Statement on the Business Partnering for Policing Programme

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones decided this morning, his first day in office, that the Business Partnering for Policing programme will cease.

He explains his decision in the clip below.

Bob Jones took part in a press conference this morning with Chief Constable Chris Sims.  A recording of the press conference is available on the West Midlands Police YouTube page. At the start of the press conference, Bob made the following statement on the Business Partnering for Police Programme:

(as prepared for delivery)

Statement by Bob Jones, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner in respect of his decision on the future of the Business Partnering for Policing Programme

May I begin by welcoming everyone here today.  I welcome the opportunity to talk to you about the first decision that I have taken since taking up my position today as the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands. 

I know that you will all be aware that the Business Partnering for Policing Programme has been the subject of much public interest, both during the campaign for the election to PCC but also over the year or so since work started on the programme.  It has been controversial and there has been much speculation, both locally and nationally, about the future of the Programme following the PCC elections.  My former colleagues on the Police Authority always made it clear that it would be a decision for the Police and Crime Commissioner to take on how the Programme would be taken forward. 

It is significant that I sit here today with the Chief Constable, Chris Sims.  Chris and I share a vision for the Force which will see technology deliver innovation and new ways of working which I hope we hope will result in radical improvement in the services delivered to those that live and work in the West Midlands.   Our intention is to do so even against the backdrop of the financial challenges that we face.

It is also significant that what I am about to announce is my first decision since taking up office .  This attests to the importance I attach to giving clarity to the public and, equally as importantly, to the officers and staff of the Force on the future of the Programme.  My decision is that the Business Partnering Programme will cease. 

I have already said that I believe that the priority for action should be work on a technology driven solution which enables police officers and staff to deliver the improvement that both the Chief Constable and I want and believe is needed.  The work will be taken forward by a Task Force established by the Chief Constable.  Their work will be reported to me in January. 

The Task Force will make use of the learning and experience of the BPP programme team to date.  This is to ensure that we make best use of the skills and experience gained through the current programme.  I would wish to take the opportunity of paying tribute to the hard work of the Programme Team and the leadership shown by the Chief Constable.  

The Task Force will be able to consider all options for delivery.  The Task Force will undertake its work knowing that I wish to see core policing services remain within the police service.  Staff and officers exercising police powers and the staff who support them in fulfilling those powers must remain under the direction and control of and accountable to the Chief Constable. 

A consequence of my decision is that the contract with the organisations which have been providing consultancy services to the Programme will also be terminated.  The ending of the contract is as a result of my decision to change the policy.  Their performance has been entirely in line with the process under which they were engaged.  I wish to place on record my thanks to them for their contribution to the work carried out so far. 

May I thank you for taking the time to listen to this announcement.  Both the Chief Constable and I now are happy to take any questions that you may wish to ask.