We finished the London Marathon!!!


G and me London Marathon instagram 2

What a day! I’m aching all over, and some parts of my body to which I was once very attached have said a fond farewell. But the experience of completing the London Marathon with my daughter, dressed as Batman and Robin, has made the aches (and the training) all worthwhile!

Very many thanks again to those who have kindly supported Crimestoppers via our  fundraising website - really very kind. 111 donors to date, who together have given just over £2,000. We really appreciate your generosity. Ever so slightly short of our target, a real and significant contribution to the great work that Crimestoppers does. Thank you again.

At the finish line, Georgia said to me “I fancy doing that again next year”. I’ll admit, with current aches and pains, I’m not so sure! But as the posters on the course say, “pain is temporary, memories are for ever…”.

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The next CoPaCC Thematic: “PCCs and Innovation”

Late in 2013, I blogged on CoPaCC’s planned Thematics and Awards for 2014. At that time, I resolved that CoPaCC would produce around half a dozen objective, evidence-based Thematics each year, along the lines of our first Thematic late in 2013 on PCC Transparency.

Last month, CoPaCC published its second Thematic, on “PCCs and Public Engagement”. This followed an approach first aired on this blog, and refined based on comments I received.

We’re now planning to follow a very similar approach to the preparation of our next CoPaCC Thematic, which I can announce here will be on “PCCs and Innovation”. It’s relevant in this context that the Home Office has recently invited applications for the second round of its Police Innovation Fund: the completed applications need to be submitted by PCCs to the Home Office by the end of April 2014.

Draft methodology

We expect there to be four main elements to our CoPaCC “PCCs and Innovation” Thematic, consisting of:

  1. ask OPCCs for their contributions (not a Freedom of Information request, just a simple invitation)
  2. ask key experts for their thoughts (I’d welcome thoughts on who any such “key experts” should be!)
  3. desk research (see below)
  4. Write the Thematic (and publish it)

Some “starter for ten” reference material on “PCCs and Innovation”(for the desk research)…

  • Home Office “Police Innovation Fund 2014″ (First Round) [link] and successful bidders [link].
  • Speech by Damian Green MP, Minister for Policing and Justice, to potential bidders for 2nd round funding [link]

Indicative Timings

  • Finalise the methodology in the last week of April
  • Requests to PCCs’ Offices in late April or early May, inviting response by the end of May
  • Approaches to (and discussions with) key experts during May
  • Write Thematic in late May and early June
  • Publish Thematic during June

My expectation is that some OPCCs will, in responding to our request, wish to make use of the material they have prepared for their Home Office Innovation Fund applications. My aim is to minimise any potential burden on OPCCs in their responding to any invitation or request that CoPaCC might make of them: for this reason, I believe that the timing above is ideal in seeking to reduce any unnecessary workload.

Innovation Award criteria

Following CoPaCC’s previous two Thematics, CoPaCC has made a number of Awards to PCCs and their OPCC teams. Each time, we’ve quite rightly made sure that the selection criteria for these Awards are appropriate, fair and transparent.

There are particular challenges with identifying PCCs and OPCCs that merit an Innovation Award. For example: is the award to be only on the basis of innovation, or should there be some test to check whether the innovation has delivered any measurable benefit? Is a smaller, incremental innovation inherently less important than a major structural innovation? Should the awards be only for PCC (or OPCC) initiated innovations, or should force-initiated innovations supported by the PCC also be eligible? There are likely to be some real challenges here in deciding what merits an award, and what (perhaps this time) might not. We’re currently giving some thought as to how we address these challenges.

Your views welcomed (as always!)…

I’ve always found crowdsourcing a great way to improve on my initial thinking – and would again welcome and appreciate your views. What do you think about our provisional plans for CoPaCC’s third Thematic, on “PCCs and Innovation”? You can leave a “public domain” comment here, or contact me here.

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Save the date 26-27 June

Originally posted on Policing Social CItizens:

Hello there

<nervous cough>

We are building a conference for thought leaders and practitioners interested in how police engagement is adapting for a era where the culture and expectation of citizens are both changing in line with the technology of social media. We are lucky enough to be funded by Greater Manchester Police to hold an event which looks at the boundaries and the sticky issues – this conference will be exhausting to participate in and there will be no room for passengers. It is about really stretching and challenging thinking and turning those ideas into prototypes during the conference.

The event will start with TEDx style presentations – hopefully pushing all your creative buttons whilst we get the key questions right…then time for the problem solvers to work together in a less formal unconference environment to prototype answers and ideas to try out in the real world. We will…

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It’s a good idea to keep Force and OPCC comms separate…

I’m far from convinced that this tweet achieves that separation…

Northants Police tweet

I’m planning to blog more in the next few days on why such separation is so important.

UPDATE [Thursday 6th March 2014, 9.15pm]: This tweet also seems questionable, at the very least…

Northants Police tweet 2a

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CoPaCC’s first birthday – could do better?

It’s difficult to say exactly when CoPaCC was born. The first CoPaCC Report covered PCCs’ activity during March 2013, but the idea of “Comparing PCCs, sharing best practice” predates that. Whatever her (or his) precise date of birth, it’s certainly true that CoPaCC is now – roughly – one year old.

