Posted: Thursday 31st March 2016
Article published in the Mansfield and Ashfield Chads:
The real test of good leadership comes when the going gets tough … not when things are going smoothly.
Policing has faced some dark times in recent years with huge budget cuts leaving forces with no choice but to dramatically change the way they operate.
In Nottinghamshire we have ridden the storm and delivered dynamic changes to keep our service as robust and efficient as it can be. In fact, it is because of these very difficult challenges that so much focus and energy has gone into protecting our communities in the way the public wants and making sure we are in the best possible shape to fight crime.
You don’t have to take my word for it. The police watchdog - Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) - recognises it too. For the first time HMIC has assessed how well ALL forces are led, at every rank and grade of their organisation.
And they have delivered their verdict on Nottinghamshire Police, declaring it well-led, with a clear sense of direction and values which drive everyday policing, recruitment and leadership development programmes.
This verdict follows on from HMIC’s recent grading of Nottinghamshire as ‘good’ in the areas of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.
Positive inspections are always to be welcomed but I’m even more reassured than usual with the findings of this specific review. Good leadership, whether it be in sport, business, or on the battlefield, is vitally important.
For Nottinghamshire Police it means motivating staff and officers, building trust and confidence among you, the public; achieving the buy-in of senior officers and our wider criminal justice and community partners.
And, just as importantly, it also brings much needed continuity which is crucial amid the tough challenges that reduced funding and pressures on police demand pressures bring.
Being a good leader doesn’t mean you will be popular. As a politician I know that only too well. Because leadership is often about making those difficult decisions you believe to be right but which you know there will inevitably be consequences for others.
Police forces are large and complex organisations and it is reassuring that the Inspectorate has recognised the strong leadership that exists in Nottinghamshire Police, driven by the Chief Constable Chris Eyre and embraced at every level throughout the force.
I firmly believe good leadership has a ripple effect; inspiring people of all ranks and responsibilities to put their heart into their job and make Nottinghamshire Police the best it can be.
As the HMIC inspection found, the force is already cultivating the skills of its workforce through workshops, senior leadership events and mentoring/coaching programmes to harness talent and keep the momentum going.
Investing in people will help us to steer our way through future challenges, whatever they are, and ensure Nottinghamshire continues to reduce crime and protect people from harm. There is always room for improvement and we will be looking closely at the recommendations made by the HMIC in the coming months to strengthen our services further.
That said, I want to say thank you to all those employed by Nottinghamshire Police for their ongoing commitment and determination. The job they do is an incredibly difficult one but they perform.
If you see a police officer or member of police staff, why not approach them and say thanks too?
Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire