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Other views

7. We would welcome any additional views you have on our strategy and how it will affect you, or any other person.

We would welcome any views you have.
The National Independent Strategic Advisory Group welcomes the opportunity to comment on this document. The response below brings together comments from the individual members of NISAG but has not been formally adopted as a collective response from the Group. General comments: Overall NISAG members responded positively to the strategy document. One member wrote “Overall I found this to be an excellent strategy and it made a great deal of sense to me”, and another “It strikes me as a very ambitious plan, but I'm too cynical to expect it to cure all ills!“ Another member highlighted three positive points: • Good focus on building dynamic capabilities throughout the document • Good identification of the importance of the virtual space • The idea of establishing a learning network is a good and positive one. One member, however, commented that it was not always clear whether the document is setting out a strategy for ten years of continuous change, or a vision of policing in ten years time, with the latter being impossible in an era of rapid social and technological change. Individual consultation questions: 1. Does the Policing 2026 strategy identify and acknowledge the main risks, challenges, opportunities and demands likely to impact on policing over the next 10 years? All members responded positively to this question, although one member pointed out that it is not possible to assess the accuracy of a prediction 10 years ahead. Specific comments were: • Yes. I like how it is worded - very broad and inclusive. My concerns are more about how! In the time I have been involved there has been an impressive culture change within policing but it needs to be much more. I hope it is achievable. • The recognition that not all communities are local, and that there are also “communities of identity and virtual connection” is very welcome. However, the use of the word “localism” in this connection is therefore misleading. • I believe the 2026 strategy does identify and acknowledge the main risks, challenges, opportunities and demands likely to impact on policing over the next 10 years. While the strategy clearly identifies many of the significant issues by name such as alcohol, drugs, crime, disability, equality and diversity, it does not appear to recognise that these issues can cohabitate in one person or be a sequence of drivers for a troubled life style. For example, many transgender people can struggle with their identity, which may lead them to drink and drugs as a form of escape, which drives them to need more and more money, which then turns to crime. Many of these issues are connected one leading to the other, but the root cause (being transgender) can often be hidden below a mired of other issues which show up more readily, more visibly. 2 2. Do you agree the main areas of focus proposed within the Policing 2026 strategy are the right ones to deliver an enhanced policing service? All members responded positively to this question. One member wrote: • I assume that when they refer to the ‘focus’ in the above question, they are referring to Protection, Prevention, Communities, Knowledge and Innovation. While these are important and essential points of focus, I would also suggest that communication, relationship, and trust are also important points of focus too. We all know how important communication is, and it is often said that communication is about trust, and trust is about relationship – if we don’t have relationship, we’ll not have communication. • However, one member pointed out that it is unclear how the 7 “themes” referred to on p.2 related to the 5 “areas” elaborated on p.11. 3. Do you agree the methods proposed within this strategy are the right ones to deliver an improved policing service? All members responded positively to this question. Specific comments were: • Yes, I like that there will be a focus on mental health and addictions and how this will change with the decision making model looks achievable - this in particular is good as I can't count the number of times I have heard officers say they are unhappy at spending hours helping with people who have mental illness health when it should be a mental health workers job. • I like the plan to use success stories - they should be shared where appropriate with partners and the public too. • At a strategic level I believe that the proposed methods are the right ones. The challenge may be getting the message through and making the strategy operational. In particular, collaborative working small groups and charities with very limited resources can be difficult. Often starting out with great energy and expectations, only to fizzle out with few benefits gained or progress made. 4. The Policing 2026 Strategy states that public confidence will be a key measure of success and the effectiveness of Police performance. Do you agree with this approach? All members responded positively to this question. Additional comments were: • If by public confidence, PS mean that hate crime will always be reported because the person reporting feels confident enough, and safe enough, to do so, and in the knowledge that PS will respond quickly, listen and understand their concerns, and prevent it happening again, then yes I agree public confidence will be a key measure. • Public confidence is obviously crucial to policing by consent, but the challenge is how to measure that. Inferences from other data such as reporting rates are inevitably flawed because they rely on assumptions about “known unknowns”, but efforts like the recent public perception survey are unlikely to reach the people who most need to be listened to. 3 • Absolutely. I occasionally have clients at work who are very unhappy or angry with police officers’ decisions. Asking what do they think would have made it better results in them mostly saying they don’t know. People may well have more confidence in Police Scotland if they have better understanding and know what to expect. 