New focus on victims from Wolverhampton police launches today

Police in Wolverhampton are poised to make substantial changes to the investigation of murder, child and domestic abuse cases all set to focus firmly on the needs of the victim.

The changes being rolled out across the city today (Monday 16 June) form part of a force-wide reorganisation in the arena of public protection and investigation.

The scale of change is unprecedented, bigger than the size of 27 other UK forces, and is as a result of a 12 month force review by West Midlands Police into its public protection and investigative functions.

The new operating model will see an additional 243 officers bolstering the numbers within public protection with an extra 14 officers in Wolverhampton.

Forcewide teams focused on areas such as vulnerable adults, child sexual exploitation and emerging trends will also be able to provide additional local support when needed. Those teams launched earlier this month.

The changes have been made following wide scale consultation with local partner agencies and are being rolled out across the force throughout this year.

Wolverhampton and Walsall are the first local areas to "go live" with the new model.

Key changes include:

  • Centralised forcewide teams investigating murders and child sexual exploitation
  • The creation of a specialist forcewide vulnerable adults team and an emerging trends team
  • All acquisitive crime (e.g. burglary, vehicle crime) will be investigated by Local Policing Units, putting local investigators at the heart of local criminality
  • Violent crime investigation will be clustered, with the expansion of the remit of the homicide and serious, organised and complex crime teams
  • Three sexual offences team working alongside sexual offender managers will work on a clustered basis across the force
  • The focus of public protection will be expanded with the creation of local child and domestic abuse teams and the creation of a vulnerable adult unit.
  • Closer collaboration between teams working across the public protection and investigation

Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones said: "I am pleased that by the end of this year, the establishment in this important arena will have increased by nearly double providing much needed support and resilience to an area of great demand.

"The changes to the allocation and investigation of crime, which will bring together constables and investigators, are a very positive step forward.

"They will help to strengthen knowledge and working practices across the force to benefit of victims of crime. 

Kathy Cole-Evans from the Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum said: "We welcome these organisational changes being made by the police, in particular the closer alignment of officers who focus on protecting victims with those officers who investigate crimes and gather evidence to prosecute offenders.

"This has significant potential to increase the number of offenders brought to justice and improve outcomes for victims."

The new child and domestic abuse teams and local investigation teams will today start working from Wolverhampton Central police station.

The violent crime team, dealing with all violent crime from common assault to attempt murder will be based at Wednesfield police station in a move that will see response officers relocate to the nearby Wolverhampton Central police station.

A sexual offences team will be based at West Bromwich police station covering the whole of the Black Country providing 24 hour cover seven days a week.  

Commenting on the changes Superintendent Paul Drover said:  "These changes are being implemented to provide an enhanced level of service to victims and witnesses of crime.

"Extensive work has been undertaken to understand the depth of work being carried out across our public protection and investigative teams and the changes have been made very much in consultation with our partners.

"There will be no change to the delivery of local policing in Wolverhampton. Officers and PCSOs will continue to respond to calls in their area and deliver neighbourhood policing to communities."

Many of the new teams have detectives and uniformed officers working together, allowing offences to be allocated to officers based on the complexity of the investigation required.

 

Wolverhampton STT

Pictured L/R Bob Jones, Yvonne Mosquito, Supt Paul Drover, Chief Supt Danny Long, Youth Commissioner Sandeep Bains and Kathy Cole-Evans of Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum