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“You are really important and your role is really important”

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson QPM has urged police Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs)to appreciate the importance of their role and ensure that it “is done well, professionally, wisely and in the public interest”.

Addressing the delegates at the 2023 Secured by Design ATLAS national training conference and exhibition, Chief Constable Watson spoke passionately about policing’s prevention agenda and the potential of forthcoming legislative changes.  Referencing the heart wrenching, emotive and inspiring presentation and address to the conference by Figen Murray OBE’s he said:

“Who here could not have been moved by Figen’s very powerful advocacy around Martyn’s law?  When Martyn’s law becomes enacted I cannot imagine a room of more powerful, influential people to make manifest that which underpins the legislation.

“You are really important, and your role is really important.  You as individuals have a very powerful, informative and, very often, determinative role in making the built environment safe and influencing that which we know to work. It is enormously important and of course with that privilege comes the great responsibility of doing it really well.

“It’s really important that it’s done well, professionally, wisely and in the public interest. You should feel very positive about all that you do for the public”.

Stephen Watson is amongst the most experienced senior officers in the country having joined Lancashire Constabulary in 1988 and having also worked in Merseyside Police, the Metropolitan Police and Durham Constabulary before taking up appointment as Chief Constable for South Yorkshire Police in July 2016.

During his tenure, South Yorkshire Police became the most improved force in the country for 3 consecutive years and is today amongst the very top tier of high performing forces.

In 2019, Stephen was awarded the Queens Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service.

Stephen became Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police in May 2021, leading the force out of special measures within 18 months of taking over. The force had been moved into special measures in December 2020.

The Secured by Design (SBD) ATLAS national training conference and exhibition saw over 200 DOCOs from across the UK come together for a series of workshops and presentations, as part of their annual CPD to update themselves in their knowledge of new legislation, crime trends, security methodologies and other relevant subjects.