If you don't get forwarded, click here

ACPO v Bratton...and not for the first time

The rumours about Bill Bratton becoming the next Commissioner turned out to be only partly true. As much as Cameron may have wanted it, Theresa May shut him down on a technicality. It was shrewd manoeuvring by Theresa May. She has demonstrated the ability to deftly navigate the minefield of police politics while tactically positioning herself to stop her boss from making a potentially career ending decision.

Sir Hugh Orde, President of ACPO
She has demonstrated a genuine affinity to, and understanding of, the police service for which she is responsible, something that cannot be said of any Home Secretary in recent history. Her management of this potentially explosive situation demonstrates a political skill set of a Prime Minister...i tip her for the top job should it  become available.

The Home Secretary has Cameron on a short lead and as a compromise solution Bill Bratton is to be appointed to an advisory position, for which he will not be paid.

I have a liking of Bill Bratton that's born out of respect. Its difficult not to have respect for such an accomplished police officer, manager, and leader. His wealth of knowledge and experience is unprecedented in the UK and his offer to advise our government on policing issues is an opportunity that i am afraid is going to be missed due a defensive attitude by our senior police officers.
Today ACPO boss, Sir Hugh Orde, has made it clear that he is unimpressed with the appointment and to some extent I tend to agree with him. Our police chiefs are a proud bunch...and rightly so. They are the best of the best, and I say that without hesitation. But we are entering a period of high unemployment, high social tension, and ever increasing poverty. It's been 25 years since we have had riots of the kind we had last week, and in planning for such situations it makes sense to take advice. The global pooling of police intelligence, knowledge, experiences, advice, policy and tactics makes sense, and i see Bratton's appointment as a tentative step in the direction of global interoperability...something that is way overdue.

Bill Bratton
In defence of ACPO, I don't see that our Chief Constables and Commissioners have given the government any reason to doubt their ability. They are good at their jobs, yet Bill Bratton's appointment could be seen as a lack of government confidence in our police chiefs. I think this is just born out of the law of unintended consequences, but am disappointed that Cameron had not considered it.

There is one characteristic of our chiefs that always make me proud to be a police officer, and that's turning a negative into a positive. Despite how they might feel, Bill Bratton does represent a resource of skills and knowledge that can be picked at to improve how we work.

Hugh Orde makes the point that Bratton is experienced in policing a very different criminal element. He says that the styles of policing "are fundamentally different from [the uk]".
Its my turn to be unimpressed now...Hugh Orde is not behaving how i would expect a police chief to behave. He is setting himself up for a conflict between the police service and the government. A conflict that could damage the relationship between police and government, and make the 'Bratton opportunity (Part 2)' worthless.

Despite how poorly the Bratton opportunity (Part 2) has been managed by the government, it's a chance for Hugh Orde to show the police service has it's ego in check, and is still a service that learns.

What's 'the Bratton Opportunity Part 1'?...Boris's unfinished business Take a trip to the discussion forum to find out the gory political details.