ACPO comment on Royal Society of Arts study: Reflexive Coppers - Adaptive Challenges in Policing
Accepting that individuals in the heat of complex incidents can make mistakes is most likely to encourage greater openness from officers
ACPO lead for workforce development Chief Constable Peter Fahy said:
"The vast majority of our staff are driven by a very strong sense of vocation and personally-held values of public service and compassion.
"The report is right to suggest that in the pace of modern policing and the pressure to be visibly active there is a need to reflect on difficult incidents and perhaps how they could have been handled differently. Many staff do this already because they care deeply about their impact on the public.
"ACPO has recently developed and promoted its own decision-making model which helps staff to ensure that the core values of British policing are constantly taken into account by staff.
"Developing professional practise through a new professional body for policing, as proposed by the Home Office, will also help in this regard.
"Self-awareness, policing ethics and the impact of leadership behaviour on culture are key aspects of police leadership training. The media and other regulatory organisations can play a part by acknowledging that in many incidents it is better to adopt a lesson to be learned approach rather than finding an individual to blame.
"Accepting that individuals in the heat of complex incidents can make mistakes is most likely to encourage greater openness from officers."
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The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest and, in equal and active partnership with Government and partner agencies, ACPO leads and co-ordinates the direction and development of the police service in the United Kingdom. In times of national need ACPO, on behalf of all chief officers, co-ordinates the strategic policing response.
ACPO’s 295 members consist of 213 chief police officers from the home forces of assistant chief constable rank (commanders in the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police) and above, plus 55 senior police staff members from the 44 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Non home forces such as British Transport Police have 24 chief police officer members and there are three members from the Service Police.