Bedfordshire Police Headquarters

Bridgebury House, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire, MK43 9AX

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Office of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

PCC and Chief Constable Accountability Meetings

As part of the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) statutory oversight and scrutiny function of policing in Bedfordshire, he holds weekly meetings with the Chief Constable. This allows the PCC to be provided with updates on force activity, to raise matters that have been raised with him by residents, and to liaise on key areas of policing (local, regional and national).

The updates and recordings can be found below.  Please note that these reports do not cover all matters discussed due to operational and commercial sensitivities.

Blog Posts


(28 August 2023)

Each week, the Commissioner has a one to one with Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst to get an update on force activity, raise matters that have been raised with me by residents, and liaise on key areas of policing (local, regional and national). The Chief and PCC operate a ‘No surprises’ policy. With their permission, here are some of the things discussed:

  • Data on compliance rate of new Redaction Tool software with Crown Prosecution Service requirements and impact this is having on charge rates.
  • Recruitment of staff into Emerald and Missing Persons Team.
  • Changes made to make transfer of staff between Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire collaboration more seamless.
  • Vacancy rates within community police teams and other units within the force where greatest pressures are being experienced at present. 
  • Impact on call handling times of officers being deployed into Force Control Room over the summer. 
  • Wider knock-on impact of the above and deployment into Student Hub on other policing functions.
  • Focus on retention levels. Current data shows 9.9% attrition level against nearly 11% a year ago. Last six months tracking below projection and this looks likely to remain the case. So very positive news. Bedfordshire Police retention figures are going up, while national trend is not, but joint focus on staff retention is intensifying as recruitment is expected to slow down compared to last three years where record number of officers were recruited. 
  • Commitment to maintaining uplift numbers and how force plans to exceed this. Commissioner expects another record number of officers to be in place by end of 2023/24 financial year. 
  • Commissioner received update on all misconduct hearings coming up. Commissioner enquired about the duration of Misconduct Hearing outcomes being published on force website and why it is not for longer. Chief confirmed the duration is as determined by National Police Chiefs’ Council.
  • The Commissioner asked the Chief Constable to look into the way the force informs residents how to provide digital evidence as part of crime reporting.
  • Progress update on the identified areas of improvement from most recent HMICFRS report.

Commissioner Akinbusoye held his weekly catch-up with Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst to get an update on force activities, performance, highlight issues and jointly address public concerns.

Among their discussions include:

  • Pay award for Bedfordshire Police staff.
  • Force finances, budgetary risks and demand areas for next budget cycle.
  • Call response times and Force Control Room performance. Report on significant improvement following operational changes to be reflected in October figures.
  • Community policing numbers and what is being done to address any vacancies.
  • Deployment of officers in Student Hub and report on some of their successes.
  • Improving picture on force retention rate compared to two years ago.
  • Decision on sale of Greyfriars.
  • Update on some crime investigations, arrests made and efforts to mitigate wider impact on communities.
  • Government funding of maintaining three-year police uplift numbers and plans to deliver this.

As part of the PCC’s holding to account of the Chief Constable, Commissioner Akinbusoye also met with Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst. He was provided with updates on stabbing investigations, performance of force control room, Bedfordshire’s Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (SARC) inspection by Care Quality Commission, Community Policing, police misconduct hearings and overall risk planning.

Each week, the Commissioner has a one to one with Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst to get an update on force activity, raise matters that have been raised with me by residents, and liaise on key areas of policing (local, regional and national).

The Chief and PCC operate a ‘No surprises’ policy. Every six weeks the meeting is recorded and uploaded onto the website. This meeting has been added to the website:

Here are some of the questions asked and discussed within this meeting:


What is Bedfordshire Police doing to encourage, support and retain young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) or other neurodiverse attributes who want to become a Police Cadet? How is the force supporting staff/officers with similar attributes as well?


Provide an overall view of crime and force performance in Bedfordshire. Is crime going down? Which area of crime are we seeing falls and in which are we seeing an increase?


How is the force making best use of cutting edge technology in fighting crime and are there any success stories the Chief Constable can share? What challenges does he see moving forward with this?


I am informed of the anti-social and dangerous use of vehicles on stretches of the new A5 near Lidl in Houghton Regis/Chiltern. Same for the A6 near Wixams village. I have heard of roads being blocked off by ‘racers’. These have been reported by residents but they say that nothing is being done about this when they call Bedfordshire Police. Why are illegal car meets/racing being allowed on our roads? A Member of Parliament has also written asking for information on the force’s strategy in dealing with e-scooters. What is the Chief’s response to this?


