Saturday, 9 February 2013

POLICE LEADERSHIP: TIME FOR A NEW MORAL COMPASS?

 
Hardly surprising that ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde (pictured left above) would vociferously defend the integrity of the upper echelons of the police service against criticisms levelled by Lord Geoffrey Dear QPM, (Pictured right), retired Chief Constable of the West Midlands who wrote a compelling and eloquent article about the need for improved police leadership in the Times on February 1st 2013
 
Clearly Sir Hugh has his future career to consider & it is only to be expected that should he accept any degree of corruption exists it would imply guilt by association or condoning such activity.

Lord Dear, whilst of the old school was no fool. Yes, there was controversy on his watch, but unlike so many other Senior Officers who were part of the problem, Mr Dear firmly positioned himself as part of the solution and stood visibly and strongly against corrupt and improper practices.

Sir Hugh will protest that he is a policeman first and foremost. Events and history suggest that he is more of a political animal than he cares to admit. As such he is well versed in the art of deflection. His response letter to the Times demonstrated just that.
 
So, let's look at what both men had to say, then we'll examine the evidence.
 
Starting with Lord Dear in the Times on 1st February...
 
Not so long ago misconduct by a senior police officer was rare and newsworthy. Not Now.
Too many top-rank officers are in trouble in the courts and serious doubts are being cast about the trustworthiness of the service at all levels – the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 disturbances, Plebgate, phone-hacking, Hillsborough, the apparent politicisation of the Police Federation and so on. Certainly the police can point to falling crime rates and great success in preventing further terrorist attacks since 7/7, but their response too often appears to be disconnected from what the public expect.
The basic problem is leadership. The service has created, trained and promoted to its top ranks managers, rather than leaders. The roots of this go deep, certainly to a decision taken at the Police Staff College in the early 1990s to drop the focus on leadership on the grounds that it was “divisive and elitist” and concentrate instead on management. The police, like much of the public sector, remain preoccupied with the management ethic, ignoring the words of Viscount Slim p a noted leader in both the army and the commercial world – that “managers are necessary, leaders are essential”.
The result is a service that is too risk averse, frequently process driven and displays all the defensive attitudes of the besieged. Of course there are notable exceptions, but the picture among the senior ranks overall is depressing and getting worse.
Faced with this crisis in leadership, the Home Secretary is proposing that we import people of calibre from the business world and abroad, rather than simply promoting from within. Policemen such as Bill Bratton who ran the New York and Los Angeles police departments, could be made chief constables and businessmen could join at superintendent level.
It carries risks but maybe it’s worth a shot given the circumstances. It is important that foreign officers come from countries with similar common-law legal systems, such as Australia, New Zealand and the US. There are many examples of successful individuals who might be tempted. Well-qualified men and women frequently move around different sectors in industry and commerce, often with great success. So why not within the police?
But I do have one big concern. Few police forces abroad combine in one single body – as happens in the UK – such a wide range of responsibilities such as for common crime, counter-terrrorism, protection of high-risk individuals and crowd control, and all by a largely unarmed workforce. Get it wrong by appointing the wrong individual to a top job, and there is a real risk that the resulting furore could kill off fast-track recruitment, an idea whose time has come.
The police service needs to attract its fair share of top-quality graduates from Russell Group universities, who have all the essential qualities of integrity, common sense, resilience – and the ability to lead. Yet a career in the police service does not figure as an option for high-flying graduates. The service is still seen as a blue-collar occupation even though if offers variety, challenges and an opportunity to change society for the better.
The problem was recognised in the reports by Tom Winsor, now the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, whose aim is to change the service into a white-collar profession. The establishment of a College of Policing, an equivalent to the royal colleges that champion the other professions, to identify and promote best practice is a good move, but everything will depend on attracting and retaining the best talent available.
We need an officer corps. The majority should carry on climbing the ranks as happens now, but we also need an annual intake of 250 or more graduates who should be groomed for leadership. The Home Office’s suggestion of 80 graduates is too little to reach the critical mass necessary to transform the service.
Standards should be demanding; training rigorous; underachievement should lead to culling. All of this is standard in the Armed Forces and the big corporations. It should not be anathema to accelerate these entrants so they reach the rank of chief inspector or superintendent by the age of 30 or so. It happens in  the army. Experience on the street is essential, but not for an unrealistically long time, and ranks could be skipped.
Diehards on the service will oppose this, but they have no alternative other than more or the same and look where that has led us.
A two tier system is a good bet for the future. But it will take at least eight years before the new generation of leaders can begin to make itself felt within the police service. The Government is taking a gamble with its idea of bringing in outside talent now. But with the pressing shortage of first-rate candidates for the highest ranks of the police, it’s a gamble that we will probably have to take.
Lord Dear was Chief Constable of the West Midlands from 1985 to 1990 and Her Majesry’s Inspector of Constabulary from 1990 to 1997.    
 
Sir Hugh attacked what was described as Lord Dears' “ill-judged” comments in his response letter....
 
 
The President of ACPO has attacked a former chief constable’s “ill-judged” comments that direct entry at superintending ranks and recruiting foreign chief constables could help diminish corruption in the Police Service by securing stronger leaders.
 

Writing in The Times, Lord Geoffrey Dear, who was West Midlands Police chief constable from 1985 to 1990, said misconduct by senior officers has become more common in recent years. He listed scandals affecting policing such as the Hillsborough investigation, Plebgate, the revelations of the Leveson Inquiry and the “apparent politicisation” of the Fed, claiming: “The basic problem is leadership”.
But ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde (pictured above) was not impressed with this and wrote a letter to the paper that listed cases of alleged corruption or malpractice that occurred while Lord Dear was chief constable.
These were West Midlands Police’s original enquiry into South Yorkshire Police’s handling of the Hillsborough disaster and the disbandment of the West Midlands Crime Squad after discrepancies in the evidence it presented which led to the terrorism convictions of the Birmingham Six being quashed.
Sir Hugh wrote that Lord Dear was, like him, “subject to investigations” as a chief constable, adding: “He should be the last to join smoke and fire.” Sir Hugh wrote of Lord Dear: “He above all should understand the complexities of leading a service that is charged with protecting citizens 24 hours a day, managing risks that span from local to the international.”
He categorised Lord Dear’s comments as an “attack on leadership in policing” and called them “surprising and ill-judged”. Sir Hugh also wrote that the high-profile investigations into allegations of police misconduct were evidence of “our strong culture of accountability rather than endemic failure”.
He said the service did not oppose direct entry and said forces already had senior staff members recruited from outside policing. The Home Office has argued a plus point of direct entry superintendents is that they would bring skills from other disciplines. Sir Hugh also said the typical progression from PC to ACPO rank was 15 years, which he said was six years faster than when Lord Dear was in the service.
“We are lucky in this country to have at the top of our Police Service a group of men and women of outstanding ability, unquestioned integrity, a high level of professionalism and a deep commitment to public service,” he wrote.
 
Not happy to leave it there, Lord Dear countered with .....

Sir, May I correct the three main inaccuracies in the letter by Sir Hugh Orde (Feb 5)? He relied largely on highly personalised remarks when disagreeing with conclusions in my Opinion article (“Most wanted: new leadership for the police”, Feb 1) .

First, West Midlands Police will almost certainly emerge unscathed from the forthcoming inquiry into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. For detail, see my address to the House of Lords during the passage of the Police (Complaints and Conduct) Bill —Hansard December 11, 2012.
Second, my disbandment of the West Midlands Serious Crimes Squad in 1989 was surely an example of firm leadership and a demand for high standards, something not always apparent today. Third, during the whole of my police career I was never the subject of either a complaint or a personal investigation.

I take some comfort from the fact that my postbag has grown considerably since Sir Hugh’s letter — all but one signal support for my recommendations.
Lord Dear House of Lords

Leadership and Corruption: The Facts Speak For Themselves 

As recently as September 14th last year the Guardian printed an article that spelt out the crisis brewing at the top of English policing after another chief constable was suspended on suspicion of serious misconduct.

Stuart Hyde, the temporary chief of the Cumbria force, was suspended after the police authority examined what it said were allegations that may indicate a breach in standards of professional behaviour.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been called in by the force and is making an "immediate and detailed" assessment of the allegations.

Hyde's suspension brings the number of the country's most senior officers who have faced or are facing disciplinary action or investigation by the police watchdog to NINE. It is unprecedented for so many senior serving officers to be the focus of investigations at the same time.

The Cumbria force called in Bernard Lawson, deputy chief constable of Merseyside, to take over the force on Friday, after Hyde's suspension was announced.

In a fortnight the chief constable of Cleveland, Sean Price, will face a closed disciplinary hearing into 11 allegations of gross misconduct. He faces claims he used "undue influence" during the appointment of the daughter of Dave McLuckie, the former police authority chairman, to a civilian post within the force. Price – who is suspended from his post – is also the subject of a criminal investigation. His deputy, Derek Bonnard, faces a disciplinary hearing for eight counts of alleged gross misconduct.

