At the end of January 2016 I set out my vision for West Midlands Police “Preventing crime, protecting the public and helping those in need”.
Two years on it is time to reflect on what has been achieved and refresh that outlook.
This week I will take a theme each day and reflect on where we are, and where we need to be.
Looking back at my speech in truth little has changed for what we set out to build even if events have created new challenges on the journey.
Since we all signed up to our new vision the world has evolved. We have opted to leave the EU. Technology has moved at great pace. The UK has faced sustained acts of terror. Here in the West Midlands we can now look forward to Coventry as the City of Culture and Birmingham as the 2022 host of the Commonwealth Games. None of this was predicted in January 2016.
Deserted – the foundling (1873), Frank Holl. Image courtesy of Art Gallery New South Wales.
The core of the vision remains as solid as ever, though not everything has been achieved yet. You will remember Holl’s picture, Deserted – the foundling that I used as the basis of my desire to create a modern force based upon traditional values.
I have reflected on that image in recent months because our challenge is very much focussed on the attitudes and behaviours we individually demonstrate as West Midlands Police.
Living our values of friendship and care
I am passionate about the values we set out in 2016 and from the consultation we did on those values, you were too. Your thoughts shaped them then and you live them now. They are a vital guide for us all in taking the right path in the complex world we have to navigate.
Follow them with your heart and you will act as we want. Sometimes this is a tough ask. We are asking you to “Make the right decisions however tough they are” because we simply cannot do everything asked of us and need to prioritise.
THRIVE+ was always intended to guide your judgement on how to assess threat and vulnerability. It’s a framework but means nothing if it is not supported by the values of the force. Both are there to help you make decisions, “however tough”. These values say “I care about the people I serve” and “I show friendship by helping the public”. There is a huge amount of this great work ongoing in the force.
Equally there have been times this year where I have seen examples where we have done the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. Where we turned away someone who needed help for no good reasons or cases where we simply took on work for colleagues and passed the buck rather than make a tough decisions because there was really no policing purpose. All justified under THRIVE+ as a process, but detached from the values we adopted.
In 2018 we must focus less on structures and remits and more on ensuring that we, and for leaders those we lead consistently show the values of the force demonstrated in behaviours. Showing friendship and becoming more comfortable on making tough decisions based on our values.
How are you living the vision and values? As always I’m keen to see how you are bringing them to life? Tweet me your thoughts @davethompsoncc
If you haven’t already seen it, my story features in the latest Humans of WMP.
Tomorrow: the People Deal… what does it mean for you?