West Midlands Police has launched the WMP2020 transformation programme, founded on the nine Peelian principles from 1829 and their ambition is to bring these values to life in 21st Century policing.
One of the core Peelian principles is – ‘the police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police’ and their work around citizens in policing is key to this work.
As part of WMP2020, they have developed a wide-ranging Active Citizens workstream that builds on the strong volunteering foundations already in place in the West Midlands. They are currently supported by 135 Special Constables; 701 Police Service Volunteers including 400 Dog Walkers; 30 Cadet Leaders, Chaplains and Faith Advisors; Lab Technicians, Museum Volunteers; Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators; members of Independent Advisory Groups and 71 custody visitors.
Their Active Citizens work supports their commitment to building strong relationships with local people through neighbourhood policing which is focused on preventative problem solving which improves peoples’ lives and reduces demand on emergency services. Their work includes the development of new digital ways to connect with local people. For example, their community messaging service known as ‘WMNow’. Citizens can sign up to start getting updates at www.wmnow.co.uk
Another practical way they are supporting people who are making a difference locally is through their Active Citizens Fund which they launched together with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016. The fund allows Local Policing Units to support community projects that reflect the priorities of the Force.