Speech: Suella Braverman at the APCC and NPCC Partnership Summit

Home Office

November 9
16:39 2022


Thank you.

I want to start by congratulating you on the theme youve chosen for this summit. Cutting crime and building confidence is exactly whats needed.

The way to ensure public confidence in the police is to focus on getting the basics right. What I call common sense policing. The kind of policing the law-abiding patriotic majority deserves and expects.

No politically correct distractions, just good old-fashioned policing with a relentless focus on making our streets, homes, and transport networks safer

responding to all burglaries; tackling antisocial behaviour and the horrendous trade in illegal drugs; and supporting victims.

I know that if police officers are properly empowered to do the job for which they signed up, they can really drive down crime. The government wants to see reductions in homicide, other serious violence, and neighbourhood crime and I know its possible.

Our best police officers are simply put, the finest in the world. In my time in office, Ive witnessed excellence from the policing of Her Majesty the Queens funeral to the response to disorder in Leicester. I want that excellence to come as standard.


I know what good policing looks like because Ive seen it in action.

The County Lines and Project ADDER programmes are making huge inroads into defeating the scourge of illegal drugs tackling supply and disrupting gangs.

Almost three thousand county lines have been closed down since 2019, putting dealers out of business and helping huge numbers escape the clutches of drug addiction and exploitation.

Thats work that you achieved and you led.

The work of the Milton Keynes and Thames Valley Police is another great example. There, police are ensuring that those caught carrying knives face swift and certain consequences. That they are arrested, charged, and remanded in custody. More forces should follow this example to send the clear message that carrying weapons on our streets will not be tolerated.

PCCs have played a major role by helping to co-ordinate local, multi-agency work in support of all these objectives.

Performance and standards

Things can be turned around for the better in a comparatively short period of time. Superb leadership from Chief Constable Stephen Watson has made a big difference to Greater Manchester Police.

They are responding there far faster to emergency calls and the number of open investigations has halved since 2021.

How did he do it? He put more bobbies on the beat, pursued every crime, made excellent use of stop and search, and insisted that officers were smartly turned out with polished boots. He rejects woke policing and embraced a back to basics approach. For me, that is excellence in policing.

If we are to maintain a world-class reputation for policing, we need to be willing to learn from others, share best practice, and continuously look to improve.

I am really grateful that Chief Constable Watson has offered to share what he has learned from turning Greater Manchester Police around. Everyone should pay close attention.

Six police forces remain in engage and I expect to see them make the necessary improvements quickly, working constructively with HMICFRS. They have my full support and I want to see them succeed.

I am very concerned that more than half of the forces inspected by HMICFRS in their recent inspection cycle have received poor grades for how they respond to the public and nearly half for how well they investigate crime.

This is fundamental - policing is a public service above all else.

Just last week, HMICFRS released their sobering report into vetting and corruption.

Far too often, standards have not been high enough and despicable people have been able to enter and remain in the police.

Policing is a job that attracts the very best of us. The vast majority of Police officers are exemplary citizens. But anyone who might want to hurt others simply must not be able to join and those who are otherwise ill-suited need to be weeded out, and quickly.

The report finds that previous warnings have not been acted upon. That is unacceptable. I therefore welcome the fact that the NPCC has promised that Chiefs will do everything necessary to deliver on the recommendations of the report.

It is essential that we get both vetting and recruitment right, which means chief officers must draw from the best and widest pool of talent possible, as well as ensuring consistent and high standards in the vetting processes.

I also welcome the College of Policings proposals for change, which follow a full, independent review of progression and development to chief officer ranks. These measures, once implemented, will increase transparency, and open-up access to senior level development.

The government has provided significant investment to the College of Policing to create a National Leadership Centre. It will develop standards and a leadership development framework for all ranks.

The interim findings of Baroness Caseys review set out unequivocal failures by the Metropolitan Police Service, who did not act effectively on allegations of serious misconduct, in particular instances of sexual misconduct and discrimination.

I know that Sir Mark Rowley shares my view that this is utterly appalling and intolerable. Thats why he has created a new Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, recognising that change must come from within the Metropolitan Police Service.

But I will not hesitate to act either. I recently announced an internal review into the effectiveness of the police officer dismissals process, for example. And Im very keen to get your views as we go through that process.

Cutting crime

We have some big challenges when it comes to fighting crime.

I am deeply concerned about the levels of homicide. While the number of murders that took place in the first six months of 2022 suggests the numbers are falling, a reduction will only be possible if the whole policing system works closely together.

The College of Policings Homicide Prevention Framework, which launched last month, was developed with the NPCC and HMICFRS, and is a great example of collaborative working and the sharing of expertise.

Meanwhile, I am making 130 million available this financial year to tackle serious violence, including 64 million for our network of 20 Violence Reduction Units.

From January, the Serious Violence Duty will place a duty on local partners to work together to tackle the root causes of violence.

As I said at the Conservative Party conference, broken windows matter. There is no such thing as petty crime. Any tolerance of low-level disorder and crime will only beget more serious crime. You all know this, I am sure of it.

It is absolutely correct that all forces have agreed to send an officer to the scene of every residential burglary. I thank you for that commitment. Every kind of neighbourhood crime needs to be tackled robustly if we are to ensure public confidence and trust.

The Safer Streets Fund has supported interventions addressing local needs across England and Wales, which is why the government announced a further 50 million earlier this year to support 111 projects.

I also want to see a major improvement in the way the whole of the criminal justice system deals with rape. It is promising that more victims of sexual offences are coming forward to report crimes to the police and that more suspects are being charged.

But we still have a very long way to go. As a society, too often, we have failed the victims of sexual violence. That cannot continue.

Operation Soteria is an innovative and ambitious programme, supported by the Home Office, which is bringing together frontline policing, the CPS, and academic expertise to transform the response to rape.

The new national operating models being developed by the programme will, from June 2023, support your police forces in delivering a sustainable shift in the way rape is investigated.

Officers need to be and will be better equipped to build strong cases and to focus on the behaviour of the suspect, rather than subjective assessments of a victims credibility.

Avon and Somerset, the pioneering force in Operation Soteria, have reported that charge rates have tripled since they began the pilot, and arrests are twice as high.

Policing must seize the opportunities presented by Operation Soteria to further improve your response to rape.

The final report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published last month shows how endemic these unspeakable crimes are.

The first-hand accounts of the terrible abuse endured by children and how badly they were let down by those who should have protected them are truly shocking. This report has redoubled my determination to do all in my power to end the scourge of child sexual abuse.

Along with the overwhelming majority of the public, I am disgusted that misplaced cultural and political sensitives in places like Manchester, Rotherham, and Telford got in the way of tackling wicked grooming gangs preying on vulnerable children.

We will drive radical change.

The Home Office will take whatever action is available to us to make our communities safer. In Rochdale, the two foreign nationals who were members of that terrible grooming gang were deported. Other members of the group were deprived of their British nationality and the Home Office remains absolutely committed to deporting these individuals whe

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