Since I leased out the blog to the rest of the team in May there is a fair bit to cover. I promise to be brief!!
Remember the People Deal was about what you can expect from WMP and what WMP expects from you. The blogs from the other Executive Team members reflected the objective setting that is underway for senior staff under the WMP Conversations work.
The Executive Team objectives have been set and these are cascading down to senior leaders. We will be rolling out conversations across senior teams this year and then expanding the work to all staff next year.
Police Staff Terms and Conditions Review
I have covered quite a lot on this in the messages you received last week.
As we work through the People Deal, we have to ensure pay and conditions are consistent and our current arrangements in relation to police staff pay, allowances and shifts aren’t. There is never a good time to do a review. We are working very hard with the trade unions to ensure the review is prompt and transparent. It will not be speedy as it is not a fast process. Please try not to be distracted or panic. If you hear a rumour or want a question asked then get the answer from the portal.
I want to emphasise again that this is not being done to reduce the pay budget but to have a transparent and modern pay and conditions structure.
We have shared the strategy for the force with senior leaders and you will start to hear and see more activity. This is hugely important for us because of the values we set (“I challenge unreasonable and discriminatory behaviour” and “I want to work in a diverse team”) and the challenge is simple.
The force is not reflective of the community we serve and we need to attract a more representative workforce and some of that is visibly obvious in areas like BAME staff.
Part of the reason we are not reflective is not everyone in WMP feels they can be themselves at work. Are we really inclusive? Fewer people identify themselves as LGBT or disabled in WMP than the national average. Is that because we actually have fewer staff with these characteristics or do we in fact create an inclusive environment for everyone to comfortably be themselves? The new approach is about creating inclusion from the inside out. I think the video we have used makes this clear. There will be big steps between now and the autumn to set challenging goals in WMP’s journey to be better. There are lots of conversations needed to ensure everyone understands why this is important and remove some of the confusion in areas like positive action.
Part of being inclusive is ensuring everyone can be certain of behaviour at work that treats them with dignity. This is why we have brought out a new Dignity at Work policy so people can be clear how to deal with unacceptable behaviour and what it looks like. In the next few weeks we are equally going to clarify the type of behaviour the force feels warrants dismissal. I feel we need to do this as police officers and staff have very different procedures and the outcomes have been variable. Unacceptable behaviour to colleagues is also too frequent.
One area we will lead the discussion on this policy is sexual harassment at work. It is happening in WMP. It is an area where I think we need to redefine boundaries and we will set out how we will be doing this. Watch this space!
I am always conscious diversity is one area where people worry about getting things wrong or are a little in fear of making a mistake. I think the answer is to treat people how they want to be treated. It isn’t about what you would want always as we have different needs. If you are unsure please ask. If you do something wrong but because you are acting for the right reason there is nothing to be concerned over.
If humour or jokes or behaviour are connected to someone’s difference around race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability then you are probably getting the boundaries wrong and hurting people, even if they say not. People in the minority can find it easier to conform than challenge. We won’t accept when people do things for the wrong reasons or things any decent person should know is wrong.
I have said I want every leader and member of staff to be a believer on diversity and inclusion. You are all accountable for making sure WMP is a fair and inclusive place.
May saw some very challenging violence with two dreadful fatal stabbings of young men and two fatal shootings as well as a series of other connected crimes.
There was tireless work by NPUs, Operations, FCID, Intelligence, ROCU and many other colleagues to deliver a significant rise in operations to target and disrupt violence. This has made a big impact and the work continues. Well done to all involved.
Speaking to students at Holte School in Lozells
We have followed this with our Big Conversation on knife crime where we are encouraging every school and mum or dad to spend some time discussing this issue with their children. Most young people do not carry weapons or live violent lives. Too many do. This is not a conversation about bad kids and good kids or gangs. Too many incidents have seen children from loving supportive families who have never been in trouble with the police involved in violence, carrying weapons or becoming a victim.
Finally the 30 day challenge to ensure Contact, NPUS and other teams is well underway. This is a great way of encouraging us all to get more digitally confident… Here’s the leaderboard – please join in. It’s a fun way to learn.