Menu

Chief's Constable Annual Report 2019-2020

Overview | Three important things | What the data says | Economic and cyber crime | Organisational issues | The future

Overview

There is no longer a public appetite for lengthy, detailed reports that are both data-rich and opinion-driven.  There is, instead, a desire to see data in graphical form, along with some form of short and simple analysis of what the data might mean.  This, then, is largely why I have retained the shorter, simpler format first used two years ago.

The report contains an overview of the work that the Constabulary undertook during the of the year that ended on 31st March 2020; it also contains simple data charts, an interpretation of that data, an assessment of some important emerging issues and it casts an eye to the immediate future.

It is important to note that, although the covid-19 pandemic first captured our attention at the start of 2020, it did not have any notable impact on the Constabulary until towards the middle of March.  It will consequently only receive a passing mention in this report.  There is no doubt that next year’s report will have a lot to say about it.

The most significant event for the Constabulary during the year was not, strictly speaking, an operational matter: it was the introduction in June of the Connect computer system[1].  After years of planning, a single transformative system took the place of over sixty legacy systems, offering a real opportunity to bring the Constabulary’s use of technology into the 21st century.  Within our grasp now lies the potential to create a largely paper-free criminal justice system, along with the development of effective remote and mobile working, and a new, better approach to the capture and management of data.  Our collaboration with Northgate Public Services is therefore highly significant.

It is difficult to overstate the importance and the scale of the digital transformation that the Constabulary has embarked upon.  The introduction of the Connect system, was, in itself, the biggest single change project that we have ever undertaken.  Despite the complexity of the project, we were able to return to normal service delivery well ahead of schedule.

A more detailed assessment of the system can be found later in this report, but it is important to note that the way that operational events (crimes, incidents, reports from the public) are captured on the Connect system greatly differs from what happened before.  This means that we have been recording things in a different way since June than we had been doing before.  Very close reading of this and previous reports will show some minor inconsistencies.  The new system makes the capture and analysis of data better and offers even greater data integrity than we have had before[2].  I am determined that we should continue to use the same counting rules used by police forces in England and Wales, and in the other Crown Dependencies. It is likely that the rules will change in the near future, which I would welcome, as the current rules are unnecessarily complex.

The Isle of Man is still the safest jurisdiction in the British Isles, despite an increase in recorded crime. Our detection rate for crime is still the highest in the British Isles. The biggest threat to the safety that we all enjoy lies in the increasingly sophisticated and violent trade in Class A drugs, usually from Liverpool. The extra 200 or so offences that were recorded during the year were made up of extra drugs offences detected by the police, extra offences of violence (often directly associated with the enforcement of drugs debts), and fraud and money laundering offences, some of which can again be linked to the local drugs trade.

The efforts to combat Class A drugs needs to be seen as being a priority for the whole of our community, ranging from the government, the Constabulary and the public services through to the community itself and to individuals in it. The time has come for everyone to realise that the harm caused by Class A drugs, whether to the health of young people, or in terms of the increasing levels of violence used by drug dealers to protect their markets, is a threat to all of us. Our safety and the relaxed way in which we are able to live our lives are precious things. Organised criminals instead see our community as being fair game. We need to wake up to this.

[1] Provided by Northgate Public Services, which is owned by NEC.

[2] The IOMC adopted the Home Office crime recording standards in 2001.

Three important things

In last year’s annual report I wrote about the issues that I considered to be the most important. I discussed drugs, violence and mental health. Looking back over the 2019-20 I could reasonably have cut and pasted a big part of last year’s report into this one.

The trade in drugs remains the most significant threat to the safety of the Isle of Man. Organised criminal groups largely, but not wholly, based in Merseyside supply large amounts of Class A and Class B drugs to the Isle of Man. Small, organised groups exist here and they seek to make profits from their work. Those profits can be large: one of our operations at Douglas harbour led to the seizure of over £700,000 of cocaine, which had a 74% purity level. This would have been cut into multiple deals, bringing in well over £1m in cash. This was our largest ever seizure of cocaine and the removal of such a significant amount makes a difference, but only for a comparatively short time. After a while other criminals move to fill the gaps caused by the imprisonment of the convicted local dealer and the trade, after some disruption, continues.

As the volumes increase and as the potential profits rise, organised criminal groups seek to sell more. This is why our work on combating the importation of Class A drugs must be relentless. The harm caused by the drugs and by the people who trade in them cannot easily be overstated. Aside from the deaths caused by Class A drugs, the addiction and health problems, violence follows as a direct result of drug trafficking.

