Leadership – Then And Now

You may also like...

27 Responses

  1. alexnaismith says:

    I don’t suppose “If you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined” is an acceptable phrase these days.

  2. It may be right that the combined experience of police leadership should be utilised to add value and optimise the service provided to the public and the rank and file. However, ACPO MkII must look to proactively avoid the horrendous historical mistakes of the past.

    Anyone that declares the leadership is not in crisis is guilty of the ostrich mentality typical of Chief Officers of recent years. Bury their heads, pretend it isn’t happening and DENY, DENY, DENY!

    Lord Dear, former West Midlands Chief Constable had it right with his letter to the Times. To quote “Not so long ago misconduct by a senior police officer was rare and newsworthy. Not Now.

    Too many top-rank officers in trouble in the courts and serious doubts are being cast about the trustworthiness of the service at all levels – the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 disturbances, Plebgate, phone-hacking, Hillsborough, the apparent politicisation of the Police Federation and so on. Now police recorded crime has been exposed as the crime of the century, the “Leadership” can no longer point to falling crime rates, and their response too often appears to be disconnected from what the public expect.

    The basic problem is leadership. The service has created, trained and promoted to its top ranks managers, rather than leaders. The roots of this go deep, certainly to a decision taken at the Police Staff College in the early 1990s to drop the focus on leadership on the grounds that it was “divisive and elitist” and concentrate instead on management. The police, like much of the public sector, remain preoccupied with the management ethic, ignoring the words of Viscount Slim, a noted leader in both the army and the commercial world – that “managers are necessary, leaders are essential”.

    Hardly surprising that Sir Hugh Orde vociferously defended the ACPO ranks, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and they have too much at stake personally, with gold plated pensions, whopping salaries with all the frills and their glorious fiefdoms to protect.

    Is the leadership in crisis? Ask the public and the rank and file who were unanimously critical of their leaders in recent surveys.

    Police Oracle Readers added:-

    Maverick22
    Sir Hugh added: “Chief constables are required to make difficult, complex decisions daily, often under extreme pressure. Making these decisions involves balancing risk and acting on the information available with the intention of protecting the public, WHILE SITTING AT A DESK, while the lads and lasses(particularly firearms officers)have to make similar decisions out on the streets, on the hoof, they don’t have solicitors and advisors with them when they make those decisions. .

    Anglisc
    Well, I have to be honest. When ACPO are getting served papers at the rate they are, I see it as a crisis. In know the fed had a vote of no confidence in ACPO a while ago. If the same percentage of officers were getting papers, I have no doubts ACPO would view this as a crisis. The difference being a PC wouldn’t get the PCC speaking out in their support or asking for a proportionate investigation. The PC would be left to fend for themselves.

    Anonymous
    When I was an officer the more senior the officer in the witness box (Sergeant/Inspector), the stronger the case. Thankfully you don’t see too many ACPO officers in the witness box!!!!

    Anonymous
    The increase of ACPO officers under investigation is just symptomatic of the people now filling these posts. They are too close to Politicians, Media and Personalities and care too much about QPM’s and knighthoods. They are nothing like the old Chief’s who steered clear of the ‘P’s’……Press, Politians, Politicians…..and now PCC’s

    Anonymous
    Ask yourself if everyone above the rank of inspector didn’t come to work for a month would the front line, where the workers are, even notice?
    The answer is NO.
    The job gets done regardless of these ranks.
    Now ask if PC’s Sgt’s and Inspectors didn’t come to work for one day what would happen?
    I Think we all know.

  3. It may be right that the combined experience of police leadership should be utilised to add value and optimise the service provided to the public and the rank and file. However, ACPO MkII must look to proactively avoid the horrendous historical mistakes of the past.

    Anyone that declares the leadership is not in crisis is guilty of the ostrich mentality typical of Chief Officers of recent years. Bury their heads, pretend it isn’t happening and DENY, DENY, DENY!

    Lord Dear, former West Midlands Chief Constable had it right with his letter to the Times. To quote “Not so long ago misconduct by a senior police officer was rare and newsworthy. Not Now.

