap in the right direction. The force is already providing this in 88.7% of cases but this extra effort should help to increase victim satisfaction, preserve evidence sooner with increased prosecutions.
Residents tell me they want police officers to do the basics right: good, quality investigations which result in locking the bad people up, protect the vulnerable and care about victims. Wiltshire Police’s home burglary further action taken figures, where a suspect is identified, charged or cautioned, is currently at 3.9% on a rolling 12 month average. This isn’t good enough and I have been clear in letting our Chief Constable know this – and he agrees. By improving how officers deal with home burglary victims should not only increase those figures but also, and more importantly, will positively impact on the public’s confidence and trust in the policing service they receive.
I will be directly scrutinising this commitment and challenging them to show that effective, quality, investigations are taking place. I have also senior officers to explore if it is operationally possible to extend this commitment to all non-dwelling burglaries, like rural outbuildings and sheds. As ever, this will be a delicate balance but aiming to provide the policing service our communities want is vital.
21st September 2022
Parish Magazine September column – PCC Philip Wilkinson
I’ve now been ‘in the job’ of PCC for a year, and if there is one thing that’s been made abundantly clear to me, it’s that your confidence in policing is not where I want it to be.
Whilst there are clearly some exceptional individual officers, overall, there have been gaps in the service you receive. In the past year, I have made practical steps to address them, such as the purchasing of effective technology such as drones and ensuring more officers are deployed to the rural crime team.
The damage done by crimes such as hare coursing, criminal damage and theft have a massive impact on the rural community and history shows that at times of recession, farms become targets.
I regularly speak to farmers and I’m all too aware of the reasons why you feel that reporting crime is not worthwhile. In my Police and Crime Plan, I’ve committed to ensure Wiltshire Police takes these crimes seriously and deals with them effectively.
This is why I’ve taken steps to ensure the rural crime team has the capabilities and staffing it needs.
As part of this commitment, Wiltshire Police has introduced online crime reporting specifically for rural crime. The form takes about ten minutes and is picked up by the same people who answer 101 calls.
It’s vital that to build up an overall picture and identify patterns of criminal activity, all crime is reported, no matter how small it may seem.
As this has only recently been introduced, I welcome your feedback about how the system is working. It’s only through working together that we can stop these crimes from happening and make Wiltshire a safer place to live and work.
Parish Magazine July column – PCC Philip Wilkinson
You will already be aware the police force watchdog HMICFRS has placed Wiltshire Police into ‘special measures’ as a result of its performance.
The Inspectorate’s report is a sobering read and is highly disappointing, as I know it will to our county’s residents. It’s especially disheartening because I know Wiltshire Police has many dedicated officers, staff and volunteers, working hard to deliver a quality, efficient, frontline service.
But this report makes it clear – there are areas of concern Wiltshire Police need to address: victims of crime, vulnerable people and our communities deserve better. You had told me this in volume when I was on your doorstep and the results of my countywide survey and consultation only confirmed this, as well as from local councillors and MPs, on the policing service they were getting.
It was fortunate those areas highlighted by the Inspectorate’s report had already been picked up as part of my own strategic assessments of the Force and it meant this shaped my Police and Crime Plan and influenced the robust and challenging scrutiny sessions I hold with the Chief Constable from the outset.
We now have a police and crime plan which ensures Wiltshire Police will meet and deliver those priorities influenced by you, focused on delivering a service the public want and prioritising those crimes that matter most to communities.
My role as PCC is to scrutinise the policing service provided, to challenge where I see performance issues and then support the Chief Constable and Force to implement change and improve in times like these.
8th July 2022
The necessary remedial measures needed to make the improvements highlighted in the report are already in progress and my immediate priority is to ensure that Wiltshire’s Chief Constable, and his senior leadership team, move with focus and speed, particularly in the Force’s response to the public and to vulnerable people and victims, in dramatically improving performance and the quality and effectiveness of investigations.
My aim, alongside the Chief Constable, is for Wiltshire Police to prioritise those crimes which matter most to communities so we can satisfy the Inspectorate but, more importantly, we can satisfy you as residents.
Working together, the Chief Constable and I have already agreed on a back-to-basics reset for the Force so I can assure you the process of change is already progressing.
I expect to see a tangible change in service delivery and the Chief Constable has reassured me the necessary changes are in place. I will be receiving regular progress reports from him, and his senior leadership team, to ensure those remedial actions are completed as soon as possible.
Thankfully many residents do not need to use our policing service frequently but when they do, the service they receive should be a quality, frontline, response. I will continue to ask for those assurances on behalf of Wiltshire’s residents and ensure Wiltshire Police is delivering on behalf of all of the communities it serves.
Become a police officer with Wiltshire Police
Applications to become a police officer in Wiltshire, are now open.
This is the final round of recruitment as part of the Government’s pledge to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers nationally, and will see new officers in Wiltshire commence training from January 2023 onwards.
This is a great opportunity to join the Force. Police officer recruitment doesn’t come around that often so please spread the word among friends and family – we need the very best people for the job.
We are looking for resilient individuals whose first instinct is to help others. Those with a strong sense of community, who are calm under pressure, with a natural ability to communicate with people from all walks of life.
We’re particularly keen to hear from people who may not have considered a career in policing before and are from an underrepresented group, including women and ethnic minority communities.
If you want to make a difference and give back to your community this could be the job for you.
Along with fully funded accredited training the role offers:
- Annual salary increments post probation
- Great career progression
- Ongoing training and personal development
- To be part of a wider police family
- Annual leave
- Sick pay
- Pension scheme
If you are interested in applying don’t delay, places for applications are limited.
To find out more about becoming a Wiltshire police officer, including the eligibility criteria, entry routes and how to apply, please visit the police officer page on the Careers section of the Wiltshire Police Recruitment Website.
27th April 2022
PCC Philip Wilkinson Councillor update: New Police and Crime Plan launched
Since starting in this role, my mission has always been to make Wiltshire a safer place to live, work and visit.
Now is the time for Wiltshire Police, and my office, to go back-to-basics and deliver exactly what our residents want: a quality, frontline, policing service which tackles the crimes which matter most to them.
Making Wiltshire Safer sets out the direction for policing focus and priorities until 2025 as well as showing you the funding I receive and how it will be spent during my first term in office.
From the start, I was determined my police and crime plan – and the strategic policing blueprint for Wiltshire Police – would be informed by Wiltshire and Swindon’s residents, to deliver a service that you told me is important and that you deserve. This is what has happened.
I consulted widely with the people of Wiltshire and Swindon via Use Your Voice and opportunities for you to download copies of the draft plan and participate in public discussions on social media.
I listened to our key stakeholders and partners using Focus Group sessions, and heard what the Chief Constable and colleagues within the Force telling me what needed to be included, during several internal meetings, before publishing my Police and Crime Plan – approved by Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Panel.
Our new police and crime plan is as closely aligned with your concerns and aspirations as possible and this has been balanced with advice from the Chief Constable as well as national policing strategies.
My finalised police and crime plan was supported at the latest meeting of Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime panel as the cross-party councillors unanimously ratified the document.
I’m pleased thousands of you took this opportunity with many councillors, MPs, charities and third sector organisations engaging on our community’s behalf.
I listened to our key stakeholders and partners using Focus Group sessions, heard the operational policing advice from the Chief Constable, as well as considering national policing priorities and threat, harm and risk assessments.
Our new police and crime plan is as closely aligned with your concerns and aspirations as possible – and this has been balanced with advice from the Chief Constable, as well as from those national priorities.
It is now time for us to work together to ensure our delivery is impactful and makes the difference we all want to see – a safer Wiltshire for all.
Making Wiltshire Safer can be downloaded from the PCC’s website: wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk
Or you can use the interactive version here: Making Wiltshire Safer – Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Plan 2022-2025 (office.com)
16th March 2022
Priority 1: A police service that meets the needs of its communities
I am prioritising:
Priority 2: Reduce violence and serious harm
I am prioritising:
Priority 3: Tackle crimes that matter most to local communities
I am prioritising:
Priority 4: Improve the experience of victims and deliver justice
I am prioritising: