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, July 31, 2014

Majority of police officers 'don't trust leaders'

This is the headline from a Police Oracle article today which reports that:
"just 10.5 per cent of those serving in West Yorkshire Police said they trust its leaders"
West Yorkshire police leadership commissioned the survey which was carried out by an independent agency. I suggest that you read the whole article which includes a response from the temporary Chief Constable. This was a bold move by the Chief and an even bolder one to go public on the results. (Although as yet, I cannot find the whole survey report and precisely what questions were asked. We all know that the questions are critical...)

Everyone knows that the police service (like all other public services) has been and will be facing huge cuts in funding: times are austere and tough for all. And for a few, extraordinarily so. Being a leader and making good decisions is hard enough when resources are plentiful. Leadership becomes exponentially harder when resources are diminishing. (I know I am stating the obvious here!)

So the question for West Yorkshire's leadership is how do they respond to these results. I have been doing some thinking about how the new Code of Ethics relates to chief officers - and you can see my earlier blog here. I also write lots on leadership, including my blogging on the leadership points to be found in contemporary movies.

But the short answer is: there are no short answers... And I am sure the Chief Constable and her wider leadership team know that. Doing the survey was a wise move (how many other forces have considered this and decided not to, I wonder...). Being prepared to comment publicly on the results as opposed to shredding them (which happened in one organisation I once worked with!) was even wiser, in my view.

I wish West Yorkshire Police (both its professional and political leadership) well in deciding on their next course of action.

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