President Paul Griffiths reflects on a decade in the PSA and the level of change we have seen in the Police Service in that time:
January 2020 marks my decade in the Police Superintendents’ Association. Over those 10 years, significant challenges have seen by the Service and the people charged with delivering it.
Policing was described by some political commentators as an ‘unreformed institution’, which has caused me to reflect – is this really the case? Are we really a Service that is firmly, resolutely stuck in its ways with a belief that we don’t have to change, or can’t change? I don’t think so.
It is all too easy to band phrases around for political rhetoric and gain, without a true reflection on reality. In my view, the last ten years have posed the most extreme tests to Policing – perhaps the most challenging since its inception, and ‘reform’ could now even describe our ‘status quo’ in terms of what we strive for. Let’s review the evidence:
All these events haven’t simply happened ‘to’ our Service, they have been part of a massive system of change and development that shows no sign of slowing down.
Unreformed? Many would argue that our Service is almost unrecognisable today compared with in 2010.
We live in times where change is constant – Instagram was only just launched in 2010, Netflix had only 10% of its current 167 million subscribers and the term ‘Brexit’ had never even been spoken.
As the world continues to develop rapidly, as threats and challenges increase and ‘demand’ becomes a word that means so much, there is no doubt our journey of ‘reform’ could get quicker, more innovative and involve changes we are yet to even contemplate.
But let’s celebrate what we’ve already achieved – how much we’ve already learned, and how far we’ve come. Let’s embrace the next decade of duty with the energy and drive of the last and continue to strive to be the best Police Service in the world.