Tag Archives: PCCs

“Autumn Budget must set clear direction for police funding” asserts Police Federation chairman

Amid all the talk and speculation on what will be contained in today’s Autumn Budget, the Chancellor Philip Hammond must set clear direction for police funding to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to keep the public safe. This is the view of Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who believes the current year-by-year approach to police budgets is inefficient and gives Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and chief constables little ability to effectively plan ahead.

“Chiefs and PCCs need to know what they’re going to get, not just next year, but in years two, three, four and five in order for them to properly plan,” said White. “The Government is already clear that policing needs to be even more efficient, but reform with at least a five-year funding strategy is needed for it to be sustainable.”

White echoed many in policing who have challenged the Government’s view that police budgets have been ‘protected’ between 2015 and 2020. “It’s all very well for politicians to say that funding is being protected, but the reality is there for all to see,” urged White. “The amount of money that police forces have to play with has gone down because inflation has gone up. It’s simple maths.”

The Police Federation’s chairman also challenged the idea that forces can simply tap in to reserves to plug the gap following recent comments made by Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Joint Summit.

Steve White

Steve White: chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales

“Of course forces have to keep something in reserve because they don’t know what’s around the corner or coming down the line in the next 12 months.”

However, White does appreciate the need for chief constables and PCCs to make clear to Government how additional funding would be spent, not just why it’s required. “There’s an opportunity for police leaders to provide a credible, evidence -based argument about why these additional resources are needed and where they would go.”

Finally, White made clear that PCCs, alongside chief constables, must challenge the Government for clear direction on police funding if it’s not forthcoming.

“If the Chancellor doesn’t set out any clear direction for police funding, PCCs and chief constables must put the pressure on Government to address this in the immediacy. If this doesn’t happen, officers and police staff will suffer with continued uncertainty and, ultimately, the public will suffer as well.”

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BSIA CEO James Kelly promotes security sector’s agenda during political party conference season

With party political conference season now upon us, the British Security Industry Association has been busy championing the views of the private security industry, planning and attending meetings with MPs, Ministers, Peers, Police and Crime Commissioners and representatives of Think Tanks at the Labour Party Conference (currently underway in Manchester) and for the Conservative Party Conference beginning next week.

At the forefront of the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) agenda is the ongoing issue of business licensing and regulation, with discussions also set to focus on garnering support for grant funding that will allow businesses to export to growing markets around the world.

Also on the agenda is the BSIA’s latest research into the number and scope of CCTV cameras in the UK and how the Association’s findings relate to the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice.

With such a wide array of meetings planned, the BSIA’s CEO James Kelly will be championing the views of the Association’s members while simultaneously raising awareness among Parliamentarians of the industry and the challenges it currently faces.

In reference to regulation, Kelly commented: “The Government has failed to identify a legislative vehicle by which to enact these changes, in turn placing the original implementation target of 2015 in real jeopardy. As part of the Security Regulation Alliance, the BSIA has been at the heart of these negotiations and still hopes that the industry can achieve clarity on a future regulatory regime within the current Parliament.”

The BSIA will be driving the security industry's key messaging during the party political conference season

The BSIA will be driving the security industry’s key messaging during the party political conference season

Support for the BSIA’s cause has been pledged by members across all parties as well as a significant number of Police and Crime Commissioners, many of whom use private security companies to provide back office support to their police forces, in turn allowing officers to spend more time on front line duties and less time focused on paperwork.

Increased contact with Parliamentarians

This year’s conference season sees the BSIA almost double its contact with Parliamentarians when compared to previous years, with many MPs set to receive their first ever briefing on the work of the BSIA and the industry.

Among those set to meet with James Kelly are Baroness Smith of Basildon, Jack Dromey (Shadow Home Affairs Minister for Private Security), Owen Paterson (Shadow Minister for Policing and previously Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and David T.C. Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.

In addition to meetings with politicians, many discussions have been arranged with Police and Crime Commissioners from across the country. Reflecting on this point, Kelly added: “The standards set and maintained by industry regulation and licensing are key to the ability of police forces across the UK to place their trust in private security suppliers. It’s essential that the future regulatory regime continues to provide this element of reassurance.”

