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PSA Response to 2022 HMICFRS State of Policing Report

PSA President Paul Fotheringham responds to the 2022 HMICFRS State of Policing Report:

“This is an important, informed report from a chief HMICFRS inspector who has years of experience in policing, and is independent of both government and other police leaders. Consultation has been key to its development, and I was pleased to be invited to inform the final report, contributing feedback and insight on behalf of our members. I agree with the majority of the observations made, many of which relate to areas on which our association has focussed for some time.  Our members are the senior officers leading work linked to every one of these issues, whilst also being personally affected by the challenges of delivering policing. 

 “Whilst the report rightly applauds the dedication and professionalism of the vast majority of the police workforce, it is also a summary of widespread, deep-rooted factors that are each having damaging impacts on the ability of policing to do what the public wants and expects.  Each of these has been apparent for some time, in some cases for years, yet we continue to assess and strategise without seeing real change.  We heard of a commitment to a Royal Commission into the Criminal Justice System 4 years ago and a review of the outdated police funding system 8 years ago, for example.  Neither have happened, yet this goes widely unchallenged.
 “It is encouraging to see examples throughout the report of the brilliant work underway across policing to address some of the issues described, but we remain a service working without truly unified action, meaning that the benefits of this excellence take too long to be widely seen and felt by our communities. I hope that the report results in considered responses from government, the NPCC and the APCC about the matters raised, and that it can instigate renewed commitments from those with the power to address the many problems we face.
 “I am pleased to see attention on the severe wellbeing crisis we know is present across our Service, with our own concerning survey results being referenced. The challenges we read about here will each have an impact on the wellbeing of our people, and we have a responsibility to support them.  The report references the increase in people leaving our service, alongside the critical need for strong supervision and leadership – we need to be clear that with a hugely inexperienced workforce ahead of us – creating a culture of support, learning and recognition is vital in protecting the workforce mix of experience and fresh thinking that we need.”

The 2022 State of Policing Report can be viewed here.