Friday, 30 December 2011

A rainy day up Latrigg

Latrigg is just north of Keswick and is a small hill with a stunning view of Keswick, Derwent and the surrounding hills. For a short walk the vista is stunning

Wainwright states it is good for a view whatever the weather

So to test the theory we popped up today in pouring rain.

He is absolutely correct. A great muddy wet walk yet still some beautful views.

There are of course 3 rules in photography

1. Have I got the right kit. Is there a technical solution to the problem or the picture i desire
2. Am I being artistic enough. Do I have the right composition, view lighting etc
3. I havent walked up this rainy hill not to take a picture

This is the view on the way up

And the view from the top

Finally lost of other pictures on my Picassa album opposite

A great walk

Here is a link for some better pics

Now looking forward to 2012

Best wishes for the New Year all round

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Supporting ECPATs rowing team across the Atlantic

ECPAT is an international charity aiming to tackle Child Prostitution and Trafficking.
It is a great charity and here is a tale of what some people are doing this December and all over Xmas to support it,
ECPAT Youth Coordinator Debbie Beadle has done amazing things to set up and run the ECPAT UK Youth Group to support child victims of trafficking.
8 months ago Debbie declared she was going to row across the Atlantic to raise awareness of ECPAT UK and the campaign to get guardians for children who are victims of trafficking.
Now here we are approaching Christmas and Debbie and 4 other amazing women are two weeks into their epic and record breaking attempt to row across the Atlantic on their boat called "˜The Guardian".  They are doing incredibly well and you can follow their voyage on the websites below and listen to their voice blogs.
They started off their journey in the Canary Islands 17 days ago and are heading towards Barbados overcoming new challenges every day. Not only that Debbie and the team are going for two world records, including a world speed record, and they are currently in 7th place and rowing against 16 other teams in the world's toughest rowing challenge. With under 1700 nautical miles left to row they really want you to read their blog, get inspired and donate.  
This Christmas please remember Debbie and the rest of the Row for Freedom team as they endure broken equipment, blisters, 30 foot waves, flying fish and boils on their bum. It's all for a great cause and to remember the plight of those children who are so far away from home and who need just one person they can trust and who will be there for them.
Read Debbie's blog  written from the boat in the mid Atlantic:

Follow their daily progress on The Guardian in the race at :

Donate at:

The lead for this is
Christine Beddoe
Grosvenor Gardens House
35-37 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0BS
Tel: +44 (0)20 7233 9887
Fax: +44 (0)20 7233 9869
Registered Charity  1104948


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

PWC Report on Cybercrime. Personal Reflections

PWC has recently launched its research Cybercrime: protecting against the growing threat

This is a wide ranging study into the causes, reactions and responses to cybercrimes. Having overcome the normal issue of finding an appropriate definition of Cybercrime it outlines a number of interesting points that will be of concern, and more importantly value, to Business and Public sector alike
Some initial surprises include that respondents fear the reputational damage as much as the financial damage,  probably reflecting how sensitive everyone is to adverse comment or being seen to fail.

The paucity of a review function within an organisation and appropriate methods of control is surprising. Clearly outlining a need of the CEO to get a grip, the report focuses on a range of ideas to keep any organisation in a state of better safety (complete safety is probably not possible in today’s globally connected digital world)

Of immediate concern was the number of executives who could not state whether their organisation had suffered a loss or an attack.

Some simple comments such as “advancements in technology make it easier to commit cybercrimes” litter the document.
Creating a balance between the Risks, Harm and Threat is clearly much easier if there is an adequate supply of quality information
The report suggests that planning for known threats including having, for example, an agreed approach to investigation and media would be of serious value

What was surprising was the impact of attacks on staff morale which was at 28% a high score as collateral damage. This is not something that seems to be covered elsewhere to a large extent.

In terms of who causes these attacks or crimes, the preponderance of ex or current customers, vendors and agents is clear. Look inwards before you look outwards is probably the message

The report shows an interesting change in the detection methods used, from audit to intelligence led proactivity. In other words, don’t rely just on simple audit processes to reveal attacks or concerns, link it to existing active investigation.

In summary a very useful addition to the Cybercrime agenda

I would personally add the value of greater Social Media monitoring and seeking feedback. Perhaps having a clear compass for what is acceptable and what is not (see my comments on the Police Code of Conduct)

I would also support the creation of a Company/Organisation/Force-wide Cyber Security Board headed by a senior executive to cover all aspects of digital connectivity. This works well in Cumbria

Remember as well that the risk is not just digital. Written documents can equally be subject to “offensive activity” or loss/ Social engineering should also be a major issue for future plans.

Finally in the light of other documents hitting the headlines I have not been paid, invited or rewarded for this piece by anyone, including the authors. I do, however, value their contribution to cyber-safety

Comments welcome

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Social Media. Getting local feedback.

We ran a session the other day with colleagues from around Cumbria who we have identified as "movers and shakers" in the Social Media world.
We brought them together to help us understand the things that work and those that dont
In short a Social media tweet up

We used the Tag #cumbrianetwork

Some of the findings included

Need to get the recent Social Media Research document out to public
Attendees were very much Interested in how networks deliver
There was an Appetite to share and work with social innovators in Cumbria
The County had made use of it's Social Media networks in responding to critical incidents

Some areas our critical friends suggested for the police

Keep having a presence and do it right
Use it for Major incidents
Maximise the use of free sites eg FB Twitter YouTube, Flikr, Audio Boo
We need to accept that most people do not talk about crime on SM. Only 3% of time was spend discussing crime

They recognised the use of SM at Appleby Fair and suggested we had now set a precedent
Our Proactive use was good
Our general Response to issues was good
Felt we could do more more proactive in outlining police operations or activity 
And we also received some helpful feedback about our use of Twitter

In relation to specific feedback we were told that sometimes there are big gaps of 8 or 10 hours in our messaging. This should be reduced
Many People followed us because of the presence of a police badge

But overall there are still few people on Twitter actually but the potential audience must be about 300000

Most of the time people are not interested in policing issues and use SM for it's main. Purpose social interaction.
Many will only be interested if there is an issue
Eg if snow then interested but when it melts not so
The grop suggested we make better use of the many highly connected people to get messages out
One suggestion is that we build othe Cumbria Alert system we set up

In terms of wants and wishes it was clear we could do more to promote stories of good events that we have been involved in
Interesting stories about what we have done and the use of SM to make it work would be well received also stories about how we have resolved specific issues or case studies

Could use the link on our profile to stories about police activity.
It was a valuable lesson in the power of listening ti informed people and their ideas will be used over the next few months to change the way we work.

The most immediate change was to remove some of the negative language In our profile. Don't use Don't

They expressed the importance of Getting accurate messages out

Issue of getting from the connected to the unconnected was DI udder and how we turn links follows and friends to those not online

Need to address issues on FB as well as Twitter. We need to increase the work o our Facebook site to match what we do on other SM sites

A suggestion was made to add an RSS Feed and to State where your next update will appear

We discussed creating a Cumbria 999 feed emergency SM system with other blue light services
With an emergency hashtag for when people needed urgent critical information only

We asked if they felt it would help for us to do a Tweet Day

No don't do it was the response. Simple feedback is always best.

We were encouraged to increase the amount of Road Accident information with perhaps a summary on a Monday

Generally a request for more information about what we do and how we do it, particularly a suggestion we do more to let people know how they cam protect themselves, warnings about hoaxes and frauds, linking with Trading Standards perhaps.

A very valuable experience.

I think it really pays to reach out to those who are already on the pitch


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Isle of Man. Partnership challenge

On Wednesday I visited the Isle of Man to present information and share discussion about the way the UK has addressed partnering within the Cybercrime and Fraud environment.
The IOM currently is considering the creation of a sophisticated Hi Tech Learning  centre that would build on it's existing technology industry eg Online Gaming but also create safety and security online for it's citizens and business community.
No simple task.
During my presentation I  outlined the challenges of establishing joint facilities at a national level but the value they deliver. 
Building on my experience helping to shape and create CEOP I covered a range of issues around the need for trust between partners both public and private sector and the value of making the commitment early
I covered the progress and development of the UK Cybercrime Strategy alongside the scope of new partnering bodies such as the Police Central eCrime Unit (PeCU) and ActionFraud 
All these national facilities have been developed outside the existing frameworks for individual organisational delivery and require a great deal from each component organisation
I would suggest the following as good starting point point based on the experiences of the last decade in shaping new partnerships.

A firm commitment to the development of a common goal
Having an agreed set of terms or description that is common to all
That the intended outcome of the new partnership is bigger than the combined inputs of each individual organisation. 
An understanding that trust is critical at all levels of the partnering organisations
That providing organisations may have to change their own methods of working to accommodate others
Gaining political support at the highest and most appropriate level is vital. The earlier the better
Finally a compelling vision that can be described in a short elevator journey.

The Isle of Man has a great opportunity to learn from the efforts and energies of partnering elsewhere, but with the vision displayed yesterday and a political will to deliver they could create something special that will be world class.