People fall into debt, either when the police seize a consignment of drugs, or when part of the drug network stops functioning as planned. Debts are often collected through violent retribution, or through “taxing” when property, such as electronic goods, are stolen from an individual. Either way, the misery and harm caused by drugs are made worse.

The rise in violent crime, which is now in its third year, is directly linked to the supply of drugs. Most of those subject of violence of this kind do not wish the police to investigate. During the year we began to receive anonymised data from the hospital’s emergency department, which supports the evidence that violent crime linked to drugs is indeed becoming a problem. The irony in all of this is, of course, that the more successful the police are in seizing drugs, the more disruption the police cause to supply networks, the more dealers we arrest,  the more incentive there is for other offenders to try to step into the breach. And so the cycle continues.

The increased violence does not affect ordinary, law-abiding people. Safety levels are still hugely high and people living here enjoy a way of life and a sense of safety that must be the envy of very many people elsewhere. Recorded crime is still only a third or so of that seen in the safest parts of the United Kingdom. It remains well below half the levels seen at the turn of the century.

The work that officers have done to try to combat drugs supply has been excellent. The drug trafficking team is spectacularly good at what it does and in the past year neighbourhood and patrol teams have played an increasingly important part in targeting drug suppliers.

How we address mental health issues in the community has continued to have great importance. Last year I wrote about the pilot scheme that involved the deployment of mental health professionals to Police Headquarters. During the year the number of professionals increased from two to three and, towards the end of the year, Treasury provided funding to place the scheme onto a permanent and more sustainable footing. The scheme makes a real difference; the professionals involved in it make a real difference to vulnerable people and, whilst demands faced by the police in terms of mental health in the community, are still high and increasing, they are now managed in a better way, so those who are in crisis and who need help the most are able to get it.

Problems caused by drugs, complex vulnerability (including mental health problems), the impact of adverse childhood experiences[1] and the terrific harm caused by matters such as domestic abuse continue to occupy much of our attention. Last year I wrote about an ambitious plan to relaunch neighbourhood policing, using extra funds provided in the 2019-20 budget to do so. Attached as Appendix A is a document, which sets out the principles we have used to do this work.

Neighbourhood policing is the most important thing we do. Everything happens somewhere and real people are involved, as victims, witnesses or suspects. Even the trafficking of Class A drugs happens in a place, involves people who live in communities and causes damage to individuals. Having trusted, approachable and knowledgeable locally based officers is critically important in keeping the Isle of Man safe.

Extra funding did not immediately translate into extra officers. It takes months from advertising to recruitment to the deployment of extra officers. As a result, the new neighbourhood teams only began to get into their stride during the third quarter of the year. Their efforts were then disrupted by the covid-19 emergency.

Our commitment to neighbourhood policing must not be seen as being a fad, or a passing phase. Harm was caused when the Constabulary’s budgets were cut in such a way that neighbourhood policing had to be reduced. High quality, effective neighbourhood policing will enhance our quality of life and help head off the threats to it caused by organised criminal groups. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly bring financial challenges, but it would be a terrific shame if the vital part played by neighbourhood policing in the wellbeing of our community were to be forgotten or overlooked.

[1] Mentioned at length in the 2018-19 version of this report

What the data says

For several years I have stressed the importance of judging the effectiveness of a police service, not just by looking at the level of recorded crime, or at the rate at which offences are detected, but by considering a wide range of quantitative and qualitative measures, including how safe the public feel. There is, though, still the temptation to focus on crime as a means of gauging the safety of the Isle of Man. Recorded crime has increased again: there were 121 more offences recorded this year than in the 2018-19 year. That said, the overall level of crime here is still far below that seen in the United Kingdom; it is still well below half the level seen here at the turn of the century and it is still below the levels seen in the other Crown Dependencies. It cannot be stressed too highly: this is still a terrifically safe place and the vast majority of people live their lives free from crime.

As was mentioned earlier, the most notable and concerning issue remains the trade in Class A drugs, which brings with it all manner of associated problems, including violence, financial crime and social and health problems. It is the link with violence that is most notable and most concerning. There were 120 more violent offences recorded during the year, 83 of which were in the lowest category of assaults – common assault. In many cases victims declined to cooperate with the police, particularly in cases where evidence and intelligence suggested that the assault arose from the victims’ involvement in the consumption or supply of drugs. There was a steep increase in serious assaults. There is little doubt that much of this increase was linked to the collection of “drugs debts” and the majority of the victims in such cases simply refused to cooperate. Where useful evidence existed, every possible effort was made to bring prosecutions, either for a substantive assault charge, or for a public order offence.