    Too many top-rank officers in trouble in the courts and serious doubts are being cast about the trustworthiness of the service at all levels – the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 disturbances, Plebgate, phone-hacking, Hillsborough, the apparent politicisation of the Police Federation and so on. Now police recorded crime has been exposed as the crime of the century, the “Leadership” can no longer point to falling crime rates, and their response too often appears to be disconnected from what the public expect.

    The basic problem is leadership. The service has created, trained and promoted to its top ranks managers, rather than leaders. The roots of this go deep, certainly to a decision taken at the Police Staff College in the early 1990s to drop the focus on leadership on the grounds that it was “divisive and elitist” and concentrate instead on management. The police, like much of the public sector, remain preoccupied with the management ethic, ignoring the words of Viscount Slim, a noted leader in both the army and the commercial world – that “managers are necessary, leaders are essential”.

    Hardly surprising that Sir Hugh Orde vociferously defended the ACPO ranks, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and they have too much at stake personally, with gold plated pensions, whopping salaries with all the frills and their glorious fiefdoms to protect.

    Is the leadership in crisis? Ask the public and the rank and file who were unanimously critical of their leaders in recent surveys.

    Police Oracle Readers added:-

    Maverick22
    Sir Hugh added: “Chief constables are required to make difficult, complex decisions daily, often under extreme pressure. Making these decisions involves balancing risk and acting on the information available with the intention of protecting the public, WHILE SITTING AT A DESK, while the lads and lasses(particularly firearms officers)have to make similar decisions out on the streets, on the hoof, they don’t have solicitors and advisors with them when they make those decisions. .

    Anglisc
    Well, I have to be honest. When ACPO are getting served papers at the rate they are, I see it as a crisis. In know the fed had a vote of no confidence in ACPO a while ago. If the same percentage of officers were getting papers, I have no doubts ACPO would view this as a crisis. The difference being a PC wouldn’t get the PCC speaking out in their support or asking for a proportionate investigation. The PC would be left to fend for themselves.

    Anonymous
    When I was an officer the more senior the officer in the witness box (Sergeant/Inspector), the stronger the case. Thankfully you don’t see too many ACPO officers in the witness box!!!!

    Anonymous
    The increase of ACPO officers under investigation is just symptomatic of the people now filling these posts. They are too close to Politicians, Media and Personalities and care too much about QPM’s and knighthoods. They are nothing like the old Chief’s who steered clear of the ‘P’s’……Press, Politians, Politicians…..and now PCC’s

    Anonymous
    Ask yourself if everyone above the rank of inspector didn’t come to work for a month would the front line, where the workers are, even notice?
    The answer is NO.
    The job gets done regardless of these ranks.
    Now ask if PC’s Sgt’s and Inspectors didn’t come to work for one day what would happen?
    I Think we all know.

  4. Your comments took me back – I recall the most effective means of testing a senior officer who wanted PSD to investigate an Internal Allegation was to ask them to agree that we would look at the entire problem (inc the action or lack of action by all SMT members) they normally asked for a few hours to think things through then nothing further was heard from them. Spooky!

  5. Your comments took me back – I recall the most effective means of testing a senior officer who wanted PSD to investigate an Internal Allegation was to ask them to agree that we would look at the entire problem (inc the action or lack of action by all SMT members) they normally asked for a few hours to think things through then nothing further was heard from them. Spooky!

  6. 72joiner says:

    For the last 10 years of my service I was effectively a full time ‘friend’ representing or assisting hundreds of officers subject to conduct investigations. As part of my role I gave talks to probationers.
    I found that whilst under going initial training they had been told if they made mistakes, they would be fine, provided they were made with good and honest intent, the MPS would look after them.
    I told them that was of course true.
    However my experience showed often it was the means that the MPS tested if they had good and honest intent that was the difficulty.
    Firstly the DPS/CIB would investigate them, then to test their honest intent would, charge them, take them to court, if the court acquitted them then the DPS would then consider discipline, if the discipline board/conduct panel acquitted them then they would be welcomed back with open arms as they obviously had good and honest intent.

    This did not happen every time of course, but certainly often enough to justify extreme caution.
    This was a failure of leadership, In my view often occasioned by the poor quality of too many of the Chief Inspectors in complaints units.