I think the UK should watch these developments with interest.
On Wednesday I visited the Isle of Man to present information and share discussion about the way the UK has addressed partnering within the Cybercrime and Fraud environment.
The IOM currently is considering the creation of a sophisticated Hi Tech Learning  centre that would build on it's existing technology industry eg Online Gaming but also create safety and security online for it's citizens and business community.
No simple task.
During my presentation I  outlined the challenges of establishing joint facilities at a national level but the value they deliver. 
Building on my experience helping to shape and create CEOP I covered a range of issues around the need for trust between partners both public and private sector and the value of making the commitment early
I covered the progress and development of the UK Cybercrime Strategy alongside the scope of new partnering bodies such as the Police Central eCrime Unit (PeCU) and ActionFraud 
All these national facilities have been developed outside the existing frameworks for individual organisational delivery and require a great deal from each component organisation
I would suggest the following as good starting point point based on the experiences of the last decade in shaping new partnerships.

A firm commitment to the development of a common goal
Having an agreed set of terms or description that is common to all
That the intended outcome of the new partnership is bigger than the combined inputs of each individual organisation. 
An understanding that trust is critical at all levels of the partnering organisations
That providing organisations may have to change their own methods of working to accommodate others
Gaining political support at the highest and most appropriate level is vital. The earlier the better
Finally a compelling vision that can be described in a short elevator journey.

The Isle of Man has a great opportunity to learn from the efforts and energies of partnering elsewhere, but with the vision displayed yesterday and a political will to deliver they could create something special that will be world class.

I think the UK should watch these developments with interest.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Get Safe Online some thoughts from the summit

Some thoughts
Today we saw the start of GetSafeOnline week commencing with a short summit in London a range of partners were there to see the launch of a range of initiatives including the Rough Guide

Francis Maude opened the event and talked about the risk, threats and responses to Cybercrime and the need for people to work together as well as the need for everyone to take responsibility

One of his most telling remarks was that the UK is good at Cyber Security and we should
celebrate it more. He outlined the significant additional funding in the £650m Cybercrime programme

It was made clear that the money would not just be thrown at separate initiatives but would be used to support a future more agile strategy and keep us at the cutting edge.
Protecting out cyber world is an important aspect of growth with many firms reliant on safer Internet access

Tony Neate formally launched the Rough Guide and outlined how the week would unfold. Most importantly there was a new threat to smartphones through the use of malicious Apps that could steal, digitally
This was supported by Trend Micro and Symantec, partners of GetSafeOnline

Ian Dyson from the City of London Police outlined aspects of the National Fraud response and it's new links to cybercrime. The hint of joined up thinking is becoming much stronger in this area
He outlined a range of statistics about the size of fraud, one included the £168m cost of online ticket fraud and the £27b cost of cyber fraud

Prof Ian Walden talked about the Information economy
Personal data is the fuel of it and he described the issues around Detection, disruption investigation and prosecution for both Public and private law enforcement

He talked about the new powers and calls for further powers for enforcement in the cybercrime arena. Of real interest were the following, the:

Role of the private sector
Private prosecutions FAST
Forensic source ISPs etc
Reporting Functions CERTs AF
Removal Blocking IWF
Vigilantes dreamcast and Lulz Security hacking group

Rob Skinner outlined the contents of the GetSafeOnline annual report including the State of the nation survey of 1000 adults online. This unsurprisingly showed a massive growth in Social Media, a change in the route of access to mobile above fixed, and exposed some of the risks people still don't manage.

Rik from Trend Micro gave a great demonstration of the impact of the Mobile malware App. All very frightening indeed. Industry has been warning about it but it appears not to have been listened to.
I participated in the panel session at the end along with NFA, SOCA and others.

My closing points are these

We still have some of the best examples of collaboratioin in this field in the world. CEOP, PCeU, NFA, SOCA, IWF are all examples of crossing the public private sector divide and separate us from many countries who have not taken an holistic approach.
It isn't about us al "being in this together" but that only by working together will we get out of it.
Partnering and collaboration is second nature in the national and local enforcement scene, yet it can and should get better. There is always scope to improve.
Despite the current financial situation the citizens of the UK can still rely on enforcement
Industry third sector, academia and Government to work together.

The second issue is that we all have a responsibility whether as a customer or client, business leader or cop, strategist or politician to identify opportunities to make the online world safer. This includes all of us.
Our personal, individual responsibility is in addition to the role of the state, and cannot be replaced by them. So the guidance and advice from GetSafeOnline should be heeded by us all.

So, click now on and see what you can do to protect your bit of the world and make it a safer place for you and others.

