Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Festus Akinbusoye has continued to put Bedfordshire Police on the global map following visits with French, Chilean and Nigerian officials to discuss policing.
In April, the PCC was joined by Bedfordshire Police’s stop and search lead, Superintendent Ian Taylor, to meet with civil officers from the Cour des Comptes (Court of Auditors) and Deputy Home Affairs attaché at the French Embassy in London.
The representatives were tasked by French authorities to review and study how police powers such as stop and search are scrutinised in Bedfordshire. The discussions covered use of force, the county’s stop and search scrutiny panel and work being completed by the PCC to address race disparity and improve legitimacy.
Later on 3 May, the University of Bedfordshire and Mr Akinbusoye welcomed Departmental Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Services from Nigeria, including senior police and security staff, having received the request from the Nigerian High Commission, and support of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The planned visit took place as part of a study mission into the latest innovations in policing, security and public service management. Over the course of a week the officials embarked on a short tour of the United Kingdom and selected Bedfordshire as a key location to learn and identify best practice.
The event covered a number of aspects of policing including partnership working with Bedfordshire’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU), self-service technology and qualifications in professional policing, while the PCC discussed governance and the Nolan Principles.
“It was a great honour to receive this invitation from the Nigerian High Commission and showcase the work being undertaken here in Bedfordshire,” said Mr Akinbusoye.
“As a force that continues to fight serious crime with limited funding to do so, we are in an incredibly unique and challenging position.
“As a result, and as part of my Police and Crime Plan, we have made huge advances in our infrastructure, technology and organisation to effectively meet the needs of our community, and I am incredibly proud to see these efforts being recognised not only on a national level, but on an international level as well.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to colleagues and partners alike for their support throughout the day, and extend my gratitude to the University of Bedfordshire for facilitating the event.”
These recent international engagements follow the PCC’s visit to the Embassy of Chile and the Police Attache earlier this year in London to discuss police training and strategies. They are also part of his responsibility as Commissioner to contribute to improve policing beyond Bedfordshire and cross-border cooperation.
Future engagements are planned with INTERPOL and the National Crime Agency.