A Councillor mentioned stated, during a public meeting, that there appears to be a disparity in crime solve rate in the three local authorities in Bedfordshire, with CBC having the lowest. Please explain if this is the case and what is being done to improve this disparity.


Please provide a breakdown of how the money from speeding fines (CTC) is spent?


I have had several car thefts or theft from motor vehicles reported by residents. When reported to Bedfordshire Police, residents tell me all they are given is a crime reference number. What is the force doing to address theft of and from motor vehicles in Bedfordshire?


What are your views on Bedfordshire Police officers wearing the Thin Blue Line badge?


Answers to these questions can be found in the recordings section of this page.

Each week, the Commissioner has a one to one with Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst to get an update on force activity, raise matters that have been raised with me by residents, and liaise on key areas of policing (local, regional and national). The Chief and PCC operate a ‘No surprises’ policy. With their permission, here are some of the things discussed today:

  • Digital Asset Management System is now live as of 11 July 2023. This allows for a much more seamless, cloud based uploading of digital footage, pictures etc as part of crime reporting and evidence gathering to aid investigations.
  • Redaction tool uptake has been immense by officers. An officer put an 800 page document through the software. The software did redaction in under one hour. It would have taken two days otherwise, adding extra delays to the crime charging process and getting justice for victims. The Chief stated that a productivity review will be carried out in due course to assess impact of this new investment.
  • 18 PCs and 8 staff officers being trained in Force Control Room  to help deal with sharp increase in demand. (PCs role is a short term measure) over a three month period.
  • The increase in the amount of mental health related police callouts has been raised several times, including in a letter from PCC to Chief Executive Officer of local NHS. The Chief Constable gave the following update on work to implement ‘Right Care Right Person’ in Bedfordshire which includes NHS and Local Authorities. A four-phase delivery has now started with focus on data gathering.
  • Health calls for service and concern for welfare (started now)
  • AWOL and leaving care unexpectedly (commencing Nov. 2023)
  • s136 as voluntary mental health cases (commencing Jan. 2024)
  • Transportation and commuting of vulnerable people. (April 2024)
  • Reviews in August 2024. Collection of data using Humberside as template. In 2021, 53,000 hours of police time was spent on mental health related calls, equivalent to 25 full time police officer duties per year. Average wait time to handover a MH patient was three hours. Resolving this will help free up police to do patrol our streets, cut crime and better provide the right support to vulnerable residents.
  • op Rowan. In 10 Areas of the county. This has now increased to 14 areas. Lower Area Super Output (accounts for 20% of Serious Youth Violence) are the focus areas for these targeted patrols, so evidence based. Over 10,000 hours of patrols carried out so far.
  • D) enquiry office:
  • Priorty Based Budgeting carried out in 2014 to determine how well each enquiry desk service was being used relative to cost and outcomes. Lime Street and Dunstable had footfall of 2 people a day. The cost of employing staff there as well as cost of running the building was unjustifiable in terms of tax payers’ investment.
  • Decision made to focus on Luton and Kempston with opening times 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday. Yellow boxes available at police buildings for member of the public to use. Strict guidelines now apply from College of Policing re: what lost and found items police forces can accept.
  • A resident appears to have confused police uplift numbers with community officer numbers. Net annual increase of officers was 54 (2020/21), 53 (21/22), 72 (23/24) NOT community policing numbers. This is in public domain as part of minuted meeting of Delivery Board from September 2021. It is accurate that force now has the highest, dedicated number of officers budgeted for community policing. Abstractions are minimal unless in exceptional circumstances.
  • The Chief Constable agreed to check on how FCR staff respond to cases where no deployable officer is available to attend job. How is this message communicated to caller? How can this be improved?
  • Rural Crime police officers provide input during training of new officers. Chief was keen to encourage partnership with farmers to improve security, especially of livestock and farm equipment. Rural Crime Conference coming up later in the year.
  • Discussion around forward planning for 2024/25 budget. FCR now getting about 600 calls a day, compared to 390 a few years ago. Budget next year to consider this.
  • Attrition 5% to 10% is equivalent to 140 deployable officers over two years.  Attrition for new recruits fallen from circa 11% to 8% but more work is being done to improve this through a well resourced Student Hub.