Online Safety Guide

Over the past year we have been working on the creation of a simple guide to consolidate information for people covering online safety
Our aim was to create a simple guide that people could use to do an e-MOT on their use of the internet and protect themselves.
As a result we have created through a guide that is now on their site.
The booklet has been produced in conjunction with the publishers Rough Guides to give it a simple and recognisable feel and style.
The guide provides a range of ideas and suggestions to help the informed, the uninformed and the curious.
It is the start of a process of reconciling the type of advice available but it should be considered one tool in a tool box of protection.
Have a look at help and advice available elsewhere as well through or

It doesn't matter which place you go for advice, but that you research and think about how to protect yourselves.

Here is the link to the Rough Guide to online safety

Read and send us feedback.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Meditation Centre and thinking without the box

On Friday I visited the  Manjushri Meditation Centre in  Ulveston.

This is a wonderful site Encompassing a beautiful temple and stately home. History joins modern faith, relaxation joins the sea. The setting links the countryside and the estuary and provides a perfect location to recharge and to explore life away from the buzz and excitement of the office, factory or streets.

Accompanied by the Police Chaplains we explored the site with an amiable and extremely well informed guide. Open as both a place of faith and a place for meditation this centre has a lot to offer anyone and everyone.

In this age of digital distraction where reflection and thought are often supplanted by adherence and measurement it is often challenging to take time out to think. Yet that is what we need to do. A recent quote I picked up talks about management not needing to be seen to do things, but needing to think. This centre provides that space and redirects the mind to consider the important aspects of life 

And this brings me to some thinking out the box which I think is both informative and impactive

The changing paradigm it suggests for education is as much a necessity for other areas of public and indeed private life. 

Spending time thinking without the box is indeed something that should be encouraged.

I hope you enjoyed the video.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Big Society research at Bramshill. LPP course Syndicate 4

At the Leading Powerful partnerships Course last week the Syndicate I directed created the following response that they have agreed to share. It follows their individual and collective research on helping and encouraging active citizens
The group consisted of senior leaders from Policng, Fire, Health, Local Authority  and the Home office. So a good mixture. The results were well presented to the rest of the course and to a panel chaired by a senior Home office leader

So, its longer than normal but here goes

There is a policy drive to encourage local people to become more active in their local communities. How can public services and communities work together to encourage this, and what are the risks and opportunities?


Big Society, A credible plan for increasing engagement and participation to reduce public sector overheads or just a big idea?  Despite substantial investment, involvement and participation has remained static with the same people volunteering and personal commitment declining.   Volunteering peaked in 2007/08 and the significant policy drive of the last five years, now grasped as an underpinning ethos by the coalition government, has failed to reverse the subsequent subtle decline.  Those areas central to the vision of Big Society & reducing civic overheads, such as building neighbourhood structures, supporting cohesion & working with key public services attract the smallest proportion of volunteers. However there is now an opportunity to identify the enablers and drivers of meaningful participation for a more involved and engaged future.


 Throughout the 2010 General Election campaign David Cameron actively promoted his ‘Big Society’ ethos:

“You can call it liberalism. You can call it empowerment. You can call it freedom. You can call it responsibility. I call it the Big Society……

The rule of government should be this:

If it unleashes community engagement – we should do it.

If it crushes it – we shouldn’t.”                                 David Cameron Liverpool July 2010

Government has completed its comprehensive spending review and local authorities are aware of the efficiencies they are expected to make over the coming years. Big Society Is actively promoted as integral to deficit reduction.

It has become increasingly clear to communities that things will be achieved differently in the future. This does present exciting opportunities to community groups and social entrepreneurs.

So, how do public services and communities work together to encourage local people to become active citizens?

2.         METHODOLOGY

 In addressing this question a review of available material was undertaken in four areas;

Academic Research & Literature Review

A review of literature, readily available on the intranet was undertaken, utilising key word searches including ‘community engagement’, ‘community participation’, ‘community volunteering’, ‘active citizenship’ and ‘citizen involvement’.  It is acknowledged that this was limited and that academic research and specialist literature, unless of a high profile, is unlikely to be readily accessible in this manner.  This review cannot therefore be considered as comprehensive but merely an insight in to higher profile, readily available material.

Statistics & Data

Articles and documents identified within the literature review were examined to ascertain the availability of relevant statistics and data.   The availability of statistics was therefore also limited within the constraint of the literature review. Validated and statistically significant data was selected from that identified in the review.

Opinion pieces and media commentary

A review was undertaken of relevant media articles and opinion pieces readily accessible through a targeted internet search, utilising the specified keywords.  