5. The Policing 2026 strategy highlights that we will need to re-shape our organisation with a workforce focussed on having the right skills and capacity to meet future challenges. Do you agree with this approach? All members responded very positively to this question. One member wrote: • Yes I agree, individual and personal development, organisational learning, and organisational development, are critical aspects and processes essential to any organisation in this fast changing world, and vitally important for PS to ensure they remain fully effective and achieve their objectives over the next ten years. • In principle it would be difficult to disagree with this. However in practice there is always a danger that today’s prediction becomes next year’s strait-jacket. For example, there is no way we can know today just how obsolete the technology referred to in 2.3.3–5 will be; the only thing we can be sure of is that it will be obsolete! The process of restructuring and identifying necessary skills must therefore be dynamic and iterative. 6. Is the strategy presented in a clear and understandable way? Responses to this question were more qualified. Members wrote: • For some people yes. There will be lots of accessible formats but some of the people who are likely to have Police Scotland involvement in their lives would probably not be able to comment for example people subject to adult protection concerns, have mental ill health, addictions and more. • The use of graphics sometimes seems gratuitous and does not always help make the message clearer. Words can be precise; graphics always require interpretation and so are always ambiguous. Even the “XXVI” logo appears to be the meaningless “XXVT”, especially in the monochrome version at the top of the cover and elsewhere. It is entirely unclear what the diagram on p. 15 means: the natural reading of an arrow is “leads to”, but does transforming corporate services lead to improved public contact, or “empowering our people” lead to investment in IT? • Yes, I agree – for someone who is used to reading this type of strategy document! For those trying to find their own community, their own individual issues, it might not be so easy. I do understand that this document is a high level document, but I would suggest that there be another version, which is more receiver orientated for the likes of charitable organisation and small community groups that may need to work collaboratively with PS and may need to understand how they can do that, what the can contribute, and what PS is requiring of them. Perhaps something that they can more easily relate to and identify with. 7. We would welcome any additional views you have on our strategy and how it will affect you, or any other person. Members made the following additional points: 4 • My expectation is that this PS Strategy, if successfully implemented, will help me feel safer, feel better protected, and perhaps feel better understood, which in turn will help me to live my life more freely and openly. The danger is that having set these excellent expectations, PS may fail to achieve them fully, perhaps even for reasons not of their own making. I would suggest that some recognition is made of the need for individuals, and organisations, both large and small, to fully support and contribute towards this strategy by their actions and behaviours. PS cannot do it all by themselves, we all need to be in there somewhere! • I think it is very positive but other professionals may be apprehensive as it could (or could be perceived to) increase overstretched services for vulnerable people. • According to how the additions on that we can say how affect persons. • While I fully support this PS ten-year strategy, I do recognise that its success is dependent on everyone being fully aware of this strategy and understanding it, and understand how it can help and support individuals and organisations in times of trouble or uncertainty. This is particularly important for the LGBT community due to this community’s general isolation and fear of engagement. With that in mind, I feel that it is worth being mindful of the problems of implementing strategy as highlighted in Phil Jones book ‘Communicating Strategy’: “Almost nine out of ten organizations failed to fully implement their strategy as they had planned. Research suggests that of all, of all the staff in the organization, only 5% of them understood the strategy. A more recent survey suggested that this figure was round 8%. I would suspect that the difference is not significant.” • It is noticeable that the slogan “Keeping people safe” does not appear in this document. Instead the main purpose of policing is stated to be “improving the safety and well-being of people, localities, and communities”. That could appear to be a retreat, or it could be a realistic acknowledgement that nothing can ever keep everyone safe. On the other hand, the addition of “well-being” is perhaps too ambitious, or at least takes policing into the arena of other public services such as health and welfare. In addition, one member submitted the following detailed comments on the strategy document: Key Points: • Inconsistencies in the use of terminology across the document. Sometimes the term "Collaborative Working" is used and sometimes the term "Partnership" is used. • The inter-relationships between the strategic objectives in the model on page 15, 16, 17 (and page 31) do not make sense. Empowering, enabling and developing our people will not necessarily lead to investment in the use of IT. Similarly, Enhancing Cyber and Forensic Capabilities will not lead to a transformation of corporate support services. • The demands we may face in the future (pages 24-27) only looks at a couple of selected aspects of diversity (such as age). It does not look, for example, at the gender revolution (as coined by National Geographic in January 2017) and increased use of gender-defining terms such as non-binary, intersex, queer, questioning (for example 5 pronouns they/they/it and titles "Mx" "Mix" etc) - and the implications that has for policing. Similarly, the growing/changing race and language mix in Scotland and the implications this has for policing is not adequately reflected in this section. • In "Day in the life of PC Sophie Robertson" on page 37, 38 and 39, the key change on page 37 between 2016 and 2026 is that she now has a qualification and the technology is better. What is missing here is that technology should not be an outcome, but should be an enabler. What should be different in 2026 is a more interactive, personalised policing experience that better serves communities. Similarly on page 38 and 39, the key change is that the technology has got better and the PC has longer to get food and drink at a local cafe. There needs to be a stronger emphasis on a personalised policing approach and a stronger focus on community service, community interaction and relationship-building. • Sue's story on page 46 and 47 is highly idealistic. It assumes that Sue is white (from the picture), has good written English (not always the case amongst increasingly diverse communities) and has a high level of computer knowledge and know-how. How would this scenario differ if Sue was more vulnerable (for instance suffered from dementia or mental illness)? Some crime reports show that cyber-crime is targeting older and more vulnerable individuals (perhaps some with mental disabilities) - this scenario does not reflect this. • Very little emphasis on the importance of "learning" as part of the transformation/change process in the early parts of the document. Learning is key to becoming an effective and sustainable organisation. The learning organisation section on page 35 appears as a tag-on and this learning focus needs to be underpinned more strongly throughout the document. Minor Points • Is there a reason why the logo for 2026 is designed to appear like a mis-shapen diamond (the bottom right hand corner being misshapen) • "This means developing a diverse workforce with the right balance of experience, skills, professionalism and capabilities" (page 5) - the word "knowledge" is missing here. Similarly, Workforce development is considered in relation to "changing the mix of skills and experience" (page 14) - knowledge is important here too. • Opening letter (page 5) talks about "reform journey". However, this is arguably not a "reform journey", but the next stage in the development and evolution of Police Scotland (or simply "journey"). Reform implies that there exist current deficiencies or inadequacies in the service. The reform which led to the creation of Police Scotland (and merging of forces) has already happened. • I would recommend a change of terminology to "good practice" in place of "best practice". Best practice envisages one single way of doing things. Good practice acknowledge that solutions must fit the text and may vary and must be adapted according to the situation that you are faced. • "Many of the most time consuming incidents relate to concerns for persons, missing/ absconded persons and dealing with sudden deaths. Considering recorded crime in isolation is therefore not an accurate measure of demand on policing services." (page 22) While I understand the point that is being made here, this narrative can be read in a 6 very cold manner. You may wish to soften this by saying "While such incidents are undoubtedly important and worthy of police time, considering recorded crime in isolation..." • On page 13, it states that diverse communities need police support to increase their resilience (first sentence under point 3: "Communities"). The wording here may suggest to some that diverse communities may be considered weak and need police assistance to be toughened up. This is at odds with a policing approach that seeks to support, protect and serve diverse communities. This same argument is better made and supported on page 29. • The “Journey so far” (page 8) does not touch upon an increasingly turbulent external environment and consequences arising from terrorism (Glasgow airport attack) and significant political change nationally and globally

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National Independant Strategic Advisory Group