Each week, the Commissioner has a one to one with Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst to get an update on force activity, raise matters that have been raised with me by residents, and liaise on key areas of policing (local, regional and national). 

The Chief and PCC operate a ‘No surprises’ policy.

With their permission, here are some of the things discussed today:

  • Bedfordshire Police now first in country to implement innovative Case file redaction software which is now live. Redaction is required for Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) files. This is an extremely time consuming process for officers. This new technology does this automatically saving hours of work for the officers.
  • A recent trial of a 70 page document took an officer 45 minutes to redact. The new software did it in four minutes with accuracy levels acceptable to CPS! This is now being used by detectives. There will be a review of the impact in a few months.
  • There are a number of Tech solutions now being implemented in Bedfordshire Police (since April 2022)


– Public Access Terminals (latest instalment in University of Bedfordshire, Luton Campus)

– Web chat in Force Control Room 

– Redaction tool for Detective


  • Expected Tech solutions in 2023/24


– Digital Asset Management System (allows public to seamlessly upload digital footage and images remotely and securely for the police as evidence)

– Customer Portal (this will make it possible for the first time for victims of crime to track the crime they reported, provide updates, be updated on the crime by simply logging in securely to a portal. Option for SMS and email updates)

– Update to Athena platform in January 2024

  • Update on suspected murder in Bedford, ongoing work to prevent high harm crimes, and to get charging decisions for offenders.
  • Report on another county lines network taken down in Bedfordshire.
  • Ongoing concerns about cannabis cultivation in residential dwellings. The PCC received an update on Police activity to dismantle operations, local and regional implications.
  • The Chief Constable agreed to provide high level data on prevalence of cannabis factories in the force area.
  • Discussions were had on the Enquiry Office and the Force Policy on front desk provision. Chief Constable to provide data and rationale for closure or timings of front desk at police stations.
  • Update on contact and support for officers who get injured while on duty. Convalescence provision is available. How is the force ensuring that all in incidents of assault on or injuries of police officers are reported? Reassured by Chief of priority being given to this support system. Asked to urgently inform him of any case where this duty of care is not taking place.
  • Concerns raised by Chief as to Courts and CPS not always viewing police Body Worn Video (BWV), when considering cases of assault on police officers. PCC agreed to raise this with relevant partners.
  • Op. Rowan is force response to Antisocial behaviour. Several areas across the county are included in this targeted operation. Chief Constable to provide PCC with details of areas where Op. Rowan is active, in line with ASB Awareness Week.
  • Briefing on force policy re: seized property. Backlog now almost zero. Concerns raised by members of the public on how long it is taking to have seized items returned and need for better communication.
  • Discussions were had on what more can we do to better identify at risk young people or individuals who come into custody that have younger siblings from a prevention point of view. 


The OPCC will continue to publish this information in line with Priority 6 – Transparency and Communication.

Each week, I have a one to one with Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst to get an update on force activity, raise matters that have been raised with me by residents, and liaise on key areas of policing (local, regional and national). The Chief and I operate a ‘No surprises’ policy. With his permission, here are some of the things discussed today:
  • Update on nationwide technical issues with 999 line on Sunday 26 June. Systems back up and working fully now. I asked if there are reports of any major incidents that may have been missed during the service disruption. None reported as contingencies appear to have helped mitigate risks.
  • Bossard House Police Hub (Leighton Buzzard). Discussion on full move by Community Police team from Fire Station to new police hub and timeline.
  • Ongoing effort to reduce the amount of ‘non police’ police jobs and freeing up capacity to attend other jobs. Chief reported on the working group, receipt of a copy of my letter to Chief Executive of Integrated Care Board (ICB) and that he will be getting an update from the working group.
  • BCH (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire) Strategic Alliance Summit coming up on 29 June. Went over agenda and topical points.
  • Update on Bedfordshire Police teams in critical status due to various reasons and what is being done to manage risk, ensure service levels and protect victims.
  • Sale of Greyfriars. Confirmation that is now on Rightmove and offers being received. The station was closed nearly seven years ago. Proceeds from sale to go into the Capital Receipt budget.
  • Discussion ahead of 2024/25 budget planning, risk forecast and demand pressures.
  • Update on neighbourhood crime, homicide, rape, and burglaries.
  • Force activities such warrants and enforcements carried out in Leighton Buzzard and Luton.
  • Update on homicide investigation in Luton. Second suspect has now been arrested and in custody.
During my recent one-to-one with Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst, we touched on a few subjects, some of which were from questions sent to me by residents.
Among the areas covered included:
1) Number of police and PCSOs available for Sandy. How does force decide deployments of police resources. Is this based on population size, crime demand levels or combination of both?
2) Update on community police teams, current vacancies and what the teams are tasked with doing?
3) Details on force performance on domestic burglaries in light of public statements by Bedfordshire PCC and now former Mayor of Bedford. Who is right among the two?
4) Update on Force Control Room performance, especially call wait times for 101 and 999. What impact is the new AWS technology having performance? When will the transcript copy of chats and multi-jobs issue be resolved?
5) What plans are in place to accurately measure public confidence? What does the force do with the data?
6) Shopkeepers and businesses have raised concerns about Bedfordshire Police response to business crime. They have CCTV, they know who the individuals are. I am informed police do not call back, and often, nothing happens about their reports. The issue of post incident/reporting contact is a regular complaint. What can the force do to address the concerns of local retailers, especially when they have taken all sensible security measures such as CCTV, alarm systems, tagging products etc?
7) Can the Chief Constable please explain why so few crimes are solved and what can be done to improve these? Recent meetings with residents identified fears about reporting crimes or giving evidence to a crime they witnessed. What advice can the Chief Constable give to residents about how to safely assist an investigation, report a crime and what support is there for such people during an investigation?
You can watch the recording from 25 April 2023 to find out more about the discussions between PCC Festus Akinbusoye and Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst.
  • Casey Review and implications in Bedfordshire. Update on Chief Constable’s strategy for making Bedfordshire Police a truly inclusive environment for all officers and staff. Ongoing work to build strong links with all of our communities.
  • Discussion on what CC is doing to improve crime solve rates, communication with victims, explanation of No Further Action (NFA) decisions by Bedfordshire Police.
  • Update on community policing numbers, vacancy rates and plans to bring community teams up to agreed establishment levels.
  • I received reassurance from the CC that, as agreed, there are no plans to cut the number of PCSOs and Police Officers in Bedfordshire.
  • Update on newly established Student Hub, early learnings and observations re: challenges presented by new unit.
  • Update on retention. Historical average has been 11 per month. February and March have been 5 and 7 leavers respectively. Early days yet. I have asked for another update in autumn for a clearer picture.
  • Recruitment target looking very positive. Record high of 1,453. Target of 1,456 remains aim by March 2023. We might exceed this based on the current pipeline.
  • The number of Special Constables remain stable at approximately 85, but plans to recruit 40 new Special Constables has been set.
  •  In a 24hr period last week, officers attended seven high risk, mental health jobs where there was a threat to life. Sadly, one died from suicide. No ambulance or NHS attendance reported initially. Some included police transportation of patients.
  •  I sought reassurance on security resilience of Bedfordshire Police IT infrastructure from attacks. Specific attention given to Chinese manufactured equipment with access to sensitive data. Safeguards in place.
  • Discussion on firearms capability and renovation of firing range at Kempston HQ.
  •  Status confirmation of Mobile Police Office vehicles for use by community police teams. The three vehicles will be decommissioned and upgraded as part of fleet replacement, not removed.
  • Reassurance on force commitment to National Police Air Service capability. CC confirmed ongoing support and intention to maximise flight time of fixed wing capability as well as use of drones.
This report does not cover all matters discussed due to operational and commercial sensitivities.
  • Pay recommendations, 3.5% implications for delivering 1466 head count and 10 PCs in Community by end of financial year.
  • Sale of now closed Greyfriars Police Station. This has been closed for about six years now, and there are cost implications for this. I am committed to realise capital revenue from this in the short term, as part of wider estate strategy.
  • I updated CC on my meeting with Andy Marsh (CEO College of Policing) and Martin Hewitt (Chair, National Police Chiefs Council) on how policing can improve explanation of its work with public. ‘What, How and Why’ of policing. Received update on what Bedfordshire Police is already doing to this end.
  • Force response and approach to some of the potentially divisive issues being created by a known activist group. I sought assurance on the force balancing responsibility to protect freedom of speech against ensuring zero tolerance for violent disorder, hate speech and incitement.
  • Update on proposals for improving police response in larger market towns and villages.
  • Response to PCC’s public survey from Chief Constable to be published in due course.
  • Vetting backlog update to come next week. Overall trend is that progress is being made to reduce this.
  • Discussion and update on forfeiture orders against OCGs, capability within ERSOU to support this using powers available. I sought confirmation that all available tools and powers are being deployed by Bedfordshire Police and Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) to secure forfeiture orders against criminal gangs.
  • Update on next steps on MH related work by police officers, work being done with ICB continues, progress report on bill of costs.
  • Update on Force Control Room recruitment. Vacancy rates currently – Radio operators 6 posts, Call takers 2, Crime Bureau has zero vacancies. This is the lowest vacancy rate in FCR in about five years, but challenges remain due to growing call volumes and applicants failing vetting.
  • Highways and Roads Policing fleet management arrangements.
  • Update on discussions with Integrated Care Board leadership on police officers time spent dealing with Mental Health jobs and handover times in hospital. I am pleased to see some movement is taking place.