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

This message will be enforced when meeting with PCCs to ensure that the partnerships between BSIA member companies and various police forces are actively promoted for the benefits they undoubtedly realise.

In conclusion, James Kelly explained: “With the 2015 General Election just around the corner, it’s important that the BSIA continues to engage with all parties to ensure that our industry is fully represented in the crucial policy development period running up to the vote. The BSIA is extremely proud of its role as the voice of the UK’s private security industry, and we’re looking forward to building upon our success at conference by actively representing our members’ needs.”

To find out more about the BSIA’s political work and lobbying visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk or follow the Public Affairs Team on twitter via: @bsiapolitics

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BSIA Chairman Pauline Norstrom outlines aims for the security sector

Newly-elected British Security Industry Association chairman Pauline Norstrom has marked her appointment with a focus on raising stakeholders’ awareness of the value of quality and innovation over price.

In an inaugural address to British Security Industry Association (BSIA) members and industry stakeholders (delivered at the Association’s Annual Luncheon in July, which was sponsored by Eaton’s security business), Norstrom outlined goals for her two-year tenure as chairman, citing economic recovery and international demand for UK products and services as key drivers of industry growth.

Speaking at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, Norstrom said: “Moving forward, my vision is to cultivate an increased understanding of – and engagement with – our industry’s customers. It’s crucial to our members’ future success that we invite end users to input into influencing the issues that affect them. This will ensure that the products and services offered by our industry meet their needs and deliver a return on investment.”

Pauline Norstrom delivers the Chairman's Address at the 2014 BSIA Annual Luncheon

Pauline Norstrom delivers the Chairman’s Address at the 2014 BSIA Annual Luncheon

Norstrom continued: “Increased engagement with end users will help members to drive demand by navigating the specification and tender process to their advantage, demonstrating the value of quality to ensure that BSIA membership becomes a key requirement in the competitive process and further enables members to compete with and win against competitors who do not care about quality and instead undercut on price at any cost.”

Other aims outlined include presiding over the development and introduction of a dedicated section of membership for industry stakeholders before the end of 2014.

Paying tribute to outgoing BSIA chairman Geoff Zeidler, who was seated at the top table, Norstrom described the “significant progress that the Association has made towards creating a better industry environment for its members through the influence of legislation, regulation and the development of standards” and added: “Throughout his two years as chairman, my predecessor Geoff Zeidler has worked tirelessly to ensure that the BSIA is best placed to achieve its goals.”

Requirement for political engagement

With less than a year until the next General Election, political engagement for the BSIA is also on Norstrom’s mind. Forging new relationships with key political figures including MPs, Peers, Police and Crime Commissioners, local Government officials and Think Tanks remains a priority for the Association’s busy public affairs programme over the coming months.

Left to Right: Baroness Smith of Basildon, Pauline Norstrom and James Kelly

Left to Right: Baroness Smith of Basildon, Pauline Norstrom and James Kelly

An issue close to Pauline’s own heart and reflective of her well-respected position as a key influencer in the CCTV sector is ensuring that the BSIA continues to influence further development of the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice.

The launch in 2013 of the BSIA’s own research into the number and scope of CCTV cameras in the UK succeeded in positioning the Association as the key authority on the subject, while emphasising the important role that privately-owned systems play in supporting the police service and the criminal justice system in securing high profile prosecutions.

In the coming year, Norstrom predicts the Code of Practice will reach even further, supported by the BSIA’s own Code of Practice (Form 109) with which members must comply.

As Chief Operating Officer of Dedicated Micros and the wider AD Group (comprising 18-plus companies), Norstrom has 15 years’ experience in the industry and possesses extensive knowledge of legislation and technical innovation. In her role as chairman of the BSIA, Norstrom chairs the Association’s Council and the Operating Board.

Norstrom is a long-serving member of the BSIA’s CCTV Section and works closely with the Association’s CEO James Kelly to form strategic objectives for the BSIA.

Norstrom will now serve as BSIA chairman for a two-year period, and will be supported in the first year by Geoff Zeidler as immediate past-chairman.

