Since news broke about Tom Winsor‘s selection for the post of HMIC, the sounds of incredulous disdain have been deafening amongst policing forums. Members of the policing community are (rightly) sceptical and angry about the ‘political’ process which elevated Winsor to being the preferred candidate for HMIC, according to an independent survey (see here).
But if the Winsor gig is actually a done deal, and day by day it’s looking more likely that is the case, how sensible is it to continue to ignore that fact? What would be the ultimate gain for policing if all those who represent the service simply adopted their best ostrich posture?
In my view it’s always better to engage in a process of constructive dialogue and debate, rather than ignore the situation. The major problem with this particular situation are; (1) too few people so far, other than from within policing, actually understand (or care about) all the implications and impacts upon our society and (2) until there is more widespread public concern about the issues, politicians driving these changes can and will ignore concerns. They can (wrongly) write them of as insular and based upon self-interest amongst the police community.
But the issue of policing and consequent impacts upon service delivery to our communities is far to great an issue to ignore. The ethic and value of ‘engagement’ was also espoused today, despite some fairly disparaging comments from some within policing, by Julie Nesbitt, Chair of the Police Federation Constable’s Central Committee.
Comment: We Must Work With Tom Winsor – …we, the constables of the Police Federation can either continue to fight the impossible battle to urge Theresa May to think again or we can, and must, use this opportunity to say yes… (Police Oracle)
The main consideration here, apart from service delivery and quality of service must be; are we happy for politicians to carry on using policing as a political football? The answer for everyone’s benefit, not just police officers, has to be a resounding No! And now a timely reminder about the thing that once made British policing the best in the world from the Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Federation…
Before those rushing headlong into police reform reach another brick wall and have to show they don’t have a tin ear to concerns about privatisation & politicisation of policing along with 20% cuts, Winsor, Hutton and the professional body please take time to reflect on the fact that before ACPO became a plc and made money from policing we were at one time apolitical, impartial & independent…(Mark Botham)
As Mark also pointed out… Please, if you haven’t already done so, lobby your MP and encourage your friends & family to do the same!
Constructive and continuous debate is never wasted, even when those with opposing views appear not to be listening. Talk loud enough, talk long enough but above all continue to talk and never underestimate the power of persuasion!
- Police anger as Winsor, the lawyer who has never been a police officer, is tipped to become watchdog (telegraph.co.uk)
- Tom Winsor for Chief Inspector of Constabularies – Yay! (minimumcover.wordpress.com)
- Tom Winsors HMIC application (inspjulietbravo.wordpress.com)
- MPs likely to try to block Tom Winsor’s appointment as police watchdog (telegraph.co.uk)
- Independence (thecustodyrecord.wordpress.com)
- Alone in the canteen – Winsor/HMIC SHOCK! (inspectorgadget.wordpress.com)