West Midlands Police Chief leaves after Commonwealth Games

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The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police has announced he is stepping down after the Commonwealth Games this summer.

Sir David Thompson has held the position since 2016, having served as deputy chief constable for the force.

He said that after the Games, which begin on July 28, it will be “time to have a new vision of force”.

The search for Sir David’s successor will officially begin next week, with the new incumbent heading England’s largest force outside the Metropolitan Police, policing nearly three million people.

It’s time to look for a successor

Mr David Thompson

Sir David’s outing has been planned so that there is continuity of command during the Games, with up to a million visitors expected for the sporting spectacle.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, he said: ‘It’s a phenomenal police force and area to work in, but you’re getting to the stage where it’s time for a new vision of the force.

“It’s time to look for a successor.”

Sir David said that after cutting officer numbers for more than a decade he is now “optimistic” about funding and recruitment.

He added that although the force is 2,000 fewer officers than in 2010, it has recruited 900 new recruits and is “starting to see more capacity in the force”.

The region continues to be afflicted by the scourge of youth stabbing and violent crime.

There have been several high-profile cases, including the murder of 15-year-old Keon Lincoln, who was shot and stabbed to death in Birmingham last year.

Keon Lincoln was shot and stabbed to death in Birmingham (Family handout/West Midlands Police/PA)

Sir David said his force had “done a lot of work to reduce knife crime” and used tactics like hotspot policing, adding “I think we are having an impact” but also conceding there is ” still too many high-profile personalities”. case “.

He called the Sarah Everard case “a truly cathartic moment for many of us”, putting crimes against women and girls at the center of the police agenda.

He also said policing in the pandemic has been “really difficult”.

“It was the most difficult task since the creation of the police – we had never had powers that stopped people going in and out of each other before,” he said.

“We knew we were never going to force three million people to follow the rules, but the approach we used was, we believe, the right one. We used law enforcement as little as possible.

The senior officer has amassed 12 years with the force, having joined Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in 2010.

While at GMP, which he joined in 1990, he rose through the ranks and commanded police operations for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

He is also the Chief Financial Officer of the National Council of Chiefs of Police and one of its two Vice Presidents.