Last week marked two years since I was asked to be a replacement candidate when the original PCC candidate was ineligible to take office, and I came into to post as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.
Being a former Army officer who has spent most of the 23 years since leaving the army, reforming and professionalising other police and security forces abroad, it was a massive privilege to be asked to bring my experience from abroad back to my home county and an opportunity that I have grasped with both hands.
Getting the job done is who I am. On occasion it has been frustrating but there have been moments of achievement too.
I am often asked if I enjoy the job, enjoyment is the wrong word, what I want is to get the satisfaction of ensuring that everyone I work with in the police, and my office, maximises their potential and, at the end of the day, goes home and says: ‘tough one but got the job done.
Throughout my two years in post, I have discovered there were, and still are, many highly-dedicated and professional officers, staff and Specials out there on the frontline trying to tackle crime and keep Wiltshire safe – and there is a real willingness to improve and deliver for which I am grateful.
Chief Constable Roper is driving performance hard and providing the necessary focused direction and support. As a result, we are seeing improvements across many areas of my Police and Crime Plan.
But I will always want Wiltshire Police, and my office, to be able to do more and provide a better service to Wiltshire’s residents. Neither the Chief Constable, nor I, are people who will be completely satisfied no matter how much we improve. I am a strong believer that complacency is the enemy of professionalism and progress.
Not only do I want our county to be safer, I want people to actually feel safer too. I understand a feeling of safety is very hard to quantify but if we can start to see or hear that from public feedback, I will be satisfied.
More than anything, I want those dedicated officers, staff and Specials in the Force to gain a real satisfaction from doing their job well, keeping people safe and locking up criminals - and being appreciated by our residents for doing so.