Code of Ethics
Last week saw the anniversary of the launch of the Code of Ethics. This was a huge step towards professionalising policing by setting out clear principles and standards for all of us and showing how the National Decision Model helps us to do the right thing for the right reasons.
You will have seen reference to the Code of Ethics in many of our documents and orders, at briefings and training, on our webpages and in messages such as this. From Wednesday onwards there will be more guidance and support for officers and staff to use the Code in their everyday roles.
The Code of Ethics links to “Our Duty” and how we protect our communities by demonstrating these values:
- Respect – Treating people with compassion, empathy, listening and treating people fairly and honestly.
- Integrity – Leadership, acting with integrity, honesty, openness, objectivity, selflessness and being accountable.
- Commitment – Commitment to fulfil ‘Our Duty’ with confidence, dedication, courage and leadership. Commitment to our communities, our victims, and Commitment to our staff.
Inevitably, because Policing is complex, mistakes will happen. So, I urge all officers and staff to ethically and transparently demonstrate these values in their decisions and avoid making a mistake if they can, or at least show their reasons and how they have learnt from their decision if asked.
Representing the Force
The last week has seen me representing the Force at various events locally and further afield. The week started with a discussion around the Extremism Bill with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Met Police and Home Office. This has been a topic of conversation on several occasions at the meetings I have attended. How do we best show to people on the verge of extremism, of whatever sort, that there are other, better, more effective paths to take? This will present challenges for the Police, partners and communities, but working in partnership especially through our local neighbourhood teams and Prevent programme will help reassure local people.
On Tuesday I spent the day in meetings in London in and around the Home Office. I have recently taken up, on behalf of NPCC, the role of Policing Delivery Lead for the Language Services Category within the Collaborative Law Enforcement Procurement (CLEP) Programme. This means that I am reviewing, with Home Office support, the provision for interpreters for policing. Clearly we need 24/7 access to interpreters in a variety of scenarios. Some of these are tested in Court later too. We deal with victims, offenders and witnesses, including cell block work. How best to ensure 24/7 access is a key issue, as is the price that we pay for that access. The law needs to keep pace with what technology can offer too; can we use that technology to ‘beam’ interpreters into interview for instance?
This linked in directly with my second meeting of the day with Chief Constable Sara Thornton, the Chair of NPCC and Dr Anthony Marsh from the ambulance service on the topic of demand. We continue to work closely in developing a shared position statement and summary of good practice.
The final event of the day was organised by the Home Office and allowed me to address the Home Secretary and fellow Chief Constables on the subject of ‘Local Policing’. I was able to seek the support of the Home Secretary in the transformation of Local Policing. We discussed policing at the local level, local partnership working in response to the changing crime mix, funding and capabilities, budgets and cross-force collaboration.
Prior to the meeting with the Home Office I was fascinated to read the thoughts of the Essex PCC Nick Alston in ‘The Times’. The headline read, ‘Beat bobbies are an out of date luxury we cannot afford’, this was not exactly in kilter with some of the content of the article; Mr Alston said that he did not support the total abolition of neighbourhood response teams and civilian police community supports officers as a level of visibility “gives confidence to the public”.’
On Wednesday morning (at 5am!), I felt as the National lead for Local Policing it was my place to respond via the NPCC website. Please take time to read my response.
Chief Constables’ Council
On Thursday and Friday I was in Oxford for the meeting of the Chief Constables’ Council. The agenda for this event is always very busy and this event was no exception. We discussed a variety of issues from austerity, assaults on officers and staff through to HMIC recommendations and Child Sexual Exploitation.
On my way back from Oxford I stopped off at Market Harborough, by the station’s blue lamp, to conduct an interview with the BBC. This was in response to my article on Wednesday on the NPCC website. They were very keen to interview me as I explained that we cannot offer a Dixon of Green service in the age of Minority Report. Following on from the news that the PCC will not be standing for re-election I was also able to pass on the thanks of the Force and also the Policing Minister Mike Penning who mentioned in the Parliament the cutting edge and exemplary work that the PCC is doing.
Care of Police Survivors ride
I did find time for a quick look at the Tour de France as it attacked the Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees. I cycled up that in 2011. This weekend I will be trying to get up the Col du Bridgnorth as I join our team in the Care of Police Survivors ride. A dozen of us will set off from HQ to cycle to the National Arboretum for the Care Of Police Survivors service.
We will, however, be going via Worcester and the Severn Valley, which is a rather ‘lumpy’ 180 miles. We will be joined by two of the late PC Bryan Moore’s children, who want to support the charity that has supported them since he was killed on duty with PC Andy Munn. We will also all be wearing a wrist band with the name of a fallen colleague; I will be wearing DC Tim Burton’s name, and his widow will be receiving it from me at the Arboretum.
Thanks in advance for any support that you feel able to give: https://www.justgiving.com/SRC4.