West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

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West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby dutchman » Fri Nov 24, 2023 7:58 pm

Inspectors will monitor the force regularly and insist the force meets with them regularly

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West Midlands Police is not carrying out its investigations effectively or managing the risk to the public by sex offenders, inspectors have said.

The government will now monitor the force closely and insist it meets with its inspectors regularly.

Home Secretary James Cleverly described it as "a failure of leadership from Labour's West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner."

The PCC and chief constable said they completely disagreed with the decision.

Mr Cleverly said the leadership failure was the reason the force had been placed into special measures.

"We will do everything in our power to ensure the police are keeping the people of this country safe," he posted on X.

PCC Simon Foster apologised saying it was "completely unacceptable" if people were not obtaining access to justice.

"Action has already been taken and continues to be taken, to drive significant improvements within West Midlands Police," he said.

West Midlands Conservative Mayor Andy Street said the news made for "very uncomfortable reading".

"I feel for those officers who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe, but most importantly I'm concerned for the victims of crime who must be our priority," he said.

Earlier this month Mr Street requested the PCC powers be transferred to his office after the next Mayoral elections in May.

"I believe that move to a single point of accountability has become even more important after today."

The police force's monitoring level has been escalated to "Engage", an enhanced form of monitoring, as it is "not effectively addressing the inspectorate's concerns", inspectors said.

It added significant improvements were needed and the force, which covers Birmingham, Wolverhampton, the Black Country and Coventry, has been asked to urgently produce an improvement plan.

His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said West Midlands Police had failed to:

  • Carry out effective investigations leading to satisfactory results for victims
  • Work effectively to keep vulnerable people safe
  • Effectively manage the risk posed to the public by registered sex offenders
  • Manage the risk posed by online child abuse offenders effectively
:bbc_news:
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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby rebbonk » Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:19 pm

:hysterical:

They really have no idea!
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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby dutchman » Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:45 pm

The force should have been abolished at the same time the West Midlands council was abolished and replaced with the old Coventry & Warwickshire Constabulary.
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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby dutchman » Wed Nov 29, 2023 4:22 pm

PCC accuses police inspectorate of maladministration

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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Foster has accused an inspectorate of maladministration after the force was effectively placed in special measures.

The force's monitoring level was escalated to "engage" last week after inspectors identified the need for significant improvements.

In a letter to His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMIC) last Thursday, external , Mr Foster said the body and its inspector "failed to act in a accordance with the law".

HMIC published a copy of its reply,, external sent the same day, which stated Mr Foster's "strong" accusations were "not correct".

Mr Foster told the BBC it was "deeply disappointing" HMIC had departed from an agreement that police would have 14 days to respond before it published its decision, external.

The decision to move to enhanced monitoring was made public on Friday.

The inspectorate identified the force had failed to carry out effective investigations, safeguard vulnerable people and manage risks posed by sex offenders.

At the time, Chief Constable Craig Guildford said he "completely disagreed" with the decision-making and said issues identified were based on old data.

Published in full on the PCC's website, Mr Foster's letter to HMI Wendy Williams laid out his concerns about the body's decision-making process.

He accused it of:

  • Failing to act in accordance with the public law requirements of fairness

  • Failing to be aware or familiar with the relevant HMIC procedure

  • Moving the force to "engage" without regard to HMIC's own procedure

  • Failing to respect confidentiality
Mr Foster called for the inspectorate to review and revise the decision, writing: "In the event that HMIC are not prepared to comply with the law and the agreement, then I reserve the right to seek an appropriate remedy, whether by reference to the courts, a formal complaint or otherwise."

:bbc_news:

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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby rebbonk » Wed Nov 29, 2023 4:39 pm

I guess Foster's office will now be merged with Street's? :lol:
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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby dutchman » Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:06 pm

Correct:

West Midlands Mayor given backing to take on PCC powers

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The West Midlands Mayor has said his request to take on the powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) have been approved by the Home Secretary.

Andy Street has argued it is necessary because the West Midlands force is currently in special measures and has seen crime rise.

He said it would not happen until after the next mayoral elections in May.

The current PCC has said such a move would be "profoundly undemocratic".

Labour's Simon Foster, who was elected to the role in May 2021, said residents "should be able to decide for themselves" about the issue.

He has described it as a "hostile takeover".

But Mr Street has pointed to the mayors in places like London and Greater Manchester, who are also responsible for the police in their areas.

He said that crime across the region had doubled in the last eight years, adding that it was in "the worst position in the country for violent crime".

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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby dutchman » Sat Dec 09, 2023 1:00 am

PCC threatens legal action over mayor merger plan

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The West Midlands police and crime commissioner has threatened legal action over plans to merge his office with the office of the region's mayor.

Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, received backing from the Home Secretary on Wednesday to push ahead with the plan.

He has argued change was needed for the West Midlands force, which is in special measures.

But commissioner Simon Foster said the move could be unlawful.

In a letter to the government, Mr Foster called it a "hostile takeover".

The Labour politician said he would seek a judicial review if the plans were not withdrawn, to determine if they were lawful.

The police and crime commissioner said: "I have repeatedly advised Mayor Street not to proceed with this cynical, divisive and undemocratic power grab.

"Sadly, the mayor has refused to listen."

Mr Street has stressed that any change would not come into force until after the next mayoral elections, but said he had acted because "crime in this region has more than doubled and I simply cannot allow it to go on any longer".

:bbc_news:

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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby rebbonk » Sat Dec 09, 2023 12:11 pm

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Of course it'll fit; you just need a bigger hammer.
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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby dutchman » Thu Dec 21, 2023 4:02 am

Mayor-PCC merger consultation begins

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People are being asked if they think the Mayor of the West Midlands should take over the powers of the region's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

The consultation was announced by the government following a request by Andy Street, the current mayor.

The Conservative politician said the merger was needed to improve standards and cut crime in the region.

But the Labour PCC, Simon Foster, said it was a "hostile takeover" of powers and has threatened legal action.

Mr Street said he acted because "crime in this region has more than doubled... and I simply cannot allow it to go on any longer".

He wrote to the Home Secretary to request the merger after the next mayoral elections in May, claiming the police were not being properly held to account.

The government has now approved the start of six weeks of consultation, which is due to end on 31 January.

It said it would "carefully consider the responses received before deciding whether to introduce legislation to enact the change".

It also pointed out that mayors already have police oversight powers in London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.

Labour's existing PCC for the West Midlands has said the move would be "profoundly undemocratic".

Simon Foster, who was elected to the role in May 2021, said residents "should be able to decide for themselves" about the issue and threatened a judicial review if the plans moved forward.

In a statement reacting to the mayor's move, Mr Foster wrote: "It is nothing more than a hostile takeover. This cynical power grab is in no-one's interests, save that of the government and its West Midlands mayor."

If the merger goes ahead, the next West Midlands mayor would have the power to set the West Midlands Police budget, appoint chief constables, and issue a policing plan.

Since its creation, the role of West Midlands PCC has been held by Labour politicians, while the mayor has always been a Conservative.

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Re: West Midlands Police: Force in special measures over sex offender failings

Postby dutchman » Thu Jan 04, 2024 3:43 pm

West Midlands PCC challenges Andy Street to public debates

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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has asked the region's mayor to publicly debate with him "undemocratic" plans to take over the role.

Simon Foster, Labour, said he wanted to "challenge" proposals by Tory mayor Andy Street to transfer PCC powers to the mayor's office.

Mr Street said he was keen to join in but needed clarity on Labour's position on the matter.

Mr Foster asked Mr Street to debate him in an open letter published on Wednesday, setting a deadline of 17:00 GMT on Thursday to accept or refuse the proposition.

In the letter, Mr Foster told the mayor: "You have long wanted the powers and responsibilities of the PCC, but you failed to ask or even have any regard to what the public want.

"Therefore, I propose you meet me in three locations across the West Midlands to debate the issue.

"We'll each set out our case, argue for and against it and then let the people make their views known in the government's public consultation."

Mr Foster added the intention of the debates was to raise awareness, stimulate engagement and encourage more people to take part in the consultation process.

In response, Mr Street said he was keen to engage but first needed more clarity on the position of Mr Foster's party and the views of its West Midlands mayoral candidate, Richard Parker.

"I am more than happy to hold debates regarding police governance in the West Midlands, but I am unclear as to who the debates should be with and when," Mr Street explained.

He said he wished to know whether it was the party's intention to preserve the separate PCC role even in the event of a win by Mr Parker at the ballot box.

In the event of such a win, Mr Street said, he also wanted clarification on whether there would be an alternative arrangement of Mr Foster being appointed Mr Parker's deputy mayor for policing.

In either circumstance, Mr Street added, he would be willing to debate Mr Foster.

However, if in the case of a Mr Parker win there was no reversal of plans to transfer PCC powers to the mayor, nor a deputy role for Mr Foster, then Mr Street said he would only debate the mayoral candidate.

"If you can let me know which of these [options] applies and then we can work out the best way to hold these debates," Mr Street said.

He added: "As I have made abundantly clear to the public, I am deeply concerned by the fact that crime has doubled in eight years, and that West Midlands Police is now in special measures.

"It is clear to me that there needs to be a change in governance, with PCC powers transferred to the mayoral role after May.

"The Home Secretary has confirmed he supports this view and has now launched a public consultation before he makes any final decision."

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