In the second half of the year collaborative work with the public health directorate and Noble’s Hospital led to the Constabulary gaining monthly access to anonymised assault data collated by the hospital’s emergency department. This is allowing a fuller picture to be developed, which in turn will allow the Constabulary and others to finalise a strategy to tackle and reduce violent crime before it becomes a chronic problem. Context is important: offences against the person (including violence) amount to only 20% of recorded crime; levels of personal safety seen here are far higher than found elsewhere in the British Isles and levels of violence are well below those found here in the 1990s.

Two other types of crime rose during the year: financial crime rose by 49% and drugs offences continued their apparently inexorable increase. The rises in the violence, fraud and drugs offences were largely offset by a steep reduction in criminal damage (down by over 19%) and burglary, particularly domestic burglary.

The composition of crime is interesting: theft and kindred offences account for almost a quarter of recorded crime, and around three-fifths of offences are composed of assaults, drugs offences and criminal damage. Until comparatively recently damage accounted for a third of offences. Perhaps the most significant change concerns drugs offences: two years ago around 13% of recorded crime was made up of drug trafficking or drugs possession offences, whereas that figure is now 19%. There is no doubt that drugs are more freely available than before, but it is also clear that successful police activity is a major factor in the increase.

The overall increase in recorded crime was 4.9%, whilst the detection rate was 49% (the same as two years ago, but down 2% on the year before). The detection rate remains the highest in the British Isles. Work has commenced to develop greater sophistication in terms of how the detection data is analysed and developed. This will lead to a change in next year’s report.

The apparently sudden growth in fraud offences requires some explanation. In last year’s report there was mention of the changes brought by the new Fraud Act. While this continues to account for some of the increase, three other important factors have contributed to the increase: (a) Cybercrime: more people are being defrauded by telephone callers or criminals who use the internet; (b) Action Fraud: where the offender is from outside the Isle of Man many victims will call the UK-based action Fraud to register a complaint. During the year we gained access for the first time to Action Fraud’s data, allowing us to see the extent to which local people had fallen victim; and (c) work with high street banks led to the creation of what is termed the “banking protocol”, where customer service and payments staff in banks have been trained to spot people who are at risk of being defrauded. Examples might include elderly or vulnerable people asking to withdraw significant amounts of cash or where such people attempt to transfer large sums of money to suspect accounts in other places. When such things happen, the bank will contact the police and local officers will visit the person concerned to offer advice. The “banking protocol” revealed a considerable number of people, who had fallen victim to criminals, some of whom had paid away substantial sums of money, but it also helped officers prevent people from falling victim just as they were about to part with their money.

Recorded sexual offences rose during the year, returning to levels seen two years ago. The movement was not significant and, while the numbers are actually fairly low, there remains the issue that under-reporting is likely to be a problem. Sadly progress to create a sexual assault referral centre, upon which I have commented in previous years, remains slow. Until such time as there is a properly functioning facility here, we will struggle to ascertain anything like the true level of offending and victims will still receive a less than optimal service.

The geographical spread of crime is detailed in the report. Despite changes in how people socialise and how they shop, central Douglas remains the hotspot for offending, followed by the Victoria North ward, which includes the “drives” area of the capital, and to a lesser degree Ramsey.

The report contains some comparative data. One chart, on page 23, is interesting. It sets out the crime severity rate for the Island, for England and Wales, and for Dyfed-Powys (the safest police force area there). Using a tool from the Office for National Statistics, it shows that the severity level of crime here has increased, but that it still stands at below a third of the level seen in England and Wales, and well below half of the level in Dyfed-Powys.

Road traffic collisions fell by 10%. For many years the normal range was between 900 and 1000 collisions a year. There were 706 recorded last year and, while the fact that traffic levels reduced during the second half of March because of covid-19 restrictions and government advice, the biggest contributory factors were quiet TT and Festival of Motorcycling / Manx Grand Prix periods caused by unusually poor weather. However, a lot of work was done to convert the Island’s road safety strategy into a comprehensive programme of work, which will bring long-term, sustainable reductions in collisions. At the risk of straying into matters of policy, it would be remiss of me not to explain that the Island’s approach to the speed of vehicles, to the setting of speed limits and the enforcement of the law are the most significant factors in securing safety improvements.

