Wanted: Ambitious Leader for Lincolnshire
(must have own car and GSOH)
As the closing date for applications for Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police approaches, I thought I might put my thoughts down for those of you who may be interested, be that a professional interest or purely personal. I have come to think very highly of Lincolnshire Police over the last 5 years or so and I hope they do not mind me writing this!
Lincolnshire is my adopted home County and I have found it to be both welcoming and an easy pleasure to be part of a thriving community. I quickly learned that a particular Lincolnshire trait is a kind of apologetic nature, which I find both endearing and frustrating as there is so much to shout about here in Lincolnshire. The city of Lincoln itself is a bustling urban city, steeped in history, with a thriving University and all the benefits that brings. Grantham, the next largest town is on the cusp of real regeneration, with a cosmopolitan community and one hour rail link to London. The County on a whole is one of real contrasts, with areas of significant affluence and others of high deprivation. Boston and South Holland have one of the highest immigration rates of Central and Eastern European people outside of London. Roads are a unique aspect of Lincolnshire life given the 2,500 square miles of mostly single track roads, making Policing the county a particular challenge.
Lincolnshire Police have a proud history of innovation and consistently punch well above their weight, delivering good levels of Policing at very low cost – only 42p per head a week. They were the first Force to have a fully warranted Female Police Officer and continue their forward looking approach with their annual Women in Policing conference, which these days encompasses so much more than purely ‘women’ in Policing. They are a recognised key partner in East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), one of the Country’s most successful Policing collaborations, which provides Major, Serious and Organised Crime units and Forensic Services to cover the East Midlands. Other highly successful collaborations include East Midlands Operational Support Services (EMOpSS), encompassing Dogs, Roads and Armed Policing,Tactical Armed Policing, Tactical Support and Underwater Search teams. This and East Midlands Criminal Justice Services are joint endeavours with Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire whilst EMSOU also incorporates Derbyshire. Lincolnshire Police are the lead Force for NICHE, a Police IT platform currently finding favour with an increasing number of other Forces.
It would be wrong to cover this Force without discussing the contract with G4S which brought much publicity some years ago now. At that time it was an innovative move, bringing outsourcing of the FCR, HR, Finance, Fleet, Estate, Resource Management, Learning and Development, Criminal Justice Unit, Central Ticket Office, Firearms Licensing, Admin Support and Stores all under one provider. I wrote about this contract after year one, here https://catemoore.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/g4s-and-lincolnshire-police-a-modern-romance/ . My thoughts on this contract today are mostly that times change and tightly written contracts should be revisited from time to time.
The Force recently rolled out Body Worn Video for all frontline Officers and are currently rolling out personal mobile data devices. This provision for Officers is supported by Marc Jones, the PCC, who takes an interest in the well being of all Force employees and seeks to find ways to provide them with the best tools to carry out their roles. He has made it clear that he understands the value of tackling complex societal issues and to this end is very supportive of work in and around Mental Health and Integrated Offender Management. He is looking to support Police strategic aims by facilitating collaborations and partnerships from other agencies. Personally, I find his outline Police and Crime Plan (downloadable here http://leadinglincspolice.com/why-lincolnshire-police.aspx) refreshing, not least because it leaves the Chief Constable free to set the priorities the Force sees as necessary, whilst seeking to provide support for all Police and staff.
Lincolnshire Police is a Force which has consistently impressed me over several years and continues to do so in my interactions with Officers and staff at all levels, as a victim of crime and as a Policing commentator. The dedication of the people employed by and volunteering for this Force cannot be underestimated and in a National environment of decreasing goodwill, the staff of Lincolnshire Police are to be valued for their continued dedication. It has been suggested to me that the post of Chief Constable should be for someone looking to ‘go out to pasture’ – a pre retirement post. I disagree strongly. This Force needs a committed, energetic moderniser who can see the good changes beginning to happen and the possibilities afforded them as a Leader with a supportive PCC and a keen workforce. The opportunity in Lincolnshire today is for someone with wide vision and an understanding of the future requirements on a modern and flexible Police Force.