*Read the full speech on page 19 of the August edition of Risk UK

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Security partnerships “delivering savings to the police service”

Continued partnership working between the police service and the UK’s private sector security companies has helped forces across the country reduce costs in the face of public sector budget cuts.

In a report published earlier this week by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), police forces’ responses to budget cuts were praised, while concerns have been raised around the impact on neighbourhood policing.

Responding to the HMIC document, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) – the Trade Association representing the UK’s private security industry – is reinforcing the important role played by security companies in delivering cost savings to forces across the country.

Since 2011, police forces have had to find £2.5 billion worth of cuts, while the central Government funding grant for police forces in England and Wales was reduced by 20%. Rising to the challenge, forces’ response to these cuts has been rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in the HMIC report.

Continued partnership working between the police and private security firms has helped forces across the country reduce costs in the face of public sector budget cuts

Continued partnership working between the police and private security firms has helped forces across the country reduce costs in the face of public sector budget cuts

Providing support services and performing back office functions are key ways in which private sector security companies help to drive efficiencies by freeing-up warranted police officers to return to front line duties. HMIC’s report highlights a projected reduction in the police workforce of up to 34,000 by March 2015, by which time there will also be 8,500 fewer front line police officers. Despite this, efficiency is on the rise, with the proportion of police officers in front line roles set to increase from 89% to 92%.

Zoe Billingham – Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary – commented: “It’s not easy to provide the high quality police service that the public rightly demands with far less money. Forces have had to change how they do their business. The best of them understand their demand in a sophisticated way and target their resources well, working with local public sector organisations to reduce crime and collaborate with other partners to cut costs.”

Indeed, many members of the BSIA already collaborate with police forces to provide a range of services, from victim support provided by personal safety devices through to ‘street-to-suite’ custodial services (the latter have been proven to save 350 hours of front line police time across an eight-week trial period).

Concerns over neighbourhood policing

Meanwhile, concerns over neighbourhood policing are also allayed by private security involvement. One member of the BSIA has supported the police in driving down anti-social behaviour by conducting park patrols in Manchester, for example, while another member company provides additional support for the police service in one of London’s busiest shopping destinations, namely Carnaby Street.

Most recently, seven BSIA member companies were selected to support the policing function at this month’s Commonwealth Games, which is now underway to great acclaim in Glasgow.

Encouraging more police forces to consider further engagement with private security firms is key to enabling those forces to meet the ongoing demands they face in light of budget cuts.

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

BSIA CEO James Kelly stated: “It’s not about creating a privatised police force, as many opponents of partnership working would have us believe. In contrast, this is a case of private industry taking on support functions to aid the police in delivering the Government’s programme of reform.”

Kelly continued: “The security industry already contributes significantly when it comes to assisting the police and emergency services if called upon to do so. Through its dedicated public affairs programme, the BSIA will continue to engage with police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners and Parliamentarians in order to ensure that political thinking remains open to this diverse and innovative approach.”

Robbie Calder – chairman of the BSIA’s dedicated Police and Public Services Section – said: “Police reform simply cannot be delivered without the support of private sector security companies. Many of the core aims of police forces would be difficult to achieve without outsourcing at least some support functions to the domain of the private sector.”

To find out more about the BSIA and its Police and Public Services Section visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/police-and-public-services

The HMIC’s report, entitled ‘Policing in Austerity: Meeting the Challenge’ can be viewed online: http://www.hmic.gov.uk/publication/policing-in-austerity-meeting-the-challenge/

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Victim Support celebrates 40 years of helping the victims of crime

Victim Support began celebrating 40 years of helping the victims of crime on New Year’s Day.

The occasion was marked with a feature which ran across the BBC, including BBC Breakfast and the News Channel. More than half a million people also heard about the anniversary through social media channels.

From humble beginnings as a local community project, Victim Support has grown into the world’s biggest charity for victims and witnesses. It now contacts more than one million victims of crime every year and helps more than 200,000 people giving evidence in court.

New analysis of Victim Support’s records shows an estimated 55,000 people have volunteered for the charity over the years, which has helped or contacted at least 30 million victims of crime.

