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Degrees of Inclusion part 2

15 Nov

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As ever, @DedicatedPeeler has stepped in to clear muddied waters: My blog on Friday was a direct response to the emotional hurt that was related to me by officers. In his second paragraph Gareth highlights that that is an important issue to address.  He recognised that the wellbeing of officers is critical to maintain if meaningful debate is to be had:

“The reason I’ve decided to blog, is that the info that is out there is sparse. I can’t comment on other’s communications, or indeed other people’s opinion, as it is theirs. I also don’t contend how people ‘feel’ about this. It is their prerogative and totally individual. I can shine a light on some of the research that I found and why a lot of the myths/concerns around at the minute don’t stack up. It may help paint some foreground and some background into the debate, and context is always so important.”

He then goes on to explain exactly what the decision means and frames it in a wider context.   It is vital for Officers to have clear information and where the college of Policing has neglected to provide this clearly Gareth has stepped up.

You can read his full blog here: http://http://wp.me/p4UkzN-1y
It is an excellent example of his work which is always factually based, and mindful of the audience he is speaking to.  He finishes his blog with another statement which highlights why I have so much time and respect for him:

“As a final note, the slating of graduates as police officers has just been shocking. I have met some cops who have been poor who have been graduates, I’ve also met some cops who weren’t graduates, who were also poor. That is a recruitment/development issue and not an educational one. Tarring educated cops as ‘bag carriers’ is nothing but anti-intellectualism and serves no other purpose than to divide. Gone are the days when graduates entering the profession was rare, it’s just a pity that the same attitudes have stuck around despite the world moving on. This is a debate that we need to have, at least keep it civil and respectful – as befits the service which we represent.”

I sincerely hope that the debate can continue with this same level of mindfulness, I just wish that the source had of been the College itself, not an individual.

Namasté  Jules

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Degrees of inclusion

13 Nov

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I just wanted to congratulate the College of Policing, no, seriously.  In one glorious stroke you have denegrated every Police Officer without a degree.  As if the media and gvt attacks upon their credibility were not enough to chip away at their self esteem and well being!  You appear to have said that their personal experience, commitment and dedication is worth not a jot!  Good morale boost that.  From the outside it looks like a ploy to give your own existence meaning and sustainability.  At what price?

How are you ever going to get inclusion right if you can’t even include the bulk of your own workforce?  Is a degree the only way to prove that on one day at a particular time critical thinking skills were apparent: ok, that was under exam conditions, with weeks to prepare and not during a life and death scenario those who do that and have done that haven’t got the paper to prove it so it doesn’t count right?  That can’t be measured. 

I am not usually so critical (well not often) how are you going to rebuild the officers you have just knocked down?  How are you going to ensure that those already there are going to have their experience and competence recognised, particularly in the future when a *qualified* officer and an established one are applying for promotion a few years down the track?  That’s supposing that the established officers stay around that long to find out!  Hmmm, mass leaving would certainly save money on redundancy pay when compulsory severance comes in wouldn’t it?

Jules

Connectedness

29 Oct

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I have blogged on Unity before, much of what I want to say about connectedness is really just repeating myself, that’s never put me off before and won’t now! 😉

In today’s society we have, in the main, been encouraged to become apathetic and divorced from feeling the connections between us and other beings.  Most of us look at the differences between another and our self and use this as a barrier to relational connections.  We label people groups, in ways that increase our self-righteousness in doing so and minimise our responsibility to critically think about the process and consequences of this state of being.

That seems to me to be how governments get away with poor, unjust behaviour; unless it directly affects us or our immediate circles we brush it aside and ignore.  I would like to encourage people to see how important it is to stand up for as many different types of people group as possible.  Who knows when you may need someone to stand with you?

I am particularly conscious of the injustices being foisted upon the police, the firefighters, lawyers, probation officers, paramedics, nurses, doctors, teachers to name but a few!

