12 June 2019
It’s now around three months since we first launched our new website. But, due to the technical difficulties caused by the devastating cyber attack on the Police Federation of England and Wales, we hit a delay with getting the site fully up and running. Now that things are returning to normal, we are working on the site so that it provides members with the information and advice they need. However, please do not hesitate to get in touch if there’s something you would like us to feature on the site.
While the IT issues have obviously had an impact on our day to day business, we have, of course, been doing our best to maintain our services to members and keep up to date with developments in the world of policing and beyond.
The word that seems to have dominated media headlines for what seems like forever now is Brexit. I am not going to get involved in any of the politics around Brexit but it does appear that ongoing discussions on the subject within Parliament have caused a delay with the new police conduct regulations.
We have been expecting the introduction of new conduct regulations for some time but now we are looking at next year which is disappointing and frustrating.
The aim of the new regulations is to embed a culture of learning and development in the police conduct arena rather than one of blame and punishment. As a Federation, we have been pushing for this for years and are encouraged by what we are seeing and hearing in terms of the new regulations, signs of improvement in the performance of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the progress we see locally in moving to a culture of learning. Our own department for Organisational Learning, Culture and Ethics (OCLE) is going through a change in its own culture which is seeing the spirit of the new regulations already being used to drive some of their decision-making before the regulations actually come into force.
No one is saying that those who deliberately commit the worst types of misconduct or criminal behaviour should not be properly held to account for their actions. None of us want corrupt officers to get away with it. However, for far too long, officers have been fearful of making mistakes when doing their very best in the very difficult job we ask of them. We will all make mistakes. When officers have made a genuine mistake it should be addressed, any training needs identified and dealt with and we should all be able to learn from it and move on. That is in the interests of the officer, their colleagues, the Force and the communities we serve.
We will continue to work with OLCE and encourage and support the department as it makes more and more progress in the shift towards that learning and development approach. You will find an article from Detective Superintendent Rick Alton, the head of OLCE, in a future edition of our News and Views ezine.