Tributes to the organisation

Leading figures from the criminal justice system have paid tribute to the immense contribution made by Victim Support’s staff and volunteers over the last four decades.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: “We know that participation in the criminal justice system can be daunting for both victims and witnesses. Victim Support provides an essential service, not only by supporting victims of crime and helping witnesses give evidence in court through its volunteer-led Witness Service, but also in ensuring their voices are heard across the system.”

Alison Saunders: Director of Public Prosecutions

Alison Saunders: Director of Public Prosecutions

Saunders continued: “As DPP, I am committed to making victims’ experiences easier and better and the work of Victim Support is invaluable to the CPS’ efforts to achieve this. I am grateful to Victim Support for its role in representing the views of victims and witnesses, and we will continue to work closely with the organisation to ensure the CPS continues to improve the service we provide to those unfortunate enough to find themselves victims of crime.”

Sir Hugh Orde – President of the Association of Chief Police Officers – said: “Victim Support has made a vital and often unsung difference to the lives of so many victims and witnesses of crime over the past 40 years. The hard work and dedication of staff and volunteers, who give up their time for free, has helped thousands to negotiate what can be an extremely traumatic and confusing process.”

ACPO's president Sir Hugh Orde

ACPO’s president Sir Hugh Orde

ACPO’s leader continued: “Third sector partners like Victim Support make an invaluable contribution in improving the experiences of victims and witnesses and driving up their confidence in the criminal justice system as a whole. The police service will continue to work closely with Victim Support to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime receive the best possible help and support.”

Lifeline for more than one million victims

Tony Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester and chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said: “Victim Support provides a lifeline to more than a million victims each year. Without volunteers willing to give up their own time to offer help and support to people at what is a very distressing time, Victim Support wouldn’t be able to provide this invaluable service. The organisations makes a real difference.”

Lloyd went on to state: “Organisations like Victim Support give victims a voice in the criminal justice system and it’s vital that we work with them to improve the service we provide to victims and witnesses and make sure their needs are at the centre of everything we do.”

Anti-knife crime campaigner Brooke Kinsella MBE, who became Victim Support’s Ambassador last year, said: “Victim Support was there for me and my family when we needed them most. I can honestly say that we couldn’t have got through the experience without them. The volunteer who helped us made such a difference to our lives with his kindness, patience and strength. So much more than a shoulder to cry on, he was truly a lifeline for us in the darkest of times.”

Brooke Kinsella MBE

Brooke Kinsella MBE

“I’m so proud to be an ambassador for Victim Support as the organisation celebrates its 40th Anniversary, and want to take this opportunity to thank all of their staff and volunteers, past and present – from the bottom of my heart – for the amazing job they have done and continue to do.”

Celebratory events in the pipeline

Victim Support will be acknowledging the vital contribution of volunteers and staff old and new by way of a series of celebratory events over the coming months.

The last 40 years has seen Victim Support make huge strides – developing from supporting victims of crimes such as theft, to very serious crimes, including homicide, rape and emerging crimes such as human trafficking.

It has also set up national services to support more than 200,000 victims and witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales each year, as well as a national service to help families bereaved by homicide.

Some of the vital specialist work Victim Support now carries out includes anti-social behaviour and domestic violence projects, restorative justice programmes and preventative work in schools warning about the dangers of getting involved in gangs.

Javed Khan: CEO at Victim Support

Javed Khan: CEO at Victim Support

Victim Support’s CEO Javed Khan said: “We are told day in and day out that the work of our staff and volunteers makes a real difference to many, many people’s lives, and we are very proud of that. Much of our work wouldn’t be possible without our 5,600 dedicated volunteers, whose time alone is estimated to be worth £21 million. They are the backbone of Victim Support and I cannot thank them enough for their tireless efforts.”

Khan continued: “Over the last 40 years, more than 55,000 people have volunteered for the charity. It is one of the most rewarding contributions that anyone can make, and we are always welcoming new volunteers. If you want to help victims cope and recover then please get in touch with Victim Support.”