Both were arrested last year as part of the investigation led by the IPCC. The allegations against them include claims of the misuse of public funds and corporate credit cards. Both men deny wrongdoing and have made claims for wrongful arrest.

The police watchdog is also investigating four senior officers from three separate forces over allegations of misconduct and possible criminal offences during a major investigation.
  • Adrian Lee, chief constable of Northamptonshire,
  • and his deputy Suzette Davenport;
  • Jane Sawyers, assistant chief constable with the Staffordshire force;
  • and Marcus Beale, assistant chief constable with the West Midlands,
are all under criminal investigation.

On behalf of the IPCC, Mick Creedon, Derbyshire chief constable, is examining claims that the officers withheld material and evidence from a murder trial. The four police chiefs have not been suspended from duty or arrested. Their forces have said the investigation does not imply any wrongdoing.

Last May Grahame Maxwell, former chief constable of North Yorkshire, who admitted gross misconduct for helping a relative get a job during a police recruitment campaign, left the force with a £250,000 "golden goodbye". Maxwell, 51, escaped the sack and was given a final written warning after a secret disciplinary hearing. But when the police authority refused to renew his contract it triggered a clause entitling him to £247,636 in compensation. His deputy Adam Briggs – who was also accused of helping a relative get a job during the same recruitment campaign – was disciplined and had a charge of misconduct upheld against him. He has since retired from the force.
AND THERE'S MORE ......

Even more recently, on December 21st 2012, the Telegraph wrote another article listing yet more instances of corrupt or improper practice from our highest qualified and paid police officers.
"In the eyes of its natural supporters, the police force is beginning to look and act like a law unto itself"
England has 39 police forces, headed by 39 chief constables or commissioners. In the past 18 months, seven have been sacked for misconduct, suspended, placed under criminal or disciplinary investigation or forced to resign. That is not far off a fifth of the total.
In the same period, at least eight deputy or assistant chief constables have also been placed under ongoing investigation, suspended or forced out for reasons of alleged misconduct. No fewer than 11 English police forces – just under 30 per cent – have had one or more of their top leaders under a cloud.
Sean Price, chief constable of Cleveland, was sacked in October for gross misconduct and is on bail in a separate criminal investigation for corruption. In the same month, Sir Norman Bettison, chief constable of West Yorkshire, had to resign over his alleged role, which he denies, in concocting false information to smear the victims of the Hillsborough football disaster. He remains under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the IPCC.
Also in October, Gordon Fraser, assistant chief constable of Leicestershire, killed himself after being suspended over allegations of gross misconduct and fraud. With his partner, also a serving police officer, he had recently appeared in court on charges of perverting the course of justice.
22 Dec 2012
Stuart Hyde, acting chief constable of Cumbria, has been suspended for alleged misbehaviour.
Grahame Maxwell, chief constable of North Yorkshire, was found guilty of gross misconduct after assisting a relative in a recruitment exercise.
Adrian Lee, chief constable of Northamptonshire, is under IPCC investigation for allegedly withholding crucial evidence from a murder trial. Mr Lee is “chair of professional ethics” for the Association of Chief Police Officers, ACPO. (What was that you were saying Sir Hugh??)
Suzette Davenport, Mr Lee’s deputy at Northamptonshire, Jane Sawyers, assistant chief constable in Staffordshire, and Marcus Beale, assistant chief constable in the West Midlands, are under investigation in the same matter as Mr Lee. Adam Briggs, Mr Maxwell’s deputy in North Yorkshire, was disciplined, too, and has left the force.
Derek Bonnard, Mr Price’s former deputy chief at Cleveland, is suspended.
Craig Denholm, deputy chief constable of Surrey, is under IPCC investigation for allegedly failing to reveal that Milly Dowler’s voicemail had been hacked.
David Ainsworth, deputy chief constable of Wiltshire, hanged himself after facing allegations of sexual misconduct from 13 different women.
Most of these cases have barely been reported outside the local press. But they add up to the most serious spate of alleged wrongdoing at senior levels in the history of the police.
And of course, in July 2011, the most high-profile scalps of all, Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and his assistant commissioner, John Yates, were claimed at Scotland Yard after the Metropolitan Police’s calamitous failings in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Saving the best until last .....
"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher 1729-1797)"

For many years now, this site has sought to expose the greatest scandal of all, the "Crime of The Century" that is the pernicious and deceitful manipulation of crime statistics and detection numbers.  Responsibility rises to the top, to the same Chief Officer rank discussed earlier in the article. Either by encouraging the activities detailed in 200 articles from these pages or condoning them, the Chiefs were and are responsible.