    • I too joined in 72 and I have to confess that some of the Chief Inspectors in Area Complaints Units were plain AWFUL One of them, referred to as Wan (you’ll need to use your imagination a bit there) and I had a right royal shouting match one day because when he told me that the complaint of assault was being withdrawn he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t accept Words of Advice because I simply hadn’t done it

  7. 72joiner says:

    For the last 10 years of my service I was effectively a full time ‘friend’ representing or assisting hundreds of officers subject to conduct investigations. As part of my role I gave talks to probationers.
    I found that whilst under going initial training they had been told if they made mistakes, they would be fine, provided they were made with good and honest intent, the MPS would look after them.
    I told them that was of course true.
    However my experience showed often it was the means that the MPS tested if they had good and honest intent that was the difficulty.
    Firstly the DPS/CIB would investigate them, then to test their honest intent would, charge them, take them to court, if the court acquitted them then the DPS would then consider discipline, if the discipline board/conduct panel acquitted them then they would be welcomed back with open arms as they obviously had good and honest intent.

    This did not happen every time of course, but certainly often enough to justify extreme caution.
    This was a failure of leadership, In my view often occasioned by the poor quality of too many of the Chief Inspectors in complaints units.

    • I too joined in 72 and I have to confess that some of the Chief Inspectors in Area Complaints Units were plain AWFUL One of them, referred to as Wan (you’ll need to use your imagination a bit there) and I had a right royal shouting match one day because when he told me that the complaint of assault was being withdrawn he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t accept Words of Advice because I simply hadn’t done it

  8. panache2009 says:

    So very true and accurate. The work ethic of the 60/70s was ‘head down, work non stop, dread the boss’ but you buckled down & worked hard knowing if there was a problem the boss would sort it out unquestioningly. Your problem became their problem & you could rely on it being solved. The workplace was a team, all the cogs relied on each other to interact & provide the whole. Personal discipline/responsibility was important & trust in your superiors vital. The whole team helped each other & pride came from the group success. The subsequent fragmentation & personal glory ethos has been a retrograde step leading to the low morale of the many & hollow glory of the modern ‘inward looking’ managers. This new breed lacks leadership, integrity, honesty & care of those under their control. The present ‘workers’ do their jobs facing daily difficulties combined with the knowledge they are fighting on two fronts. They fight the enemy & in a lot of cases their own so called ‘support’. Is it any wonder stress is the modern day demon.

  9. panache2009 says:

    So very true and accurate. The work ethic of the 60/70s was ‘head down, work non stop, dread the boss’ but you buckled down & worked hard knowing if there was a problem the boss would sort it out unquestioningly. Your problem became their problem & you could rely on it being solved. The workplace was a team, all the cogs relied on each other to interact & provide the whole. Personal discipline/responsibility was important & trust in your superiors vital. The whole team helped each other & pride came from the group success. The subsequent fragmentation & personal glory ethos has been a retrograde step leading to the low morale of the many & hollow glory of the modern ‘inward looking’ managers. This new breed lacks leadership, integrity, honesty & care of those under their control. The present ‘workers’ do their jobs facing daily difficulties combined with the knowledge they are fighting on two fronts. They fight the enemy & in a lot of cases their own so called ‘support’. Is it any wonder stress is the modern day demon.

  10. lambtonwyrm says:

    Senior officers are too detached from the front line. I remember in the 800 as assistant station officer on early turn getting all the books ready for the chief superintendent to examine. That disappeared and senior officers stayed in their own environment of their offices. That severed an important link to front line.

  11. lambtonwyrm says:

    Senior officers are too detached from the front line. I remember in the 800 as assistant station officer on early turn getting all the books ready for the chief superintendent to examine. That disappeared and senior officers stayed in their own environment of their offices. That severed an important link to front line.

  12. kenord says:

    I joined 72 as well.I had a Sgt. who I am sure as a probationer if you did’nt do as told he would have smacked you.This guy ruled by fear but he certainly looked after any Young Officer who showed a will to succeed.Senior Officers were men who knew the job inside out.The Police FORCE wasn’t pretty but it worked.Then in the 80’s we started with the rapid promotion bollicks and ended up with bosses who had never seen an angry man telling Cops what to do when they did’nt have a clue and were’nt fit to lick the boots of these guys.Senior Officers who could’nt find their arse with both hands.The rest as they say is history.

