The purpose of the NPCC is to co-ordinate the activity of police forces and increase the levels of collaboration. Four times a year, chiefs come together to agree common approaches to a wide range of operational and business issues. The strength of British policing is its local focus and connection with local communities but many of the threats we face are national and international so it is vital that we have a joined up response to these threats.
We started the meeting with an important debate about the vision for policing in 2020, which had been developed by a group of colleagues from all parts of policing. We agreed that local policing will be aligned and integrated where appropriate with other local services and that specialist capabilities should be standardised and shared to ensure that police forces are interoperable. We agreed a common approach to digital policing, the need to work with the College of Policing to develop a professional and representative workforce and with the Police ICT company and the Home Office to develop more consistent business support services.
This is a broad ambition that all chiefs felt able to support and we have cross-checked this against the 41 Police and Crime Commissioner plans to ensure that we are complementing local strategies. Together these initiatives set out a bold reform plan that will ensure that we continue to reimagine and transform policing to better serve the public.
We had an in depth debate about our review of specialist capabilities, like armed policing or organised crime investigation. The Home Secretary has challenged the police service to think about developing new specialist capabilities to deal with modern crime threats. She has also asked us to look at which specialist capabilities need to be delivered in every force and which are best delivered nationally or by groups of forces working together. We plan to do a very detailed analysis to understand the demand and current resourcing of specialist capabilities to see how we could be more effective and more efficient. We will also be working with the current force collaborations to understand their concerns and to develop options and possibilities. And we agreed that if forces are going to share more capabilities then we need to have agreed approaches to leadership, accountability and governance - this will also form part of our review.
The tactics used by the terrorists who attacked Paris in November 2015 were different to anything we’d seen before. As you’d expect, we have looked at how the UK would be able to respond to a similar attack.
NPCC Lead for Armed Policing Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman explained that we are in a better position than ever before to deal with terrorists because of changes made after other attacks such as in Mumbai in 2008. But there is also a need to train more armed officers in response to the latest threat. We have funding from Government to do this. Chiefs agreed that we should continue work to determine where armed officers are most needed and how they’ll be trained in quick-time.
NCA Director General Lynne Owens, NPCC Lead for Cybercrime Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman and NPCC Lead for Economic Crime Commander Chris Greany presented a plan for tackling cybercrime covering international cooperation through to local response and victim care. The priorities for law enforcement are making the UK a hostile place for cyber-criminals to target or operate, improving the response to victims through Action Fraud and developing capabilities in local forces. A vital element of the plan is getting people to protect themselves because 80 per cent of cybercrime is preventable by taking the right cyber-security measures
Crime is changing and so are people’s expectations of how they should be able to access services. Funding has been secured to improve our digital capabilities.
Council decided to draw together three complementary programmes of digital work, which will form a key part of the transformation work.
The three chiefs are leading the programmes described their aims to chiefs. Chief Constable Simon Cole’s objective is for members of the public to have the option of contacting the police quickly and easily online rather having call or visit police stations. Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh is leading a programme to improve our access to digital intelligence and invest in investigative skills and resources across the service. Chief Constable Giles York is leading on a programme to make sure that police are set up to receive, use and share digital evidence as part of changes to modernise the criminal justice system.
Since Council, I have written to the Minister for Justice describing this as the most significant challenge for criminal justice and policing in the year ahead.
The College of Policing's leadership review recommended that the NPCC review the number of ranks and grades within the service. NPCC Lead for Pay and Conditions Chief Constable Francis Habgood has been looking at the relevant academic research, arrangements in other organisations and how this might apply to policing.
The research suggests that there are five core levels that are defined by the nature of the work, its complexity and the time sensitivities that apply. Francis is now beginning conversations with a whole range of people across policing about these findings and what they might mean for policing. This work is in very early days but has the potential to reduce hierarchy, improve communication and encourage innovation
More to come from us on all these issues in the coming months.
Notes to readers
We will blog about the discussions and decisions at CCC after each meeting.
Of course, there are some parts of the discussions at CCC that cannot made by public at the time of writing because relate to information that has been classified as restricted or secret.
The minutes of this meeting will be published at a later date.
If you have any questions about anything in this blog or any feedback, please get in touch. Because of the nature of the meeting and what is discussed, there may be some information requests that we cannot meet. We will always try to answer your questions as fully as we can.