Livewire - May 23, 2012

Miranda Carruthers-Watt, Chief Executive of Lancashire Police Authority
Miranda Carruthers-Watt, Chief Executive of Lancashire Police Authority
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By Miranda Carruthers-Watt, chief executive of Lancashire Police Authority

AS the new era of policing draws ever closer, the full implications of these landmark policing reforms are becoming more apparent.

Naturally, officers cannot anticipate how the incoming – and as yet unselected – Police and Crime Commissioner may want the local landscape to look, but one thing is clear, the changes must deliver better services.

At the moment, on one hand we are trying not to appear presumptuous by prescribing how the Commissioner will want to work.

On the other, my team and I need to have the groundwork in place so the successful person can hit the ground running, while much will depend on who is elected on November 15, and the manifesto upon which the votes were cast.

Right now, we need to ensure the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire is ready to go from day one.

To achieve this, partnership co-operation will be crucial in driving forward a successful anti-crime agenda.

The phrase ‘partnership working’ has been known to invoke feelings of inertia, due to the complexity of the processes involved. However, as we stand on the precipice of the biggest change to the way policing is governed in decades, ‘partnership working’ becomes an exciting rollercoaster hurtling towards a successful outcome.

In Lancashire, we believe it is important partners are involved in every stage of the planning process.

We are therefore already working to make sure they are part of the candidate briefing process, and they are able to be part of the induction programme for the successful candidate. We are also looking at opportunities for partners to identify two or three things that they would want to change or that are major priorities.

The Lancashire approach, subject of course to the wishes of the commissioner, will be to develop an inclusive commissioning process that works to identify public spend across a broad spectrum of agencies. We also aim to build mechanisms to deliver against outcomes such as reducing re-offending. We hope to see strong links develop with GP commissioning and Health and Wellbeing boards.

The earlier we can forge these new working patterns, the more effective the new governance changes will be.