This first anniversary is a good time, as a “proud parent”, to reflect. Not just on the journey so far, but on what might lie ahead – and how best to prepare for the future – comparing PCCs and sharing best practice.

The headlines of the journey so far. Undoubtedly a “WOW” was the week in which the first few CoPaCC Report subscribers signed up for something that was then not that much more than “an idea sketched out on the back of an envelope”. Also memorable… The meetings around three months later where every one of those early subscribers said something along the lines of “great job so far – keep it up”. The first CoPaCC Conference, attended by around 70 delegates, with four great speakers and a great deal of constructive discussion and debate. Preparation of the first CoPaCC Thematic - and subsequent presentation of the first CoPaCC Awards. Increasing press interest.  The invitation to provide oral evidence to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee – and the Home Affairs Select Committee meeting itself – including a suggestion from the Chairman that CoPaCC host the “PCC Register of Interests”. Fantastic and growing support throughout from other CoPaCC Team members – with a special mention for (and thanks to) Jon Harvey.  (And those are JUST the headlines).

What might lie ahead. Every week, the list of CoPaCC Report subscribers grows. Plus, we’re currently undertaking a further Thematic – on “PCCs and Public Engagement. We’re also now looking to recruit further to the CoPaCC Team – let us know if you think you fit the bill! And we have some really exciting ideas for how we develop further in what we do – looking to improve all the time. We’ll be saying more about some of these developments in the coming weeks.

How best to prepare for the future. Our team have given a lot of thought to how we prepare for the future. And (as mentioned) we’ll soon be saying more about some new CoPaCC developments. However, we know that the CoPaCC team won’t have the monopoly on the best ideas for “comparing PCCs, sharing best practice”. That next “great idea” for comparing PCCs and sharing best practice could very well come from a thought triggered by YOU.

And this is why we’d really appreciate your thoughts and comments. On how CoPaCC has done in this first year (and how we could have done better). On what we should be looking to do in Year Two and beyond. And maybe on what other conversations we should be having – whether with individuals or organisations. Do feel free to tell us how we’re doing – and how we can do better still…



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I have a complaint about the police…

A tweet yesterday from the Chief Constable of Surrey Police caught my eye…

Lynne Owens tweet

It’s not just the police’s online system, I believe, that struggles to recognise “thanks”. There’s a substantial part of policing that’s (rightly) there to investigate complaints against the police: the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), forces’ “Professional Standards Departments”, PCCs’ “Police Misconduct Panels” and more.  In comparison, there’s not a great deal that’s in place to acknowledge and recognise those very many “thankyous” that policing rightly receives every single day from individuals across the country.

Police officers, PCSOs, police staff and Specials are just like the rest of us in at least one key respect – they’re human. They sometimes make mistakes. There are indeed a handful who absolutely shouldn’t be police officers (or staff or PCSOs or Specials). But the vast majority are doing the job (or “The Job”) to the very best of their ability. And, being human, they tend to do their job better when they know they’re wanted. Couldn’t we find a way to channel all those individual “thankyous” more positively?

So, my “complaint about the police” is that “they” (i.e. “we”, see note below) don’t do enough to listen to, and recognise, the public’s congratulations and thanks.

What concrete steps do I therefore think they (we) might take? How about, as a start:

  • renaming “Police Misconduct Panels” as “Police Conduct Panels”, and getting them to deal with both disciplinary AND congratulatory
  • getting Professional Standards Departments to examine and acknowledge excellence as well as poor performance
  • simply making it easier (and more visible) for the public to pass on those individual “thankyous” to police officers, staff, PCSOs and Specials – maybe through ThankThePolice.com or similar?

What do YOU think? Simply add a comment…

Note: one of the Peelian Principles “the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police…”


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Which forces’ collaborations are worth investment? The “Home Office Awards”…

Collaboration - innovation fund


Every single police force in England and Wales (plus, unusually, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners in its own name) won funding in the Home Office’s recent “Innovation Fund” competition.  27 forces won funding in “joint bids” with others. It’s worth noting that, last year, HMIC suggested that:

The extent to which forces are collaborating in order to save money and transform efficiency is deeply disappointing. The pace of change is still too slow, with only 18 forces expecting to deliver 10% or more of their savings through collaboration. While it is acknowledged that many forces may have focused on increasing internal efficiencies to date, and that there are barriers to successful partnerships, they cannot afford the luxury of failing to collaborate in the future…

Although decision making on collaboration is a matter for individual areas, there needs to be a stronger effort by the Home Office to encourage collaboration, or to make it an attractive option for forces. Exhortation is not enough, and the Government should review the incentives it provides to encourage forces to collaborate.

The Home Office Innovation Fund awards suggest that (broadly in order of funding attracted) the collaborations deemed worthy of greatest central financial support are between:

  • Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire
  • various combinations of Avon & Somerset, Devon & Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire
  • Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire (with, on some but not all funded projects, Derbyshire)
  • Warwickshire and West Mercia
  • Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Kent and Essex
  • Surrey and Sussex
  • Cheshire and North Wales
  • Hampshire and Thames Valley

Other forces attracted no funding from the Home Office Innovation Fund for collaborative projects.

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