    • Quite right, the Police FORCE was never pretty, but it worked a whole load better than the Police Service. Personally speaking, I would much rather get a lad, vocal toasting and know where I stood than the constant looking over shoulder that seems to go on these days.

  13. kenord says:

    I joined 72 as well.I had a Sgt. who I am sure as a probationer if you did’nt do as told he would have smacked you.This guy ruled by fear but he certainly looked after any Young Officer who showed a will to succeed.Senior Officers were men who knew the job inside out.The Police FORCE wasn’t pretty but it worked.Then in the 80’s we started with the rapid promotion bollicks and ended up with bosses who had never seen an angry man telling Cops what to do when they did’nt have a clue and were’nt fit to lick the boots of these guys.Senior Officers who could’nt find their arse with both hands.The rest as they say is history.

    • Quite right, the Police FORCE was never pretty, but it worked a whole load better than the Police Service. Personally speaking, I would much rather get a lad, vocal toasting and know where I stood than the constant looking over shoulder that seems to go on these days.

  14. Dave Telford says:

    I joined in 1985 as a 19 year old who was very naive. I did not enjoy the Hendon experience and Division was very unpleasant after I arrested a Detective for drink drive. However, I soldiered on and eventually got promoted to Sergeant. I really enjoyed making a difference on my team, being able to look after people and ensuring that the job got done. I liked things done properly and was consistent in this approach. If PCs did not like that, they went to other Sergeants who took a more liberal approach. I kept this approach when I became an Inspector. I loved having a team of people to lead and be responsible for. I looked out for them and they worked tirelessly for me. The team functioned well because everyone knew what was expected of them. My team led approach did not win favour with some senior officers. One even accused me of having, “gone native”. A full and frank exchange then followed between the senior officer and I. Apparently the conversation was heard way along the corridor! I retired last year and I do not envy those colleagues who have been left behind. They are crying out for and deserve outstanding leadership. They deserve to be looked after, led and inspired. Even in today’s challenging times, this would make all the difference. I think that it is a damning indictment of an organisation if people cry when they find out that they have not been successful in their application for voluntary exit. They are bitterly disappointed that they have been able to keep their job………..surely this should be ringing alarm bells somewhere in the depths of the Ivory Tower?

    • Thank you for that Dave, and yes I would agree that the best Leaders are not always the ones who are slightly more liberal, but when your troops follow you into Hell and beyond you know you’re doing something right. As you pointed out that does not always make you popular with the upper floors. Personally I would value the respect of my Team much higher than that of the SMT, it’s more meaningful, and much more valuable.

  15. Dave Telford says:

    I joined in 1985 as a 19 year old who was very naive. I did not enjoy the Hendon experience and Division was very unpleasant after I arrested a Detective for drink drive. However, I soldiered on and eventually got promoted to Sergeant. I really enjoyed making a difference on my team, being able to look after people and ensuring that the job got done. I liked things done properly and was consistent in this approach. If PCs did not like that, they went to other Sergeants who took a more liberal approach. I kept this approach when I became an Inspector. I loved having a team of people to lead and be responsible for. I looked out for them and they worked tirelessly for me. The team functioned well because everyone knew what was expected of them. My team led approach did not win favour with some senior officers. One even accused me of having, “gone native”. A full and frank exchange then followed between the senior officer and I. Apparently the conversation was heard way along the corridor! I retired last year and I do not envy those colleagues who have been left behind. They are crying out for and deserve outstanding leadership. They deserve to be looked after, led and inspired. Even in today’s challenging times, this would make all the difference. I think that it is a damning indictment of an organisation if people cry when they find out that they have not been successful in their application for voluntary exit. They are bitterly disappointed that they have been able to keep their job………..surely this should be ringing alarm bells somewhere in the depths of the Ivory Tower?

    • Thank you for that Dave, and yes I would agree that the best Leaders are not always the ones who are slightly more liberal, but when your troops follow you into Hell and beyond you know you’re doing something right. As you pointed out that does not always make you popular with the upper floors. Personally I would value the respect of my Team much higher than that of the SMT, it’s more meaningful, and much more valuable.

  1. April 9, 2015

    […] When I first joined the Met it was a much different animal to the one it is today.  […]

  2. April 9, 2015

    […] When I first joined the Met it was a much different animal to the one it is today.  […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: