West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has launched his Economic Development Strategy to underline the importance of the police to the success of the regional economy.

The PCC made supporting the West Midlands’ economy a priority in his Police and Crime Plan and has now launched a set of priorities aimed at ensuring the police force’s £500m+ budget is used as effectively as possible to improve prosperity in the region.

The Commissioner’s commitments include making West Midlands Police a living wage employer next year; pressing agencies to ensure delays on the roads are kept to a minimum; buying more items locally; continuing to drive down crime on public transport; and supporting victims of business crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “This economic strategy sets out my commitments to ensuring West Midlands Police and its £500m budget contribute fully to the prosperity of the region.

“Lower crime means more investment and ultimately more jobs for the region. That is why this is such a priority for me. The police have a huge role to play in the supporting the region’s  economy.

“Top of the list is making West Midlands Police a living wage employer, which will mean all of the force’s staff are paid a decent wage.

“I will also push the force to buy more goods and services locally to support the economy and boost jobs. Despite the disproportionate cuts, West Midlands Police is a major employer and procurer in the region and I will make sure the force does much more to encourage local firms to bid for contracts.

“Making sure that our roads run smoothly has been something of a crusade for me. I am working to ensure that incidents on the motorways are co-ordinated properly so that delays are kept to a minimum. Delays on our roads cost the regional economy millions of pounds a year, bringing businesses to a halt and costing jobs. This is a huge priority for me and West Midlands Police.

“I will continue to support the Safer Travel Partnership, which has driven down crime on public transport, and do all I can to reduce business crime, but, when it does occur, I will make sure that specialist support is in place to help victims get back on their feet.”

The OPCC will be hosting events across the West Midlands to promote his Economic Development Strategy directly to businesses.

The PCC’s Economic Development Strategy

Projects under Direct Influence:

Living Wage

  • Ensure all West Midlands Police employees are paid the living wage in 2017.
  • Introduce the requirement that all contractors and their subcontractors pay the living wage.

Local Procurement

  • Encourage local businesses to bid for West Midlands Police contracts.
  • Continue to operate procurement practices and processes to support the local economy.

Apprenticeships and Management Trainees

  • Operation of an apprenticeship programme in conjunction with local colleges to provide valuable work experience and support to achieve further qualifications.
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to undertake management roles gaining a broad experience of different types of work whist having the opportunity to study for professional qualifications.

Increasing Employment and Skills

  • Working in partnership on an consortium employment and skills initiative worth around £50 million to support young offenders and those at risk of offending.
  • Exploring links with Her Majesty’s Prison Service to provide work based training to reduce offending which has a huge cost on the economy.

Business Crime – Policing Priorities

  • Metal theft
  • Retail crime
  • Cash in transit
  • Fraud
  • Cyber crime
  • Designing out crime

Roads Transport

  • Keeping the regions motorways and roads flowing freely to optimise manufacture , distribution of goods and travel for workforces . Working in partnership to deliver the Central Motorway policing group’s strategy.
  • Encourage partners to reintroduce fixed safety cameras and the operation of mobile safety cameras across the region.
  • Preventing illegal driving on the regions roads through enforcement and initiatives that target particular issues, for example, uninsured drivers.

Public Transport

  • Continue to operate the safer travel partnership with key stakeholders to make public transport in the region even safer.

Leaders in the Adoption of New Transport Technologies

  • Continue to take steps to make the West Midlands Police fleet greener, such as operating 30 electric Nissan Leaf cars
  • Include in procurement evaluations where applicable CO2 emissions.

National and Regional Events

  • Effective policing of regional and national events encouraging inward investment in the region.

Support for Victims of Business Crime

  • Helping businesses that are victims of crime to recover from the impacts of crime.  This includes working collaboratively to establish victim outcomes, for example putting specific support in for business crime victims and taking preventative action to reduce business crime. This includes an assessment in order to tailor support with information and a recovery plan. Training workshops are available on Retail loss prevention, Personal Security and robbery awareness, Conflict resolution and Cyber security.

Indirect (Influencing Outcomes and Behaviours):

Engagement and Consultation

  • Engagement with business leaders to help businesses feel confident about operating in the area.
  • Consultation on regeneration, procurement and policing services.

Strategic Influencing

  • Working with the 3 Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities and the Shadow Board for the Combined Authority to strategically influence and promote economic growth in the area. The PCC will also work to ensure that preventative steps are taken to reduce business crime in the region.

Business Crime Partnerships

  • Support the creation and operation of business crime partnerships across the region.

Developments in New Technology

  • Promote new technology to allow businesses to share information.  This is with the aim of making reporting crimes easier and preventing crimes in the future through the actions of virtual business networks, for example Facewatch.

Community Safety Funding

  • Continue to invest Community Safety Funding into the seven Local Police and Crime Boards and encourage local areas to invest in activities that reduce business crime and related acquisitive crime.

Living Wage

  • Leading by example to encourage all employers across the region to pay the living wage.

Active Citizens

  • Encourage all communities to participate in crime reduction initiatives such as neighbourhood, street or faith watch to make their areas safer.

Raising awareness and Preventing Cybercrime and Fraud

  • Working with partners to raise the awareness of how to protect themselves from cybercrime and the risks of being affected by such crimes.
  • Will ensure West Midlands Police have in place an effective response to cybercrime.
  • Support and develop public information portals relating to cyber safety based on the regional cyber information sharing portal (CISP) of which OPCC and WMP are members.

Working with Partners to Prevent Modern Day Slavery

  • To work with the West Midlands Anti -Slavery Network (WMASN)  an organisation that exists to ensure a collaborative and partnership approach to the issues of Modern Slavery, for instance sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour and criminal exploitation.
  • Ensure policing support to detect and prosecute those responsible for modern day slavery.

Contributing to the Design and Implementation of National Infrastructure Projects

  • Working with partners to ensure significant projects are delivered to achieve significant economic benefit for the region.  This includes for example the development of ‘Grand Central’ and the construction of infrastructure to support HS2.

Promoting the Employment and Skills Agenda

  • Influence and raise awareness amongst employers of the needs around youth employment and skills to increase the number of organisations undertaking this under their corporate and social responsibility.
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