Well what was it about November and the ‘noble’ art of boxing? We saw Ricky Hatton return to the ring which probably wasn’t such a great idea. We saw Freddie Flintoff swap the cricket bat for boxing gloves. Then more locally our very own Sergeant Steph Rolfe, together with our Chelmsley Wood neighbourhood policing team and Solihull Council colleagues, slogged it out in Craig Croft at the brilliant BoxClever sessions that are already showing positive signs that they change the lives of young people and local communities.
So I started to reflect on how we as a Local Policing Unit really do ‘punch above our weight’.
Here are a few of my musings.
To be effective Solihull local policing unit needs to deliver about 7% of all the local policing business for West Midlands Police. Let me start with a story I will never get tired of telling.
November 2012 was another month of best ever crime reductions. Our total recorded crime is now comparatively the lowest ever for an unprecedented 17 consecutive months. So far this year we have seen 1579 fewer victims of crime, but it is when you put this into the context of force performance you start to see the real difference we are making, not just for the people of Solihull but for the whole of the West Midlands.
Remember the 7% rule? Well so far this year we have secured 9% of the total crime reductions for the people of the West Midlands, for business crime it is 10% and for burglary dwelling it’s a brilliant 13%.
Then we turn to satisfaction with crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB). For ASB there is still more work to do. We’re not ‘on the ropes’ yet but we need to get a lot smarter about how we treat victims of ASB if they are to get the service we would want for our loved ones.
For crime however it’s another ‘knockout’ performance. Satisfaction with overall service is the 2nd highest rating we have ever had, whilst satisfaction with feedback and action are the best we have ever achieved.
And I forgot to mention that in terms of most serious violent crime there was a period of 24 days (yes 24 days!) without an incident being reported. I believe that these results, together with the real focus on communicating by sharing what we are doing with local people and listening to their concerns and acting upon them is why Solihull Local Policing Unit has the highest levels of confidence in policing (87%) of any borough in the West Midlands.
As I have said before and will continue to say relentlessly, in celebrating the difference being made locally, it is vitally important that we do not become complacent. Our shared ambition as we start to look towards 2013 is to be a Local Policing Unit where we continue to work with local people and our partners to become consistently excellent in the service we provide. 2012 has been a phenomenal year during which it has been a privilege to make a difference to the lives of local people through policing and partnership working.
I was delighted last week to recognise and appreciate the contribution of so many different people at our awards evening. It was very special that we were joined by the Mayor of Solihull and Fiona Anderson, chair of Solihull Independent Advisory Group, to recognise colleagues’ work because everything that we are achieving is down to teamwork, professionalism and the relationships that are in place and being continually developed with partners and local people. Thanks to Solihull News for sharing the work of police colleagues more widely with people in our borough.
Afterwards myself and the Mayor joined partners from John Lewis, the St Alphege neighbourhood policing team and other supporters at the first ever John Lewis charity sleep out to raise awareness of homelessness and vulnerability.
The sleep out was also raising money for a local hostel, Stonham Hostel in Castle Bromwich, which does invaluable work locally to support young homeless people some of whom joined us on the night. John Lewis are also collecting food, toiletries, sleeping bags, warm clothing, gloves and scarves to be distributed in the week before Christmas to vulnerable people across our borough.
If you wish and are able to help you can donate items at the Customer Collection Point in John Lewis until Sunday 16th December. Goods donated will then be distributed to vulnerable people across our borough in the run up to Christmas.
Finally may I take this opportunity to wish you, your families and friends a safe and peaceful Christmas. We look forward to serving and protecting you throughout the festive period and to continuing to make a positive difference to local people’s lives throughout 2013.
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