You don't have to stray very far from this sentence to find the evidence. It's all here, in the 200 articles, in recent posts and in the view our reports section to the right, where you will find evidence documented in detailed reports, showing the extent and the methods used to manipulate crime and fool the public.

Further evidence of “Cooking The Books Of Crime” ……. Chief Officers will of course refute any such allegations. However there is plenty of front line officer evidence that confirm that the statistics are not to be trusted.

Rodger Patrick, a retired Detective Chief Inspector from the West Midlands Police and good friend of this site, claimed in
the Telegraph as long as three years ao, that manipulative methods are tacitly approved of by senior officers, police watchdogs and the Home Office.
The techniques – dubbed “gaming” – are used to create the illusion that fewer crimes are being committed and that a bigger proportion are being solved.

The claims will inflame the debate about crime statistics after recent figures suggested that crime continues to fall.

The techniques identified by Dr Patrick include:

“Cuffing” – in which officers make crimes disappear from official figures by either recording them as a “false report” or downgrading their seriousness. For example, a robbery in which a mobile phone is stolen with violence or threats of violence is recorded as “theft from the person”, which is not classed as a violent crime.

“Stitching” – from “stitching up”, whereby offenders are charged with a crime when there is insufficient evidence. Police know that prosecutors will never proceed with the case but the crime appears in police records to have been “solved”.

“Skewing” – when police activity is directed at easier-to-solve crimes to boost detection rates, at the expense of more serious offences such as sex crimes or child abuse.

“Nodding” – where clear-up rates are boosted by persuading convicted offenders to admit to crimes they have not committed, in exchange for inducements such as a lower sentence.

Dr Patrick, who researched the subject for a PhD, said: “The academics call this ‘gaming’ but front line police officers would call it fiddling the figures, massaging the books or, the current favourite term, ‘good housekeeping’. It is a bit like the police activities that we all thought stopped in the 1970s.”

The article cited lots of real life examples and one detective, who declined to be named, said: “Name any crime and I’ll tell you how it can be fiddled.”

As a retired Police Officer, I am the author of this blog that specifically exposes the fallacious recording of crime statistics and crime detections over the last twenty years.

I have written many detailed reports and articles exposing the scandal of crime statistics in the UK and have had many exchanges with Senior Police Officers, Government Ministers, including the former Policing Minister Nick Herbert on the subject of manipulated crime statistics. Unfortunately, no-one seems to have the courage to publicly prize the lid off this can off this particular can of worms for fear of reducing public confidence in the police still further.

Do I believe we are enjoying the lowest levels of crime? Definitely not. Do I believe that Chief Constables and Senior Command Teams have suppressed and manipulated crime statistics AND detections for many years …. without doubt.

Adding to the corrupt pernicious manipulation of statistics, with practised deceptions worthy of the criminal fraternity, under Labour administration with performance rewarded targeting, many Chief and Senior officers massively benefited financially from the practices.

Authors of their own misfortune, the Chiefs then had to deal with slashing of budgets and officer numbers as a result of 20 years of alleged crime decreases.

43 forces in England & Wales. Until Labour introduced financial incentives for Chiefs, the 43 forces, as you would expect performed differently, good, bad and middle of the road. Shock of all shocks, Chief Officers were paid 15% bonuses to reflect crime reductions and within a few short years, ALL 43 forces reported consistent drops in crime and increases in detections, using many if not all of the practises referred to earlier.

In come the PCC. It can be no co-incidence that more Chief Officers are currently under suspension or on their way out of the door than has been witnessed previously.


So finally, returning to the exchanges between Lord Dear and Sir Hugh Orde.
Sir Hugh, who are you trying to fool now? There is enough evidence on this page alone to make nonsense of your response to Lord Dear and the personal attacks directed at Mr Dear are merely further evidence of deflection in action. Face up to it, the service needs a root and branch shake up, starting with the leadership. Years of practised deception will make Tom Winsors job at HMIC an unenviable spiders web to disentangle. We doubt he will ever arrive at the complete truth.  

The honour and distinction of achieving a high rank in public service has been replaced with greed, with a convenient blindness to the immorality of their actions.

What is the pernicious, deceitful manipulation of recorded crime and detections over a 20 year period, where Chief Officers knowingly accepted 10-15% performance bonuses related to fudged numbers if it isn’t corruption?
The police will never regain our trust until they get decent leadership and smash the so-called ‘canteen culture’ that pervades the force. Now, surely, the game is up. The decent officers, the majority, deserve much better than they have got, and so does the British public.

