Drawing on Peel’s principles in 21st century policing

14 April 2016

The complexity and fast-moving nature of the world within which we all live and work presents challenges and opportunities for policing the like of which none of us have experienced during our service. Through our comprehensive and wide ranging WMP2020 programme, West Midlands Police (WMP) is meeting this new environment by changing our culture, behaviour and mind set.

WMP2020 places people at the heart of future services. And by people I mean not just police colleagues but also members of the public and our partners, thereby ensuring legitimacy and trust in what we develop. The work we are developing will:

1. Enhance our relationship and legitimacy with the public we serve. In partnership with Fjord (part of Accenture Interactive and Digital) we are working with colleagues, partners and most importantly citizens to design new digital services. The needs of citizens lie at the heart of new digital capabilities that will start to become visible to the public from summer 2016 onwards.

2. Develop skills, capabilities and culture change across policing to reflect the fast moving and changing context within which we police. Economic challenges, shifting demographics, rising citizen expectations, rapid technological advances and the arrival of the internet as a social space requires us to change the way in which we all work.

3. Equip colleagues with technology that will help them become more effective and productive in their work. The first visible sign of WMP2020 has been a mobility pilot where we have tested the use of smart phones and an incident update app with a small group of response and neighbourhood team colleagues. In the words of a neighbourhood officer selected for the pilot because he was not digitally savvy: “In 24 years this mobile device is the best piece of equipment that the force has ever given to me. My productivity has soared and the time I have saved travelling to and from stations is about three hours a day. In my opinion the device has already paid for itself.”

Improved productivity achieved through technology and digital creates opportunities for us to focus ever more on intervention and prevention, both in policing and more widely with our partners. All of which helps change human lives, helps reduce demand, and, also supports the financial imperative to save money.

Strip all of the complexity and challenge back and our WMP2020 transformation is founded upon Sir Robert Peel’s nine principles of policing and bringing these values to life in the 21st Century. How we use technology and develop services in an increasingly digital world is core to our approach. However, of greater importance is our focus on the fact that ultimately it is our people who provide good policing and who change lives. Technology provides new and vital opportunities to enhance policing and our relationship with the public but will never replace the human relationships that will always lie at the heart of policing.

Sally Bourner, Chief Superintendent, West Midlands Police



Paul Greene

21 April, 2016

Great summary Sally! It's clear to see how passionate West Midlands Police are about improving how you work and the tools you have at your disposal to do this whilst maintaining the Peelian Principles that make UK Policing unique.