This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dead duck or ugly duckling? (Conference)

On Saturday 18 January 2014, The Reading Criminal Justice Association is hosting this conference on Police & Crime Commissioners.

This conference has been convened to investigate what is to do be done about PCCs. Is this system of police governance a dead duck that needs to be quickly buried by an incoming progressive government? Or would new legislation have the power to transform the ugly duckling into an elegant swan?

November 2012 heralded the most significant change to police service leadership in a generation: PCCs were elected to set Police & Crime Plans and hold Chief Constables to account for achieving them. These positions will be up for re-election in May 2016.

The question is now: what next? There will be precious little parliamentary breathing space following the May 2015 general election. The report of the Independent Police Commission, chaired by Sir John Stevens, will be published very soon. It is likely it will have some significant points to make about PCCs.

We look forward to welcoming over 100 police & justice professionals, political activists, public service observers, academics and people who just want a better governance model than what we currently have. This will be an intensely interactive event designed to provoke the maximum debate and ideas for the future. If you want to be part of the progressive debate about how police and justice services need to be shaped and governed in the future, this is an event you cannot afford to miss.

Quaker Meeting House, 2 Church Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2SB
10 – 4 
£15 (£10 RCJA members & unwaged) Price includes light buffet lunch and coffee


09.45 Arrival, refreshments, greeting and networking
10.15 Welcome from the sponsors of the day: Dr Fran├žoise Richardson  (Chair, RCJA)
10.25 Overview of the day: Roy Bailey (RCJA) & Jon Harvey (Facilitator, activist & blogger)

Lightning presentations
10.35 Bob Jones: PCC for West Midlands
  • How to bend, twist & improve the existing model: future practice and practical limitations
10.50 Dorothy Thornhill: Mayor of Watford
  • Rubber toothed crocodiles and what scrutiny is really required
11.05 John Hayward-Cripps: Locality Director South, Victim Support
  • Optimising the role of the third sector in any future governance model
11.20 Peter Neyroud: Academic, former Chief Constable & member of the Independent Police Commission
  • Building a new form of public accountability & robust governance for the future
11.35 Q&A
11.50 Break

12.00 Open Space: Delegates will have the opportunity to shape the agenda for the remainder of the day through suggesting questions to address, topics to discuss and ideas to develop.
  • Introducing Open Space
  • Setting the agenda
  • Workshops & discussions (session 1)
13.15 Lunch and networking (a sandwich lunch will be provided)

13.45 Open Space (part two): a chance to explore more questions & issues
  • Workshops & discussions (session 2)
  • Workshops & discussions (session 3)
15.15 Assembling learning and planning next steps: syndicate & plenary discussions
  • What needs to happen next?
16.00 Close and further networking

Book your place now by emailing (who will send you details of where to send a cheque etc.)

Please note, as with other conferences (like Bluelight Camp), the organisers are happy for people to be present in cognito (such as twitter handle) as it were.

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