The Chief Officers who have perpetrated, organised, condoned or turned a blind eye to these and the other scurrilous practices on this and previous pages must be held finally to account for their parts, for it seems that they have smashed their moral compass to pieces.

And finally, Sir Hugh vs Lord Dear .... whose view do I prefer?  
Res ipsa loquitor - I'll let the facts speak for themselves

 







5 comments:

allcoppedout said...

I am no fan of ACPO as you know Steve. I don't see the answer in any elite recruitment. My time in management development left me thinking on why management and leader development is so bad, rather than a solution to problems. Our public school children end up at our best universities and a fair few enter financial services. One only has to think of PPI, interest rate swaps, Enron (et al) and the weird situation of derivates, tax dodging, offshore transfer pricing and the collapse of wages to wonder about the honesty and competence of the leaders who brought this about. Indeed, integrity is justified in this world by 'dirty hands' and Mankiw morality (CEOs should loot) reminiscent of noble cause with the added aspect of enlarged cop bank accounts.

The integrity we both want can only come by disestablishing the performance management system of juking (which is essentially Soviet) and finding new ways of accountability. I have heard that we need leaders not managers for 30 years and seen no change. It remains difficult to tell the difference between a risk taker and a moron.
Our public need more access to justice and we score low on that front amongst civilised nations. My local cops can't even cope with a rogue 14 year old and it's not for want of trying. The system is only kept going by a minority of backbone officers - much, I suspect, as the wards in mid-Staffs were.
The issue is probably as big as loss of democracy.

Crime Analyst said...

From LinkedIn...
I must say that the "debate" between the two distinguished persons has reinforced my view that for all of the great benefits that promotion by merit has brought to police forces around the world, the one glaring anomaly in the system is the declining administrative capability of our executive level personnel. I have watched (and in some circumstances participated) in a system that has created a cadre of executives who lack the knowledge and experience that comes from the bump and grind of working assiduously through the ranks, accumulating the bruises and knocks that prepare them for executive decision making. As a result too many decisions are being taken that cannot withstand scrutiny, not because the decision takers are corrupt, but more because they don't really understand the full implications of the decisions they take, largely due to not having worked through the system where similar issues have been considered and discarded by those who have gone before them. We seem to live in a world where every decision that is made is a new one and frankly it is just not the case. It is not about leadership or management, it is much more simple than that. These people don't have experienced admin support (all been downsized), they don't have a career path that has taken them through similar decision processes and they are committing to courses of action without the benefit of frank and fearless advice.

Regards
By Garry Dobson

Crime Analyst said...

From Linked In...
The upper echelon of every agency sets not only the professional standard of the agency but the moral standard also. How can any officer regardless of rank be trusted if his or her morals are not impeccable???
By Jim Griffin

Crime Analyst said...

From Linked In...
Sir Hugh Orde has built a reputation for making a number of strange comments over the years. One of the most recent is that if PCC's were implemented senior officers would leave the service in droves. Well that did not occur. Just Google Sir Hugh Orde and there is a litany of similar comments by him.

For some time the public have made their displeasure known that the police are not satisfied with the manner in which senior officers lead the rank and file. This government have now decided to act and in doing so are changing the rules to appoint police leaders from other countries. Is this the way forward? Maybe we will have to go through the process to make this discovery.

As for Sir Hugh Ordes comments maybe they are born from the fact he placed himself forwards for the position which Bernard Hogan Howe holds and was declined. It would be extremely disappointing if his personal angst has got in the way of intelligent and professional comment.
By Ray Glenn

Anonymous said...

How many of the problems because very few police officers are former members of the Armed Forces . I was told that until the early 1960s, many retired guards NCOs entered the Met an city of London Police forces. Someone entering the Police who was a physically former fit guards NCO, who had combat experience in WW2, Palestine, Malaya , Cyprus , etc , etc would have the confidence to know when to diffuse a situation with a joke or go in hard and fast. It appears to me that for a Police Force to be effective large amounts of discretion needs to b delegated to Police Officers and therefore they need very high levels of integrity, a broad range of experience providing the basis for sound judgement and common sense.
Since the late 1960s, mistakes made by Police Officers have been greatly magnified by hard left types in order to under mine law and order. Many parents no longer accept responsibility for their children and when they break laws and often blame Police officers for their arrest. The result has been risk averse senior Police Officers often causing responses to be too little, too late which can cause events to spiral out of control.

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