2022 will always be remembered by Leicestershire Police. For me, this year has brought the biggest highs and lows I’ve known in some 30 years of policing and I am immensely proud to say the constant throughout this year has been Leicestershire Police’s teamwork. It has been our bedrock.
The high points were well deserved and hard earned. Our HMICFRS inspection report in March assessed us as good, in parts outstanding. Our officer recruitment programme has welcomed to our ranks fresh skills, perspectives and energy. We have invested in training, vehicles, equipment and standards in uniform – and, most importantly, we have sought to give a good service to the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland: catching criminals, putting away violent and dangerous offenders, preventing crime and keeping people safe day-in day-out and night after night.
But the lows in 2022 have been notable too. We tragically lost a number of close colleagues this year, including former chief constable Simon Cole. His death was a shock and he is greatly missed by the many who knew him as a caring and committed leader, a friend, a Tigers fan, and a respected ambassador for British policing. We will raise a glass to those we lost this year and their families are in our thoughts.
This autumn we dealt bravely, professionally and sensitively with serious disorder, violence and unrest in parts of our fantastic city. When tested, Leicestershire Police stood strong to protect our communities and I was proud of how officers and staff worked around the clock for months to keep people safe. The force has made dozens of arrests and our extensive investigations continue in order to bring people to justice. Our work in east Leicester goes on, listening and responding to local communities, to restore and rebuild Leicester’s harmony.
Finally, I feel privileged to now lead the force I first joined. I am honoured to be Chief of a team that clearly gives so much so often in the service of others. I believe officers, staff and volunteers have shown that every day in 2022. There are lots of positive things to take into 2023. Looking ahead, our service to the public will be even stronger as we sharpen our focus on policing’s core purpose of protecting the public, catching criminals and strengthening trust and confidence.