AS I reflect on 2019, it’s safe to say it was another busy year for policing.

Here in Wiltshire, we continued to see demand on our police service grow with the complexities facing modern day policing more prominent than ever.

We saw a number of significant, high profile convictions during the year relating to drugs offences, child sexual abuse, digital investigations and, tragically, even murder. I cannot stress enough how much work goes into securing these convictions by my officers and staff. I am in awe of the hard work, dedication and determination continually shown around the Force and feel immensely proud of what we achieved last year.

I am disappointed to say that the number of assaults on officers did not dissipate, with officers still experiencing violence whilst carrying out their duties. I will continue to work with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure tougher sentences for offenders. Assaulting a police officer who is simply doing their job is categorically not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

Looking forward, I have no doubt that 2020 will be another challenging year but am hopeful it will also be a year full of great opportunities too.

The year has already started in excellent fashion, with two of our officers named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. I am extremely proud that Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills and Superintendent Dave Minty have been recognised for their exemplary leadership during the 2018 Novichock poisoning in Salisbury.

This year will also encompass some significant changes. PCC Angus Macpherson will retire in May, after eight years in post. We will welcome a new PCC, and I look forward to seeing what this new individual will bring to the role. Like many organisations we will also continue to prepare for Brexit and what changes and policing challenges this may bring.

We will continue to improve our Community Policing model, ensuring it evolves and meets the needs of the communities we serve, and we will continue to strive for a diverse workforce that is truly representative of the community we serve.

Some things however, won’t change. We will continue to do all we can to protect the public and support the most vulnerable in our society. We will continue to bring those who commit the most harm to justice, removing them from our streets.

I am hugely proud of the all officers, staff and volunteers working across Wiltshire Police and would like to thank them all for their support throughout 2019. I look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring.