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New Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe has joined West Midlands Police with a remit of transforming the force for the future.

It’s a formidable role profile but after a 25-year career with Avon & Somerset Police – where she rose from neighbourhood PC to one of the country’s most senior female officers – there are few with a more convincing police CV.

DCC Rolfe will oversee the force’s WMP2020 change programme that features 33 individual projects designed to make the force more agile when fighting crime and more accessible to the public.

She has a wealth of experience heading-up major police projects having led on the development of Regional Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Intelligence units in the South West, a two-force Major Crime Investigation Team, and a tri-force response to roads policing, firearms and dogs alongside Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Police forces.

“I wasn’t particularly looking for a role away from Avon & Somerset but when this opportunity arose it was just too good to overlook,” added DCC Rolfe, who plans to move to the region soon from her family home in north Somerset.

“It’s the best deputy role in UK policing…the scale of the opportunity and challenges are tremendous.  I’ve been so impressed already by the officers and staff I’ve met.

“The blueprint for the WMP2020 plan is already in place. It includes technology projects like body-worn cameras for officers; police IT enabled smartphones so officers can work on the move and not anchored to stations; and new digital ways the public can contact the force.

“My job is to ensure these projects succeed, contribute to making people safer, and improve our interaction with the public and partner organisations.”

DCC Rolfe is the National Police Chiefs Council lead for domestic abuse.

She led the UK police response to HMIC’s report Everyone’s Business – which focused on improving the response to domestic abuse survivors – urging forces to prioritise domestic abuse and securing substantial improvements across the service. “Every victim should be safer after contacting the police and every effort made to secure justice for them,” she said.

She is also passionate about diversity and equality issues and, as Head of CID in Avon & Somerset, helped increase representation of women officers in top crime fighting posts.

The 46-year-old, added: “I was once advised by a retiring male supervisor against applying for a role in crime investigation as I was “too girly”! That was some years ago and thankfully those attitudes are in the past within UK policing – but if it did one thing it drove me to succeed and prove that individual wrong.

“I’ve had a varied career to date: I’ve spent time as Inspector of the Central Bristol Police Team, led specialist operations and investigation teams, and overseen some complex murder enquiries.

“I’m sure it’ll stand me in good stead for my new role…first though I just want to get out and about, meet as many people as possible, and find out what makes the West Midlands tick!”

Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson extended a warm welcome to DCC Rolfe.

He added: “She will bring a wealth of experience to the role. I look forward to working with the new Deputy Chief Constable to deliver for the people of the West Midlands.”

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