In conclusion, Khan stated: “There’s no better opportunity than this 40th Anniversary to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to those who have made us what we are today, and continue to provide a world class service to victims and witnesses of crime. We are always mindful that the work we do needs to keep evolving, and we look forward to continuing to do all that we can to ensure victims’ needs are placed at the forefront of the criminal justice process.”

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Policing Minister announces £20 million funding for PCCs

Policing Minister Damian Green today announced that £20 million will be made available to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to pay for new ideas.

The Government previously said a Police Innovation Fund worth up to £50 million a year would be established from 2014-2015, but £20 million will shortly be made available as a ‘precursor’ fund from which PCCs can bid for money to pay for proposals with the potential to improve policing and make it more efficient.

They could include ideas for forces to collaborate or invest in modern digital technology.

The announcement was made today at an event in London where PCCs gathered to mark the anniversary of their first year in office.

Policing Minister Damian Green

Policing Minister Damian Green

Green said: “I know that many of you have been asking for more details on the Police Innovation Fund. This fund will incentivise collaboration, support improved digital working and enable PCCs to invest in a range of other innovative delivery approaches that have the potential to improve policing and deliver further efficiency.”

The MP added: “Innovation shouldn’t have to wait. We know PCCs are keen to access this funding now in order to press ahead with transformation in their forces. So today I’m pleased to announce that, ahead of the first full year of the fund, we will be making £20 million available to PCCs as a precursor Innovation Fund in this financial year.”

Green concluded: “We will be writing out with further details on the bidding process and criteria shortly, and I don’t think I will need to encourage you to consider putting forward bids.”

Today’s event was organised by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

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BSIA South East Business Crime Conference: speaker line-up unveiled

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has now announced the official speaker line-up for its upcoming South East Business Crime Conference, which will be held at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club on Wednesday 30 October 2013.

The free-to-attend event has been organised by the BSIA with the support of a number of police forces in the South East, and aims to help businesses understand the latest risks facing their operations as well as the security solutions available to help mitigate them.

Doors will open at 9.00 am, when delegates will have the opportunity to browse a number of security solutions at the comprehensive exhibition.

Attendees will also be able to speak with security providers first-hand and identify potential solutions for their specific security challenges.

Katy Bourne: Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex

Katy Bourne: Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex

Katy Bourne, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex, will formally open the event at 10.00 am and will be followed by a number of guest speakers.

Impressive array of speakers and subjects

• Roy Smith (New Scotland Yard) will be delivering a talk entitled ‘Police and the Business Community: Equal Partners in the Fight Against Crime?’ Roy will be delivering a Metropolitan Police Service perspective on the ‘Total War on Crime’, discussing the police response to increasing frontline pressures and whether the business community is an equal partner in the fight against crime.

• Lisa Perretta, of the Brighton and Hove Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), will be speaking about ‘The Business Community and the Fight Against Crime’. The Brighton and Hove BCRP is a partnership-based approach that uses an intelligence gathering and information sharing system to effectively detect and prevent crime and disorder. Lisa will be discussing the ways in which Brighton and Hove BRCP can innovatively and effectively use communications in order to maintain a safer business community.

• Charlie Newman of Littoralis is set to talk about: ‘Linking Local Business Partnerships into a Regional and National Network’. Charlie will look at how individual business crime reduction partnerships come together to play their part in regional and national strategies for monitoring and managing low-level crime and anti-social behaviour.

Professor Martin Gill: director of PRCI

Professor Martin Gill: director of PRCI

• Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International’s leader Professor Martin Gill will deliver a presentation entitled: ‘A Police Accreditation Scheme to Protect Your Business: Secured Environments’. Professor Gill has carried out extensive research into business crime by speaking with offenders in prison to discover the ways in which they overcame business security measures. As a result, Martin has been working with the police in order to develop a crime prevention accreditation scheme, and will be explaining how the scheme can help businesses improve their security and obtain a police certificate for generating a secured environment.

Following the conference, delegates will be able to engage in a Question & Answer session followed by a networking lunch.

To register for this free event online visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SEBCC

For more information about the BSIA and its events programme visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/events

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