1 What is the role of HMICFRS?

John Apter (JA): My first question is to ask Sir Tom to explain why HMICFRS as an organisation is relevant to rank and file officers? Sir Tom Winsor (STW): I think it is highly relevant. Our statutory remit is unchanged since 1856 when the first Inspectors of Constabulary were set up to inspect and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of every police force in England and Wales. The efficiency and effectiveness of police forces is a function of how well- trained, how well-equipped, and how well led and supervised frontline officers are. One of the abiding themes that goes through our reports - not all, but many - is that where we find things that are inefficient or ineffective, or less efficient and less effective than they should be, it is often, not always, a function of failures in training and failures in the quality of supervision and leadership.

The police officers I’ve met are just eager

to get out there to protect people, prevent crime of course – that’s Peel’s first principle - and of course catch the bad guys. They want more and more of the obstacles to being more effective and efficient removed. They’d like to be able to get on and do a better job and do more policing, rather than lots of paperwork or frustration. We can say - and do say – exactly what we find, and what we think of it. I think that is highly relevant to frontline officers and police staff.

2 Benefits of Force management statements

JA: You brought in Force management statements to HMICFRS. Many colleagues may not heard of these, but I believe they are relevant and help ensure Forces are doing things around wellbeing, mental health and physical health etc. How have Force management statements improved policing, and do you have plans to expand their impact and roll-out? STW: Every police force in England and Wales must - they don’t have a choice - give HMICFRS an annual Force management statement. These are of enormous importance. For those not familiar with them, each is an annual self-assessment signed by the Chief Constable - and no one else - under a declaration of truth and accuracy.

It’s the chief’s self-assessment of three things. Three things every well managed enterprise - whether it’s commercial, public sector, large or small - must know if they’re going to make sound decisions about how they deploy assets and serve their public. The first thing considered is the likely future demand Forces will face over their next four years. The second is to consider the state of the force’s assets which will be deployed to meet that demand. The third is to examine how much money - as an efficient operator, an efficient police force - would be required in order to use those assets to meet that demand. We require the Chief Constable to assess and report to us the condition, capacity, capability, serviceability,



This month, John Apter, PFEW National Chair, talks to Sir Tom Winsor from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services

performance, efficiency and security of supply of the assets of the police force: police staff and police officers. This has a direct relationship to their wellbeing - physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing - and how well trained they are and how well-equipped. This is not the Chief Constable’s sales

pitch. It has to be complete and accurate in all material respects, and it forces a political debate in the light of the reality that the police can never meet all conceivable demand.

3 The Winsor Review and regrets or thoughts about not going far enough

JA: I encourage colleagues to read their Forces’ management statements. They make Forces think about what they do, and that can only be a good thing. Moving on, before this role you were known by colleagues for conducting the Winsor Review into police officers’ terms and conditions. You know it was viewed unfavourably by many within policing. Are there any recommendations you regret making, or any you don’t think went far enough? STW: I’m glad you raised it. I’ve clocked up eight years as Chief Inspector of Constabulary and the review took pretty much all my time for two years before that. So I’ve had 10 years looking very hard at policing, even though I have not served as a police officer and I never will. I don’t have that direct experience, but

that is not to say that I can’t make sound assessments of efficiency, effectiveness and other matters. The pay review was received negatively. I will always remember looking on TV at 30,000 off-duty police officers marching through central London to the Home Office, protesting against the Government’s police reform programme. One big part of that was the pay review,

and I watched police officers being taken aside by Sky News or BBC and asked: ‘Why are you here, and why are you so angry?’ I found it frustrating because on many occasions police officers who were interviewed were condemning the pay review for something it did not contain. Almost every police officer in the

country was told that as a result of the review I’d done, they would be £3-4,000 a year worse off. That just simply wasn’t true. We calculated almost everyone would either stand still, or, in about 60% of cases, they


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