For the first time the report contains a map to show where collisions occur by number and severity. Aside from the volume of collisions that can be seen in and around the capital, perhaps the most noteworthy features are the number and severity of crashes on the Snaefell Mountain Road and the level of serious collisions on the Sloc. High levels of enforcement around the TT course during the 2019 TT period led to some visiting riders trying use the Sloc to ride dangerously fast. Social media users tried to warn others of where the police were and this caused people to gravitate south. Sadly, two riders lost their lives there. The data speaks for itself: derestricted roads largely see more serious collisions than other roads.

Data concerning our approach to young people can be found from page 30 onwards. It is instructive and perhaps gives the lie to a feeling in some quarters that we take a wholly draconian approach to offending by young people. The collapse of the youth justice team has allowed the Constabulary to redesign its approach to this issue and it is our intention to use restorative measures that stop the criminalisation of young people. Whilst offending levels by young people rose ever so slightly during the year, the increase was below that seen in the last three or so years. Contrary to some perceptions, of the 187 young people referred to our early action team only 11 were looked after children. The 187 committed 388 of the 2609 offences that were recorded during the year.

In the past I have mentioned the impact of adverse childhood experiences. It is clear that the small number of recidivist young offenders have been affected by experiences such as parental neglect, domestic abuse, and drugs and alcohol misuse.

There are some worrying aspects to our youth offending data. Three-quarters of assaults against police officers were committed by young people. Half of all thefts by young people were of alcohol.

As will be seen, the report contains a considerable amount of data. I hope that the public find this to be useful. I will not offer a commentary on all of the data, but confine my comments to the most notable aspects of it.

 The number of arrests was broadly on a par with 2018-19; the number of detentions that lasted beyond 24 hours fell from 27 to just 7 and the number of juveniles detained in police custody (aged below 18) fell by 6%. I am obliged by law to detail any cases where intimate examinations were carried out on anyone detained in custody. No such examinations took place.

The number of prosecutions undertaken on behalf of the Constabulary fell slightly (-4.7%). For the first time the report contains what is termed the “success rate” of prosecutions. The sophistication of the data will improve as time goes on and the slow-down of court activity that began in the fourth quarter because of covid-19 has affected the accuracy of the final figures. That said, the breakdown of this type of data for the first time is interesting. One thing is of concern: the number of people prosecuted for offences relating to the possession of offensive weapons has doubled in two years. This is only partly because of police activity in terms of stop searches, instead it simply shows that some people are developing an inclination to arm themselves. The number of prosecutions for road traffic offences fell by over a fifth. This was largely due to the subdued nature of the TT and festival of Motorcycling / Manx Grand Prix periods.

Demand – when measured by calls from the public to the emergency services joint control room – rose slightly during the year, but calls relating to mental health matters continued its steady and apparently relentless increase. The terrific efforts of the three mental health professionals, who work with our patrol and neighbourhood teams, have ensured both that the time that police officers spend on mental health matters has reduced and that access to mental health services for those in crisis has become easier and better.

A detailed breakdown can be found of drugs seizures. Around £1m worth of drugs were seized and, worryingly, we made our first seizures of crack cocaine for several years. Cannabis remains the most popular of controlled substances.

Details can be found of the level of gun ownership on the Island and I welcome the tentative steps that are being taken towards modernising firearms legislation. Figures also show the number of times that armed officers were deployed. There is a link between a rise in the level of such deployments, increases in mental health problems in the community and a greater propensity for some people to carry weapons. As will be seen, the safe use of taser is a key component of our response to such issues.

The inexorable increase in the demands faced by the Constabulary’s hi-tech crime unit continues. I won’t rehearse all aspects of this issue, but offending through technology, offending where technology is involved and offending where evidence exists on devices continues to put a strain on a small, professional team.

The level of complaints against officers remains very low. There were six formal complaints during the year, two from the previous year were concluded and the number of low-level “dissatisfied customer” matters was lower than in the last few years.

A table can be found on the Policing Plan to show the progress that was made towards meeting the targets set in the annual Policing Plan, which is a requirement of the Police Act 1993.

Economic and cyber crime

For almost all of the year the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) was at its full operating strength. It comprises a mix of police officers, civilian investigators and support staff. It has its own lawyer, on secondment from HM Attorney General’s Chambers, and access to specialist accounting and analytical support. I am committed to keeping the unit as fully staffed as possible in order to help demonstrate the commitment that the Constabulary has to meeting its international obligations.

Plenty of work took place during the year to meet the continuing rigours of the Moneyval assessment process. The excellent efforts of an array of public servants brought further successes as the Isle of Man moved away from enhanced follow-up procedures. Work also began to prepare for the next, interim assessment.

Demand levels within the ECU remain high. The unit continues to deal with several lengthy, complex and challenging investigations that would stretch a far larger police service. These investigations require careful handling, involving as they do large sums of money and activity spread across several different jurisdictions. Demonstrating a successful approach will be key to meeting further international scrutiny.

During the year the Financial Intelligence Unit, a statutory body with responsibility for gathering, developing and disseminating intelligence concerning financial crime, money laundering and the financing of terrorism continued to develop. Broadly successful efforts were made to improve yet further the quality of intelligence products sent by the unit to the ECU. The relationship between the ECU and the Financial Intelligence Unit is of great importance, as is its link with the asset recovery team, which forms part of HM Attorney General’s Chambers. Taking the profit out of crime is the right thing to try to do. There needs to be a proper balance between work to meet our international obligations, with efforts to get to grips with the financial of the local drugs market. The year saw some progress being made, but there is much to do.

Many of the victims of financial crime are defrauded because of online activity, or activity that involves callers from outside the island. Mention has been made of Action Fraud and also of the new banking protocol. The greatest challenge, perhaps, is to raise awareness of the threats that this type of crime poses. In reality, preventing cyber-crime is far easier than detecting it. The year ahead will see some extra investment and structural changes to help improve how we do this. The threats are real, agile and fast changing. It is not just vulnerable people, who fall victim. Businesses can be conned out of funds because of online fraud; professional people can be taken in by sophisticated, organised criminal groups. There is much to be done.

Organisational issues

The two most significant matters that are worthy of comment are the Connect computer system, which I have already touched upon, and the Constabulary’s finances.

In a report from several years ago I made critical comment about the Constabulary’s use of information technology. I drew a negative comparison between how police officers used technology in their private lives and how, effectively, they had to leave technology at the door when they came to work. Two years ago I included in my report the Constabulary’s digital strategy to show the scale of the ambition that we have to transform how we do our business. Delivery of the strategy relies to a considerable degree on financial support from the Treasury and technical support from the Cabinet Office. During the year both were in amply supply. Funding allowed delivery of the core Connect system and technical support was plentiful and effective.

The delivery of Connect was – effectively – a complex change programme, with business processes, operational methods, investigative techniques and the management of crime all needing to change. A team of ICT specialists was supplemented by a group of serving and former police officers, who provided expertise and leadership to enable the system to be introduced. An extensive training regime was put in place and a comprehensive support package was established to ensure that the early days of the use of the new system were as smooth as possible. It was envisaged that a return to business as usual (in other words when administrative and investigative functions were as efficient and effective as possible) would take around six months. The system went live in June 2019 and, to all intents and purposes, business as usual was reached in September. This was a great achievement.

The system has many benefits, both real and potential. Aside from the simple reality of having one system instead of over sixty legacy systems, the flow of information through the Constabulary has been greatly improved. This was seen in a rapid and significant increase in actionable criminal intelligence that occurred in the first three months of operation of the system. Perhaps the greatest benefits of the system are yet to come: the electronic transmission of files to prosecutors, the creation of an almost paperless criminal justice system, remote and flexible access to the system by operational officers, and the potential for the public to upload material such as dashcam footage are just some of the exciting and transformative changes that lie within our grasp. Continued funding of the digital strategy is key to realising these benefits.

The 2019-20 year began with Tynwald voting a sizeable increase in the Constabulary’s budget. Much of the funding was to allow the recruitment of police officers to reenergise neighbourhood policing, to increase the number of officers dealing with drugs, sexual offences and road safety, but some also given to further technological development, particularly in terms of the combating of financial crime, and training. The increase was welcome and timely. I was greatly encouraged by the support offered to the Constabulary by the Treasury minister and his colleagues.

Gaining extra funding and turning the money into police officers on the ground isn’t at all simple. In broad terms it takes ten months from advertising for officers to them becoming deployable. This simply meant that the extra funding did not translate into additional officers on the streets until close to the end of the 2019-20 year. We also encountered difficulties in recruiting the right calibre of new officer. Full employment provided a challenge and we had to resist the temptation simply to recruit experienced officers from the United Kingdom. As the 2020-21 year started our efforts had finally resulted in all posts being filled.

