It is still, just, possible to say these are early days for PCCs. But only just. Given that while this governance structure is only a 16 months old but given that it was partly built on the limitations of Police Authorities engagement with their publics, I would have thought that PCCs overall would have made greater progress.
So CoPaCC's second thematic is really a call to arms: many (if not most) PCCs need to wind up several gears on their engagement strategies. Some are leading the way. It is time for them all to do so.
So please can we see an end (and start) to:
- Public consultations that start when all the strategic deliberations are more or less over (do it earlier!)
- Surveys that only tap into people's opinions (rather than their judgments)
- Focusing on processes & outputs (rather than seeking the public's views on desirable outcomes)
- Singular methods of engagement (when multiple approaches would work far better)
- Engagement than ends just with consultation (as opposed to joint action)
- Too much focus on looking backwards (looking forwards leads to far richer conversations)
- Fragmented consultation strategies (joining up with several agencies is cheaper and better reflects the experience of the public)
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