  • Police Hub in Bossard House: plans for community team to fully move out of fire station and into Bossard House in Leighton Buzzard. Ongoing work with Central Bedfordshire Council (Landlords), to enhance security for PCs and PCSOs. Response unit already make use of building as touch point.
  • My upcoming visit to National Crime Agency and future visit to our Tri-Force Major Crime teams. The latter are responsible for dealing with some of the most complex murder cases and other investigations which require significant capabilities.
  • Note sharing on Home Office Finding Formula Review, Op. Costello and briefings to local MPs on 2023/24 budget. All have been sighted through my office on current financial situation.
  • Very good conversation about newly created File Quality team and impact on case files to Crown Prosecution Service. I raised this issue a year ago and thanks to force leadership a team was established to help drive improvements. In Oct. 2021 Bedfordshire Police was ranked 42nd out 43 forces at first triage by CPS. Since team created, this has improved to 25th out 43 forces as of Dec. 2022. Bedfordshire would have been 1st nationally with just EIGHT passed case files.
  • Over same period, DG6 compliance has seen Bedfordshire Police improved from 31% to 60% (11th nationally). These are much improved outcomes for victims. Work is ongoing to improve compliance.
  • Discussion on continued work of Professional Standards Department, and force focus on maintaining code of ethics in policing. Good pipeline of new recruits and expectations for newly created Student Hub in supporting retention of new recruits.
  • Update on improvements being made in force control, numbers of new call-handler recruits commencing training on 6 February, focus on improving public contact via 101, 999 and online platforms.
  • Discussion on some road safety initiatives and what is being done to clamp down on dangerous driving in Bedfordshire, also discussion around some public concerns about crime investigations which are being looked at.
  • Our catch up closed with me asking him how he is enjoying and settling into his new role as Chief Constable, my full support for him and his team, and readiness to support where I can. He is settling in very well and bearing the weight of responsibility very capably. I agree.
1) VETTING: Increased budget and recruitment into HR in 2022/23. Since May 2021, seven have failed vetting, some of whom left Bedfordshire Police thereafter while others moved to roles that required lower level of vetting threshold. I will be publishing a more comprehensive report in response to my written questions to the CC on re-vetting.
2) HOMICIDES: There have been four suspected homicides (murders) so far in 2023. These are being investigated with suspects arrested. Likely impact on crime figures compared to previous year was discussed, despite bucking the trend of rising homicide rates in England and Wales in previous years.
3) POLICE CONSTABLE VACANCIES IN COMMUNITY POLICING: 67 PC allocation, but 56 in post. This number fluctuates from month to month due to promotions, retirements, illness/injury, resignations etc. 56 now being increased by 8 (officers from Community Enforcement Team). 10 additional officers to be added to 67 for 2023/24. I will keep on top of this to ensure the numbers are filled as priority areas, and that the officers are allowed to remain dedicated to visible, proactive, problem solving policing.
4) RETENTION: Average attrition levels (number leaving the force) remain at approx. 11% mainly from cohort of new officers, but not exclusively. Investment in new Student Hub providing better support and tutoring for the 414 student officers (BP has one of the highest ratios of student officers in E&W due to a healthy recruitment). The CC anticipates this and the closer monitoring of staff journeys through the force will have a positive impact on retention.
There is ongoing work on support through South East allowance payments, direct engagement between senior leadership and officers, as well as Sargeants, Inspector and Chief Inspectors.
5) LEADERSHIP TEAM: discussions were had on recruitment of Deputy Chief Constable, and potential changes within the force leadership roles.
(The above does not cover everything that was discussed due to sensitive nature of some topics)


21st July 2023

13th June 2023

25th April 2023

20th March 2023

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