In order to function as a healthy society we need to acknowledge the vital role these groups carry out to make our lives better.  If you are fortunate enough to have never needed any services from any of these groups you are in a very small minority! Think again…where would you be now if these people did not exist?  Just because their roles seem invisible to you does not mean that you would not be adversely impacted if they were not there far from it!

We may not agree with the institutions that they are serving, but they can be changed, possibly more by our encouragement and support in their struggles with government than any other way!

How about reevaluating what you casually think about them by trying to actively find out, for yourself, exactly what they are struggling against and draw alongside?  This doesn’t mean passively accepting everything, discerning evaluation is vital and shortcomings MUST be challenged!

You may find friends and relational connections that surprise and enrich you as you come to clearer understanding of what they do, for ALL of us.

Be a Goose!

12 Jul

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(Image via Guardian.com)

I’m pretty sure that I am not the only one who has made a parallel between the turn taking of Geese in their V formation and healthy human self care…

It struck me that as a person who supports others it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking your needs are secondary, or sometimes, heavens forbid, that you are the essential part. This is not conducive to psychological wellbeing.  Stress is a killer.

I want to remind myself and bore you with the fact that sharing the strain of being at the front or main supporter:  ideally with work colleagues,  is the best way of covering the most ground (air 😉) and making sure that no one is left behind!

I am particularly mindful of the peer support that *protectors* in all their guises can access if they are prepared to remove their masks…

 

IPCC

23 Mar

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The IPCC has been in my mind a lot recently, it featured in a short exchange with my friend @occupypolice on Friday evening over on Twitter and has been in the news a lot recently also, for various reasons notably the Mark Duggan investigation , Plebgate, Dame Anne Owers comments in the Guardian  re Officer’s silence and the Police Federation’s response to the right to silence which subsequently ensued.  I make no comment on these issues, you can read and form your own.

All these things have added to my concern that ANY group of people, whether the Public or the Police should have the SAME rights as each other.  In my mind it is simply THIS:

No one is more or less equal than another person and these rights should be not skewed in any way, shape or form, that could be perceived as presuming either innocence or guilt.  

I feel that the balance may possibly be shifting away from this point.

Added to this  is the fact that the IPCC is formed by appointment of the Home Secretary, not an elected body, the political view of the Government of the day MAY be unequally represented by such a body.  I am not casting aspersions, merely being aware that such a possibility exists.  Who does the IPCC account to?  I believe it is the Home Secretary.  A grey process  to me.  I think the IPCC is unfortunate in that whomever feels more aggrieved by their outcome will probably feel that the IPCC is biased against them, whether this be the Public or the Police, True or False.  How then can this be addressed?  Should the Chair be an elected person as @MrCliveC suggested to me?

I don’t have a definitive solution to the problem, at the moment I am biased towards distrusting any organisation that seeks to give different levels of rights to different groups.  Do you have an opinion on the IPCC?  I would love to hear it!

Thanks!

Jules  😉

Sleepwalking into Disaster (reblogged from @Policechoice)

17 Mar

I do not write these words easily.
I have spent a good deal of time considering this issue.
I am compelled to comment. My perspective, is of a retired Officer of 34 years service, who values those who put themselves in harms way on our behalf on a daily basis.
The recently published ‘Police Federation Independent Review’ http://www.polfed.org/fedatwork/independent_review.aspx
“The evidence gathering revolved around the Terms of Reference, which
were set by the Police Federation and accepted by the Independent Review.
Our research sought to determine whether the Federation:
•• Acts as a credible voice for rank and file police officers
•• Genuinely serves the public good as well as its
members’ interests
•• Is able to influence public policy on crime and policing in
a constructive manner
•• Is an example of organisational democracy and effective
decision-making at its best allowing genuine ownership of the
organisation by police officers and effective communication
between members and the Federation at all levels
•• Is recognised as a world class leader in “employee voice”.”
These were/are very worthy objectives.
However, in my view the Federation has not grasped the opportunity for radical reform.
The Report is insular, and inward looking.
I looked in vain for references to the Ballots by members which mandated the Federation to explorethe seeking of the same ‘Employment Rights ‘ [excluding Right to Strike] enjoyed by every other Police Officer in the European Union, but not the UK.
Why was this?
There is no doubt that on at least 2 occasions in recent history, a majority of officers have voted for this. The use by the Federation of the term ‘Industrial Rights’ is easily misinterpreted as ‘Industrial Action’.
Officers in the UK, in the 21st Century are a world away from 1919.
Unions are not a dirty word. They understand their focus, as do those with whom they engage. The Royal College of Nursing, for example, is a Union. JUDGES are represented by a Union. Incidentally, when the current Government sought to impose a 1% increase in their Pension Contributions from it’s base of 0%, what happened?
They successfully argued that this was unlawful, and a breach of CONTRACT!
‘Compulsory Severance’ aka Redundancy, hangs over Police Officers like the Sword of Damocles. The Home Secretary says it’s off the table ‘ for now’?!!
The conclusion and implementation plan of the Review includes the following terms written in Bold letters:
Building Trust, Professionalism, Unity and Value for Money.
In my view, these fine words require a sea change in the culture, and nature of the representative body for Officers from Constable to Chief Inspector.
The time has come for the office of Constable, with it’s individual responsibility and accountability, to be protected, in a modern manner.
You will see from our Home Page, written by a member of our Legal Team, that it is totally lawful for officers to seek Employment Rights. It is also totally lawful, for officers to engage in activity in support of those Rights.
This means Union representation, professionally lead and responsive to the NEEDS of Members and their families.
Officers deserve protection from bullying in the workplace , eg ‘Performance Management ‘ chasing ‘Targets’! At present, as Officers [ except for Health and Safety Law] are not employees, and cannot seek redress at Employment Tribunals, unless a ‘Diversity’ element is associated .
The Federation is in a cleft stick, concerning representation.At present, it does not have the stature and skills to pro actively challenge political iniatives, which damage the traditions of Policing in this country. For example, the ‘ mission creep’ of PCSO’s, let alone the ‘efficiency and morality of their pay : responsibilities ratio.
I have seen the human cost of these failures,writ large on the faces and disposition of ex- colleagues and their families.
The public have not voted for the shockingly misnamed ‘Reforms’ of WINSOR, beloved by Policy Exchange.
The cuts and denigration from those who should know better describing officers as ‘overpaid Blue Collar Workers’ springs to mind.
I am not anti -Federation. I am very respectful of ex colleagues who have done their best to bridge the ‘unbridgeable gap ‘namely, represent officers effectively without the wherewithal, to do so.
Issues of Direct Entry at Superintendent and Inspector level have the potential to damage the service, in terms of cohesion and empathy for operational activity, and it’s consequences.
Policing, like other ‘Blue Light’ Public Services, is NOT a Business. It should be business- like. The chequered history of National Projects like AIRWAVES, indicates that Strategic Project Management is a developing expertise.
The prime criterion of policing is Quality of Service, not distorted activity in support of Targets, whose rationale is questionable.

You have a choice.

The choice is YOURS.

Tony MUNDAY

This entry was posted in employment rights, FEDERATION, POLICE IN UK LACK RIGHTS and tagged EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS, EQUALITY, FEDERATION, POLICE IN UK LACK RIGHTS by Tony Munday. Bookmark the permalink.

Institutionalised or insecurely attached? (Reblogged from @Policechoice)

3 Mar

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In the last few weeks I have been talking online via Twitter, then via email and more recently over the phone with @tonymunday1 the brains behind Policechoice. Part of what Policechoice are trying to achieve is a Legal challenge to gain Employment Rights for Police Officers. You can read about it here: http://www.policechoice.co.uk/legal-challenge/ and make your own mind up. Have lack of Employment Rights and more recently the view of Liberty that Officers should not be able to sue for redress when Personally defamed contributed to the decline in morale in the Force? The Federation have their hands tied on SO many issues, I can’t imagine that it helps the well being of Officers!

Our conversations have led me to crystalise a thought that has been in my mind for some time. I don’t know how to adequately explain it but here goes, no judgement is made, no criticism intended. It is merely my own simple observation. I would like to know what you think.

For the last 3 yrs I have been wondering about an explanation for the seeming acceptance of SOME intelligent and perceptive people, especially within large organisations like the Police to the shortcomings of said organisation. Yes, most question, but when push comes to shove most do not take the next step and take action.

Again THIS IS NOT A JUDGEMENT, IT IS ME SEEKING TO FIND AN EXPLANATION, IT IS A TENTATIVE THEORY!

Casting to one side, yet still keeping awareness of the very real and serious sanctions occurring for those deemed to be disaffected or causing disaffection, what could be involved in the conditioning of the mind at work here?

I like to work in pictures, analogies and in *Jules World* the best comparison I have found is to liken it to Bowlby’s attachment theory. If you are unfamiliar with this you can read a simple explanation here: http://www.simplypsychology.org/bowlby.html

This theory deals with the connections a child makes with its primary care givers and then how it applies the relational connections learned to the rest of the world it experiences, for good or bad. The ideal would be *secure attachment* the child knows that it is unconditionally loved by its care giver and so feels free to explore and interact with others. As its confidence grows it will explore the world further. Some of the experiences it has will be positive, some less so, but because of it’s *secure* base it can cope and be comforted enough to go off and explore again. If the child does not have a *secure attachment* through some inability of the care giver to give appropriate care, this skews the child’s ability to form healthy relational attachments with its world. This is further complicated by the unpredictable reactions when it returns to base.

Obviously this is a very simplified version. What has it to do with the topic of the Police? Well, some police forces are better than others at being adequate care givers and helping the officers in their charge to feel secure. The officers know that the treatment they are given is fair and proportionate because they see that happening to those around them and experience it for themselves. This is the *ideal* Sometimes the fallibility of the force is balanced out by the reliable and efficient care given to the officers when difficulties arise by the Federation in the form of Reps. Just like in a family. Things can and do go awry. What then is the reaction open to the officers affected?

Some may choose to Whistleblow and take the consequences: some may choose to stand and try and change things from within: some may choose to leave: a few others MAY react how many insecurely, inappropriately attached children do. These children tend to do anything in order to prevent them from ascribing blame or thinking the unthinkable, that their care giver is at fault, they go to a default setting of: *my care giver cannot look after me adequately, help! If my care giver is wrong the world as it should be will fall apart, therefore the fault must lie with me* this is an unconscious thought and can lead to the child becoming withdrawn and listless.

Applied in a policing context some officers MAY feel that questioning the bedrock of the Police Service is wrong. It must be good and true and correct, otherwise their whole career choice has been based on an inconsistent lie. How hard it must be for them to realise that the one thing they have always looked to, and aspired to be the best of, is in fact not what they thought it was. It is in fact as flawed as anything else in the world. It is made up of flawed people. We are all flawed, yet we try our best (in general) to be good citizens. Some organisations, like the Police have internal rules, and external rules imposed upon them which have helped to warp the original ideal of Peelian principles because they are imposed by flawed people whose ideology is as flawed as they are.

My tentative theory is that left with the choice of condemning the service they love a few officers blame themselves, this impairs their ability to be an effective functional part of the service. The worst outcome is they become severely depressed and almost paralysed from acting in a constructive way to change things. In such conditions it would be natural to feel demoralised due to suppressive leadership and rules applied in an inconsistent, Draconian fashion. Are they conditioned to accept that there is no way that they can challenge both their leadership and the government? Is there a better explanation? What realistically is the choice open to them? How does this impact on the Public? Questions that I am left with.

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