Police response to critical incidents discussed at Wiltshire IAGs meeting

By Jessica Durston - 23 November 2022

Community

Issues of community concern, such as knife crime and hate incidents, were among the issues discussed by members from Wiltshire Police’s seven Independent Advisory Groups.

The group, which represents a broad range of interested parties, met at the Force’s Headquarters in Devizes earlier this month.

During the session led by Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills, Wiltshire Police presented a background to the existence and importance of IAGs following the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the subsequent MacPherson Report. 

IAG members are said to play a key role linking the force and communities in Wiltshire - acting as a critical friend and helping to shape force policy. 

Each local IAG meets several times a year, with leads from each of those IAGs meeting with senior leaders in the force every quarter to scrutinise the force’s performance and hold leaders to account.

Members were given a presentation on what constitutes a Critical Incident, the function of a police Gold Group and what their role as an IAG member is within this context.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Walker spoke to the group about his role as a Senior Investigation Officer for the Major Crime Investigation Team. 

Clare Mills, Head of Corporate Communications, Inspector Tom Ellerby from Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Sgt Steve Edwards also supported on the day.

The second and largest part of the session saw the IAGs split into four groups where they were led through six stages of hypothetical, critical incidents in Wiltshire such as a hate crime and murder. 

At each stage, as the situation developed, the group were asked questions and asked for their advice to the force to support operational decision making.

Inspector Tom Ellerby said: “Our Independent Advisory Groups are so important to us in the police because we need to listen and be held to account to build public trust.

“IAGs are made up of ordinary members of the public. Their main role is to act as a 'critical friend' to the police.  Unlike other, more formal, advisory groups IAGs don’t offer expert advice, but exist simply to understand the viewpoints of its members.

“It’s so important we hold a strong partnership with our local communities and work together closely to ensure we serve and protect.”

Individuals can find out more about IAGs at: Independent Advisory Groups | Wiltshire Police

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