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Merseyrail retains crown of Best Performing Regional Rail Operator for a 4th year

MERSEYRAIL has been crowned the best performing Regional rail operator for the 4th year running at this year's Golden Whistle Awards. Cementing its reputation as the most punctual rail operator in the country, Merseyrail was given the accolade at the awards ceremony in London which is organised by Modern Railways and the Chartered Institution of Railway Operators. The awards are based on operational performance statistics. Zoe Hands, Chief Operating Officer at Merseyrail, said:- "To win this award for a 4th consecutive year is not only testament to a fantastic team who deliver the best train service in Britain, it's a real point of pride for our part of the country. We are relentlessly focused on keeping the Liverpool City Region number 1 as we realise fantastic public transport is an essential component of a vibrant and successful local economy and connected community. Like any good operator, however, we don't do this alone. We rely on brilliant service partners at Network Rail, Merseytravel, Stadler, British Transport Police, and Carlisle to name a few. Without their input and dedication we wouldn't be number 1 for punctuality so this award is really shared by all those who help us stay on the leading edge of passenger rail transport."¯

Policing has come a long way, but major problems persist!

THE Police service has come a long way in the past 10 years with many important successes, but major problems still need to be addressed, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary has said. Sir Thomas Winsor has published his 10 year view of policing in England and Wales as he prepares to leave office on the expiry of his appointment on 31 March 2022.

The Chief Inspector reflected on recent evidence of toxic behaviour and attitudes demonstrated by some Police Officers. He said that when public trust in the Police is damaged, it is essential that public reassurance in the integrity and professionalism of the Police is restored and reaffirmed as quickly as possible.

In his final annual report after nearly a decade in post, the Chief Inspector described how demand on the Police has changed very significantly, for example:- Online crime is now by far the most prevalent type of crime; fraud has exploded, eclipsing all other crimes in volume (page 41). The total demand and public expectations cannot be met without sufficient funding (pages 42 to 43) and the public must decide how much threat, harm and risk they are prepared to tolerate; and the rapid advancement of technology has provided opportunities for both criminals and the Police, but the Police have sometimes struggled to keep pace (page 56).

In his report, the Chief Inspector also draws attention to:-

The primary purpose of the Police is prevention, which is the least expensive way of dealing with crime: least expensive in terms of human suffering, money and effort (page 20).

The material and unjustified load placed on the Police by the chronically insufficient public provision of treatment of mental ill health, especially in the case of children and adolescents (page 21 to 22).

The causes of crime and low detection rates (pages 23 to 24).

The need for proactive as well as reactive policing to protect the silent, the fearful and the weak (page 25).

The state of the criminal justice system, its delays and stresses, and the critical importance of its efficient functioning as an essential part of a mature democracy operating under the rule of law (pages 27 to 29).

The state of the system of local Police accountability and the sometimes brittle and fragile relationships between chief constables and Police and crime commissioners, and the need for trust and confidence in a special constitutional relationship which the public needs to work (pages 30 to 32).

The qualities of good Police Officers, possessed and continuously and conspicuously displayed by the vast majority of them (page 36).

Child protection and violence against women and girls (pages 44 to 46).

The need for forces and politicians to take fraud far more seriously (pages 49 to 50).

The successes and potential of the National Crime Agency, and its ability, with sufficient investment, to do a great deal more to disrupt or break sophisticated criminal networks (pages 51 to 55).

The need for significant investment in Police technology (pages 56 to 61).

The need for improved vetting of Officers and staff (pages 65 to 66).

The Chief Inspector also said the fragile architecture of the 43 force model, born in 1962, is not fit for purpose. Sir Thomas reiterated his proposal for a network code, which would dissolve the barriers preventing policing and law enforcement from operating as a single system and secure fair, reliable and sustainable decisions on Regional and nation-wide problems (page 67).

Sir Thomas Winsor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said:- "In the past 10 years, the Police service has come a long way. Critical advances have been made in several fields of policing, including:- domestic abuse, child protection, the quality of some investigations, relations with the public and workforce diversity. Police Officers and staff have a very great deal of which to be proud. But major shortcomings in policing persist, and these need to be addressed. Criminality is of 10 now complex and far more sophisticated, and investigations can take far longer. If the Police continue to use 20th Century methods to try to cope with 21st Century technology, they will continue to fall further and further behind. The Police service cannot meet 100 percent of public expectations for, say, 70 percent of their efficient cost. The public, through their elected representatives, must decide how much risk and harm they are prepared to accept, and whether they will pay more for higher levels of public safety. 1 of the most important things the Police must do, especially in London, is to rebuild public trust, which has recently been damaged. Public confidence in the Police is more than precious, it is essential. As I reflect on the past decade in policing, I commend the courage and commitment of Police Officers and staff across the country. The severity of the problems that our Police service now faces should not be underestimated, but the public should be reassured by the strong, pragmatic and professional approach of Police Officers and staff. They should stand in admiration of their fortitude and bravery in facing sometimes mortal danger and the worst things which happen to people and which people do to others. The public can and must trust the Police."¯

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