A couple of days ago, I announced a small survey. Below I reprint the results gleaned. I hope it goes without saying this is not a statistically valid survey and I hope that no one draws any conclusions, firm or otherwise, from this data.
Nonetheless, the results are interesting and perhaps point to the need for further research...
So, the first question asked: How much do you approve of the new arrangements for holding the police to account (Police & Crime Commissioners etc)? (I asked this, to detect whether this was a factor in people's answers and see below). The answers are shown below:
The next question asked: Thinking of your local Police & Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable, how well do you think they are working together? (This was the main question of the survey. And although I know answers would probably have been based on remote impressions in the main, these impressions count.)
The next question asked: Which part of the country are you in?
And the final question was: Do you work for the police service?
I have managed to apply only one filter (the rest you have to pay for!). I extracted all the people who said they approved a great deal of the new arrangements. There were 8 such respondents. Of these people, 5 said they thought their PCC and Chief were "working very well together indeed". The other three said either not sure, not working together satisfactorily or not working very well together at all.
The 8 were scattered evenly across the country (apart from the SW and none anyway in NE). 2 of the 8 worked for the police service.
It would appear that the majority of people who replied did feel able to express opinions about the quality of the relationships despite (I would imagine) not knowing about the relationships at close quarters. True it is possible that those who expressed a view, did have such knowledge, but I think that is unlikely given the sample size and method of recruiting respondents (via twitter) than many did. But there was over a third who did not express a view as well.
I am not surprised at the proportion of people who said they worked for the police service. This was to be expected from my twitter feed and from interest anyway.
I do wonder how much effort many PCCs and Chiefs are putting into managing how their relationship is coming across. Should more be done? Or does this not matter one jot? If CCs and PCCs are seen as too 'pally' will this dent the impression that the PCC is there to have a robust relationship with the Chief Constable and hold them to account? Or if the relationship is perceived as 'rocky' will this damage public confidence? Will officers and staff working within the service be comforted or disturbed if the relationship between their Chief and PCC is seen as problematic? Might this impact on performance?
There is a whole heap of questions about this aspect of the new governance arrangement... (Please send your research grants this way!)
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