It was interesting to read the vision for policing in 2025 that was published today. There was a lot that I could recognise as work that is currently underway and this includes a significant focus on digital developments. Having a clear vision and plan for the future is important for any industry or business, and today’s development will be welcomed by many.
There was one area of concern for me. For many years policing has taken an approach of knowing best. Decisions would be made and imposed without any discussion. The outcome would be people being told what was happening, feeling as though they had no control and they had to accept the situation. Policing is always said to be with consent but often it felt like policing was imposed.
For many years the police service has been trying to turn things around by involving people in developments, by carrying out consultation and by providing them with some control over their situation. It isn’t easy and with the squeeze on resources it becomes even more challenging to put people at the heart of the service. Yet it can be done and some businesses and companies have been doing it very well. They are listening to what people say and making the way forward a shared experience.
Today I was able to start to have a conversation about the future with community and voluntary groups. It is part of an attempt to develop a discussion so people can make their views known about changes that are being proposed and taking place. It is the most critical element of the future as without the support and a view among people that they can be part of the way forward the impact of developments will be watered down. It was a challenging experience for me but reminded me about the importance of face-to-face communication for all businesses, companies and organisations.
It is crucial for us all to remember the importance of the people who receive services or buy products. All our developments and changes are nothing if we don’t have the support of people who can get involved.