Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Debbie Tedds said: “Baroness Casey’s review is a substantial and very important report that forces across the country will now be taking time to carefully consider.
“On reading the report it engenders a wide of range of emotions. I’m personally shocked and appalled at the content and it is clearly something we all need to reflect on and ensure we urgently respond to.
“Within my own workforce there will be individuals who are likewise both shocked and appalled by what they have read and heard. Some colleagues may recognise their own personal experiences reflected within the review and sadly there will be some people who see some of their own behaviours and conduct within the report – these are absolutely the individuals we need to continue to work hard to root out of policing.
“It is important to say, and the review does recognise this, the vast majority of our workforce are good, hard-working, professional individuals, who come to work every day to do the right thing for the public and in this case to support local communities in Warwickshire.
“Policing is more inclusive, more diverse and more reflective of our communities than we have ever been. Over the last couple of years our intakes have consisted of nearly 45% female officers, which is a significant step forward, albeit we need to continue to do all we can to attract individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds to ensure we truly reflect our communities.
“By the end of March this year we will see Warwickshire recording the largest number of officers in our force’s history. These officers have undergone vigorous checks, some of whom have failed and therefore not been accepted into the force. We have high expectations of standards and behaviours which do form an integral part to the student officer training programme. I personally speak to all student officers on their first day and set out my expectations on how they must behave.
“In Warwickshire we have been progressing a wide variety of initiatives to ensure the high standard we expect of our workforce.
“We are part of the national datawash whereby all members of our workforce are currently having their records checked against the police intelligence database to ensure we understand any information or intelligence that may require further investigation. We have deliberately commenced this with the senior leadership of the force to ensure we engender trust and confidence in their decision-making moving forward.
“Naturally, as I am the national lead for vetting in policing, I am committed to ensuring that vetting and misconduct processes in our force meet all the national requirements and standards and we lead by example.
“We also launched a wide-spread internal campaign, under the name of Operation Amethyst, in February, which is focused on eradicating inappropriate behaviours from our force, encouraging all members of the force to challenge and report behaviours that make them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, intimidated, degraded or humiliated. This has been underpinned through a culture and behaviours survey we ran last year to ensure our workforce had a voice around their experiences.
“While it is important to understand the views of our workforce, it is vital we understand and seek help from the public and our partners to identify staff who fall below the high standards of professional behaviour we expect and to report any concerns to us. We have provided briefings to our local partners, particularly those who work with vulnerable members of our communities to ensure they know how to report through to us and receive the necessary support.
“We have also established a new peer supporter network to give people the opportunity to seek confidential support and guidance if they do experience inappropriate behaviours in the workplace. This works alongside a strong range of wider workforce support networks covering a range of our protected characteristics in a commitment to making our police service anti-misogynistic, anti-homophobic and anti-discriminatory of any kind.
“I know that people living in our county will be seeing the national headlines and potentially may have concerns about interacting with Warwickshire Police. My message is simple - Warwickshire Police is here to protect people from harm. We do this by preventing crime, engaging with our communities, and thoroughly investigating and bringing offenders to justice. We are committed to providing consistent, high-quality local policing services and we want our communities to have trust and confidence in what we do.”