Police minister Damien Green calls for culture change to take forward the next stage of police reform.
The police reform programme has so far relied on structural reforms such as ending the culture of Whitehall interference and target-setting and the election of police and crime commissioners. For the next stage the government’s role will be to set the strategic agenda and to ensure that support is given to the police in cutting crime. It is for chief constables and police and crime commissioners to determine how best to achieve this goal.
The pace of reform will continue by embedding a culture of excellence which will allow all officers to thrive in their profession and to drive relentlessly the pursuit of efficiency across the board.
The culture of policing should be regarded in the same way as performance – no matter its high standing, it can always be improved. The importance of police culture extends far beyond HR departments and office canteens. The reform package is opening up police integrity to the glare of public transparency and ensuring a new independence in the investigation of all serious or sensitive complaints made against the police.
The next stage of the reform programme will be even more radical and more important in shaping policing for the future. It is about changing the way policing is done on a daily basis, to make each officer, PCSO and member of police staff much more effective.
The police will be given the tools they need to transform what they do on the frontline every day. Not just physical tools – although they will play a significant part – but also support from new partnership working, more freedom from counter-productive target-setting and, crucially, a change in cultures and attitudes to embrace the modern age.