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President responds to HMICFRS report

PSA President Paul Griffiths has responded to the ‘State of Policing’ report published by HMICFRS on Thursday 2nd July 2020:

The State of Policing report highlights the multitude of challenges that pervade our Service, but also, quite rightly, shines a light on the excellence that makes our policing world class.

The tests we have faced from Covid-19 have demonstrated the strength of a Police Service that has, once again, responded with resilience, professionalism and resolute public duty to serve and protect communities.

What this national emergency has also exposed, are the many structural challenges that have emerged when striving for consistency over 43 police forces.

These structural issues, from force boundaries to leadership and governance, play a central focus within the latest report, and last July, I called for a strategic review of policing governance to deal with these very matters, which must receive urgent attention. 

As far back as 2017, I met with a senior Home Office official to raise concerns over the inconsistency of leadership across the 43 forces, urging the Home Office to play a greater role on the national policing landscape. The PSA has consistently delivered this message to all key stakeholders, as we truly believe we need a national approach to deal with issues that don’t respect or conform to national boundaries.  Our current national emergency has been the most poignant demonstration of this.

I welcome Sir Tom’s focus on the need for the National Police Uplift Programme to be based on far more than numbers. Bringing in the largest number of police officers that has ever been seen in our history, needs to be treated as an incredible opportunity to redesign our structures, our services and our make-up, so that we create a diverse workforce of officers that understand and represent the communities we serve.

The many issues highlighted in Sir Tom’s report are not new, nor are they simple to resolve, but they are at the heart of many societal debates and we must proactively tackle them to provide the policing our country richly deserves.