All Police Forces Must Look At Internal Culture To Continue To Improve Public Service

ALL police forces need to look at their culture and carrying on improving to provide a better service to the public and to better care for police officers.

“I have definitely seen positive changes in my service, but there’s still a long way to go,” said Zoe Wakefield, Chair of Hampshire Police Federation.

“I think that every police force needs to take a really hard look at itself, look at the contents of the Baroness Casey report into the Metropolitan Police, and identify where changes need to be made in their force.”

Last month, Baroness Casey’s report into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service was published. It concluded that the London force was “institutionally” racist, sexist and homophobic.

Zoe added: “It appears to be a fair and balanced report. Obviously, not being in the Met I can’t say that things are like that in the Metropolitan Police but I’ve obviously, over the years, spoken to many people in the Met and I know that it is very different from county forces.

“I’m, sadly, not shocked by the content of the report. I do think that it would be very naïve of anyone to say that there are no instances of that happening in every force around the country. The majority of it is down to culture and that whole culture does need to change.”

Zoe said that the negative narrative around policing was having an affect on officers at the moment.

She added: “I really feel for all frontline police officers, particularly male police officers. I know that they’re being shouted at and being called ‘rapists’ while they’re out and about on patrol, which is just obviously completely unacceptable.

“I think it’s a really tough time to be a police officer at the moment.”

Responding to the report, PFEW National Chair Steve Hartshorn, said: “The report has raised many serious issues that cannot be ignored and need to be properly addressed if officers can have confidence in the system in which they work and the public can once again have confidence in policing.

“The weight and seriousness of the findings demonstrate that rightly, the focus now should be the fundamental changes that need to be undertaken to improve our service for the public and our members.

“Culture change is desperately needed across all forces to tackle these grievous issues, not just within the Met. This starts from the top through directive, ethical leadership. The Police Federation of England and Wales will play its part working with chiefs across the 43 forces to reflect and take action on the recommendations the report has identified based on its conclusions.”



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