Posted: Tuesday 8th August 2017
If you know me, or read my blog last year, you’ll be familiar with the challenges I’m set by my eight year old daughter, who asks me an inordinate amount of questions each day, interested in how my day has been spent, offering me her opinion as freely as I express mine! In this last blog I was reflecting on the core purpose of the Police and Crime Plan – which for me was to explicitly set out the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) desired outcomes sought for local people. I wrote that it had taken six months to support the PCC in producing the Plan and that the months to follow would potentially make that time worth spent (or not), because what is the point of that effort without getting the desired results?
It’s been almost a year since we started consulting with local people about the priorities that are contained within the Police and Crime Plan. A lot has changed since the Plan was first launched in November 2016 and in the future we will need to adjust the Plan to reflect the changes that have occurred. This will include outlining new and future collaborations and reflecting on what needs to be done in light of recent terror attacks across the country.
Strategy is about looking forward. It’s vital to be able to plan for the future and manage risk, and in good time to be well-prepared and prevent issues as much as possible (although obviously you have to adapt and respond to the day as well). Conceptualising and putting a strategy in words is both interesting and difficult work. However, there is a greater amount of job satisfaction for me in seeing a positive impact from carrying out a strategy effectively.
Producing the PCC’s Annual Report for 2016-17 was a relatively straightforward task this year. The first time I worked on this I was new to my role and a bit unsure of where to look for the information needed to evaluate how the Plan had been delivered. This year I knew my starting point would be all the performance reports that had been submitted to the Police and Crime Board. The Police and Crime Board enables the PCC to carry out her statutory functions including overseeing delivery of the Police and Crime Plan, be the forum for formal decision making and allow for scrutiny of the work, performance, budget and key projects of the Constabulary and other partners.
Each performance report is scoped and looks at delivery of the key objectives within a priority of the Plan. Keeping the focus on the progress made against these objectives through the year builds the picture, and the picture was a healthy one. Good progress has been made in the majority of objectives under each priority. The Constabulary should feel a sense of achievement. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC) has also recognised the improvement made in the period between inspections. Sue recognises it too in the annual report.
My time working on the Plan and on producing the annual report feels well spent to me. The next challenge I see is to communicate that improvement to more people than just my daughter. However, positive relations with policing don’t just come from being told that the police are improving. The key to gaining public confidence does lie in interacting with them. Like my daughter’s found, positive relationships are established over time, through interactions such as those she’s had with officers who visit her school. After taking a keen interest in my job, and what she’s learned from the school visits, she now feels she knows a lot about the work of the police and the Office of the PCC, and apparently has some ideas for improvement too…
Strategic Planning and Performance Officer
Avon and Somerset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Visit our new Police and Crime Plan website – www.avonandsomersetplan.co.uk.
Read the Annual Report 2016/17 here.