Delays in recruitment – as well as some excellent financial management – ensured that the Constabulary underspent its 2091-20 budget. The environment was a challenging one, though: increased forensic costs, high training fees, technical problems that delayed the implementation of the Connect system, and high levels of expenditure on financial crime cases had all to be confronted. What is clear, though is that the Constabulary’s approach to financial management is excellent. Our budget has no fat within it and we can offer an example to others about a zero-based approach to budgets.

Progress continued during the year towards further modernisation of the management of police pensions. Further excellent work was undertaken to tighten access to ill-health pensions and the Police Federation board played an important and welcome part in this work. The maturity and depth of its collective thinking helped make realistic change possible. The Federation board and its members were badly hurt by the imprisonment of the former chair of the board for stealing a substantial amount of its financial reserves. His imprisonment brought to a close a sad episode. What hasn’t been properly made public is the hard work and dedication of a team of detectives, who relentless pursued him and his criminality. They deserve as much as praise as he deserves utter condemnation.

Comprehensive sickness absence data is included in the report. This data takes a different format than in previous years because of the introduction of a new system by the Office of Human Resources. The reports that are included are just four from a wide range of charts, which form a key part of our analysis of absence. The data shows generally high or very high levels of attendance. A significant amount of the overall absence was caused by a small number of officers and support staff, which were away from the workplace for lengthy periods. More than half the absence was because of psychological and mental health reasons. Policing is stressful and it takes a toll on those involved.

Included within the report are some charts showing the contribution that Special Constables made during the year. There is something quite humbling about the very idea that ordinary members of the public give up their time to work as operational police officers. We are blessed with excellent, dedicated Special Constables whose efforts at keeping the people of the Isle of Man safe are truly commendable. Their work is not confined to patrol or neighbourhood policing. They serve in our alcohol unit, in our multi agency public protection unit, in the roads policing unit, with our cybercrime specialists and we are even working towards having Special Constables who work with detectives.

Of course, highlighting the efforts of Special Constables is important, but so is the need to recognise the efforts of everyone who makes the Constabulary what it is. Included in the report is a list of officers and members of support staff, who were recognised during the year for either the excellence of their work, their courage or for their long and dedicated public service. This is a progressive, agile, caring police service, composed of committed and hardworking public servants, and it is a unique privilege to lead them.

I want to make some mention of the partnership working that the Constabulary undertook during the year. In our efforts to reduce crime and, in particular reoffending, we have continued to develop a useful and positive relationship with the Isle of Man Prison and Probation service. In other fields our collaborative working with the mental health service continued on its excellent course, as did our work with adult social services. During the year we began what looks like being a fruitful and important relationship with the public health directorate, as together we explore adverse childhood experiences, substance misuse and domestic abuse. I made mention earlier about the start of data sharing with the emergency department of Noble’s Hospital. The threats to public safety are manifold and collaboration and cooperation are essential in trying to mitigate them.

We have also built strong and enduring partnerships outside the Isle of Man, which have allowed us to create a network of support. In the last year our links with the National Police Chiefs Council have strengthened considerably due to terrific personal leadership of its head, Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, who has gone out of his way to give small police services a voice, involving us at every level in the development of British policing. His efforts on our behalf led to the development of better than ever links with the National Police Coordination Centre, allowing us easy access to support and advice. Additionally, our relationship with the College of Policing, which hasn’t always been positive, improved considerably during the year thanks to the personal support of its chief executive, Chief Constable Mike Cunningham.

In many ways the most important off island partnership we have is with the members of the Small Island Forum (the Royal Gibraltar Police, Guernsey law enforcement and the States of Jersey police). I chaired the forum for the 2019-20 year, which saw the chiefs of the other three services all changing. Together we have developed a strong and collective voice in British policing and a resilient and effective support network.

The future

It has become difficult to predict the future. Until the COVID-19 pandemic the IOMC was working towards meeting the targets contained within its ambitious strategic plan[1]. We were confident that our objective assessments of offending, offending patterns and, in particular, the drugs market allowed us to focus our resources in a way that addressed issues such as drugs supply, violence, domestic abuse and offending by young people. The pandemic will no doubt change all of these things. The world will be very different, not just in terms of public health, but also in terms of how people live their lives, how organised criminals change their offending and how the threats to vulnerable people will alter.

[1] Attached as Appendix B

Charts and tables >>