City of London Police Commissioner Angela McLaren was among the speakers at the recent City of London Crime Prevention Association (CoLCPA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) with speeches on the importance of partnership and collaboration in policing and community safety.

Hosted at Vintners’ Hall in the City of London, the CoLCPA AGM was opened by Chairman Don Randall MBE. He highlighted how the CoLCPA is celebrating 20 years supporting crime prevention and this year’s focus: Violence against Women and Girls. He briefly spotlighted other partnership initiatives where CoLCPA has significant involvement, including the City Security Council (CSC)Cross-sector Security and Safety Communications (CSSC), Safer City Partnership, London Resilience and, of course, City Security magazine.

Commissioner Angela McLaren spoke about their unique role in British Policing: “We police the Square Mile, but more than that, we are the National Lead Force for fraud in England and Wales. We lead on the Economic Crime and Cyber Crime Portfolio and are also NPCC lead for business crime and as part of that responsibility we run the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC).

She highlighted how the City of London Police has supported national events in the past year, including Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, followed by the sombre events of Her Majesty’s funeral and successive events across the City for the proclamation and Coronation of King Charles III.
Commissioner McLaren shared her views on her approach to policing: “Professionalism, integrity and treating people with compassion, both inside and outside the organisation, is how I expect the force to operate.”

She went on to say that: “Police culture clearly remains topical. In simple terms, one where everyone feels part of it. A modern, engaging, professional, people-centred organisation – where people feel valued and give the best possible service to the public we serve.”

She also outlined some key City of London Police projects:

Police Race Action Plan – aimed at improving outcomes for black people working within or interacting with policing.

Violence against women and girls – remains at the forefront of policing locally and nationally.

Safer City Program – delivering state of the art CCTV infrastructure to improve security, detect crime and keep people safe.

Protect Duty – the NBCC is at the forefront of discussions with the Home Office around coordinating of police/private security liaison and the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.

New Fraud Strategy – working with the Home Office, this sets out additional resources, introduces a National Fraud Squad and promises the new fraud and cyber reporting and analysis service to replace Action Fraud.

Richard Riley, the Director of the City of London Police Authority, spoke about the role of crime prevention and community safety in the new Corporate Plan to cover 2025–30: “Ensuring that people are safe and feel safe is already a key component of the Corporation’s stated priority of building a flourishing society.  It contributes to the priority of shaping outstanding environments, and is a pre-requisite of supporting a thriving economy.  Our prosperity and security are mutually reinforcing.”

He also said: “The Police Authority team are clear of the need to collaborate and build effective relationships – inside the Corporation and outside, including with the community represented here – since that is the route to delivering on the objective of ensuring that people living in, working in and visiting this wonderful City are safe and feel safe.“

James Thomson, Chair of the City of London Police Authority and Patron of the City of London Crime Prevention Association, commended the CoLCPA for celebrating its milestone 20th anniversary and for the excellent work it does bringing together partners in the Square Mile to tackle crime and  ensure that it remains safe.

He highlighted the City Police’s priorities – all underpinning the ambition for the City to remain the safest business district in the world and to continue to be the lead in tackling fraud and cyber.

He also highlighted the work of the last 18 months of the Police Authority team campaigning for the inclusion of fraud in the Online Safety Bill and the failure to prevent fraud offence in the Economic Crime and Transparency Bill.

He noted the significant increase in police numbers as part of the Government’s uplift programme. He also noted the long-awaited renewal of the City Police’s accommodation with a new police headquarters; a new Courts Building for fraud and cyber; a new eastern base at Middlesex Street – subject to planning; and a new drive-on firearms range at Dagenham Dock.