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Police Commissioner appoints new chief executive

Police Commissioner appoints new chief executive

🕔29.Jun 2015

West Midlands police commissioner David Jamieson has appointed a new chief executive to run his office, but the re-designed post comes with a £22,000 pay cut.

The job has gone to Jonathan Jardine, who has been joint acting chief executive since April and previously had been Policy Manager in the Commissioner’s office. He has been the Commissioner’s communications lead and editor for the Commissioner’s police and crime plan.

Mr Jardine’s salary has been set at a maximum of £88,290.

He succeeds Jackie Courtney, who was paid £109,278 a year and had the use of a lease car. Not only will Mr Jardine have to put up with a lower salary, he won’t get a car either.

The changes are the result of a cost cutting review of senior management in the PCC’s office, instigated by the Commissioner soon after taking office.

Mr Jardine’s appointment is expected to be formally confirmed by the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel this afternoon (29 June). He played a central role in effecting the transition from the former Police Authority to the new PCC set up.

A report to the panel by Mr Jamieson makes it clear that Mrs Courtney applied for and was granted voluntary redundancy after being told her role was being changed and her salary would be reduced.

An ability to drive forward change was one of the key issues upon which candidates for the chief executive job were judged.

Mr Jardine will head up an organisation that oversees a force which faces continuing substantial cuts in Government grant that will see the force save £130 million over the next five years, on top of £126 million already saved since 2010.

Two thousand police jobs in the West Midlands have disappeared since 2010, 1,471 of them uniformed officers. A further 2,500 job losses are predicted by 2020, and about 1,000 of these are likely to be police officers taking the force to its smallest size since it was formed 41 years ago.

Earlier this year Mr Jamieson told Chamberlain Files groups of “empowered and self-reliant citizens” would have to be responsible for keeping their communities safe because the number of police officers on the streets will continue to fall. He said:

It is certain that, after the current recruitment, officer numbers will continue to fall. There is a need to support empowered and self-reliant citizens as part of the response to community safety challenges.

With officer numbers declining, there will be a need for increasing realism about the extent to which police have the capability and capacity to respond to every local issue.

This is not a retreat from policing responsibilities but an honest assessment of what the police can reasonably be expected to achieve. Empowered, inclusive communities will become increasingly important partners for the police and other agencies, working together to build social capital and resolve local issues.

Accenture has signed a five-year deal to advise West Midlands Police on new ways of working, largely by using technology to make crime fighting more efficient.

Proposals include developing an online tracking system to allow the victims of crime to keep an eye on the progress of investigations as well as the introduction of body-worn cameras for officers and hand-held devices for police on the beat.

Mr Jamieson described the WMP2020 Accenture deal as a “programme of radical transformation to improve how West Midlands Police works via new business processes, better technology and more effective partnership working”. He added:

The partnership is not about privatisation or outsourcing; it is about creating a new era of policing in a world of changed expectations, changing community priorities and reduced budgets. Ensuring that WMP2020 is cost effective and leads to improved services will be a key objective.

The PCC’s report to the police and crime panel praises Mr Jardine who:

was clearly able to demonstrate strong understanding of the role and issues facing the Commissioner, and evidenced both aptitude and enthusiasm for the opportunities presented by the post.

The selection process for the re-designed chief executive job consisted of open advertisement, including circulation of information via partner networks, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and local authority networks. This generated high quality applications from varied candidates, Mr Jamieson said.

Following shortlisting, candidates were interviewed by a panel consisting of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Judy Foster and Brendan Connor, a member of the Strategic Policing and Crime Board.

Four candidates were interviewed. The interview included a presentation and questions covering the risks and challenges in delivering the Police and Crime Plan and an understanding of West Midlands Police partnership with Accenture, which will look at ways of cutting costs and restructuring.

Mr Jamieson has also appointed a new Chief Finance Officer.

Mark Kenyon, currently strategic manager of corporate finance at Stoke city council, has been appointed to the post which carries a salary of between £67,998 and £74,181.

He replaces Mike Williams who worked on a part-time basis.

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