Online Survey

Primary research was undertaken, utilising the Survey Monkey online survey tool to canvass 50 individuals known to syndicate members.    Questions explored views regarding the barriers to participation and involvement, planned personal participation, planned partnership engagement with communities and perceptions of engagement opportunities.

Survey Questions can be found at Appendix A.

3.         FINDINGS

Academic Research & Literature Review

The limited review undertaken identified a wealth of policy statements and strategy documents but limited academic research.  Arnstein et al in 1969, describing the Ladder of Citizen Participation’ is referenced in most subsequent research and opinion pieces.  She described the bottom rungs as non participation; manipulation and therapy. This type of engagement and involvement is no more than lip service to the principle of working together and may even be the deterrent preventing community involvement. Arnstein identifies rungs three to five of the ladder as “tokenism”, allowing the public to have a voice through informing, consultation and placation but with no follow through and no assurance of change. Bruni et al, (2008) reiterated this referring to public participation in helping to set priorities in healthcare, suggesting that there are three factors that increase public enthusiasm for becoming active in their communities; one of the key issues being that it is dangerous to engage or consult then ignore, as this is bound to invoke anger and disengagement. At the top of the ‘ladder’ Arnstein (1969) described “citizen power” as the ultimate aim, which she described as involving participation, delegated power and finally citizen control. 

There is a consistent theme of static engagement: same citizens – same activities.  The Unshackling Good Neighbours report concluded that the reasons people do not volunteer more regularly are the result of a mix of economic and societal influences, with regulatory structures playing a part.  It identified the inhibitors of participation as: perceived risks of personal litigation, insurance issues, intrusive regulation and bureaucracy.  The task force identified a wealth of opportunities for involvement from informal neighbourhood activity to more formal organised volunteering.  The Government’s strategy document, Building a Stronger Civil Society identified a ‘real opportunity for the voluntary and community sector across the three core components of the Big Society Policy Agenda; empowering communities, opening up public services and promoting social action.’  The strategy outlines a vision of public service reform enabling charities, social enterprises, private companies and employee owned cooperatives to compete to offer high quality services.   Examples cited include reform of the planning system, communities bidding to run community assets and community rights to challenge service provision & suggest alternative providers.


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Citizenship Survey, provides a comprehensive analysis of active citizenship, community engagement and participation.   

In 2010, 41% of the population in England formally volunteered at least once but only 26% of the population volunteered once per month.  This is estimated as contributing £22.7billion to the economy.  Formal volunteering is defined as ‘Giving unpaid help through groups, clubs or organisations to benefit other people or the environment’.  Informal volunteering is defined as ‘Giving unpaid help as an individual to people who are not relatives’.  Formal volunteers are most likely to be aged between 35 to 49 years.  Younger volunteers are more likely to volunteer informally.

The most popular sectors for formal volunteering and participation include sport (53%), sponsored events (52%), hobbies/recreation/art (42%), religion (36%), leading groups/committee members (37%), and education (34%).  

Barriers to volunteering are cited as insufficient spare time, in particular work commitments or care of dependents (82%), bureaucracy (49%), risk & legal liability (47%), not knowing how to get involved (39%) and having the wrong skills (39%).  Individuals are more likely to get involved if they are directly asked, if friends and family are also involved, if it benefits their career prospects or they can do it from home.

The number of individuals volunteering and participating has remained static for over 10 years but there is an actual decline in the hours given.  There is, however, growth in employer supported schemes (from 18% to 24%). 

In 2008/9 42% of women formally volunteered compared to 38% of men.  In 2008/9 42% of white adults formally volunteered compared to 34% of minority ethnic group adults.  Deeper exploration reveals that this difference is due to factors other than ethnicity such as socio-economic classification.  There is significant variance across socio-economic classification with the long term unemployed least likely to volunteer (30%).

The return on volunteers nationally is estimated at between £3 & £8 for every £1 spent.  The Office of the Third Sector estimates that there are over 55,000 social enterprises in the UK, generating more than £27bn in turnover.


The national media is divided by the whole issue of the big society.  One article opened with ‘Big Society, or just BS’.  Some papers, such as the Sun, have started to conduct polls try and gauge what direction they should take either in support or in opposition to the ethos.  This poll produced the first indication of the national sway with 46% of those surveyed thinking it was a good idea but 63% explaining that they didn’t understand it.  (Sun survey 19/10/2011)

The broad sheets editorial comment gives some flavour of their views, by way of example (Guardian on-line 15th Feb 2011)In principle, there is not just nothing wrong with the big society; there is lots right with it. Citizens should have a sense of solidarity with each other. They should give something of themselves to their neighborhood and their community’. This is a fairly positive endorsement of the concept but they conclude that the timing might not be right.

In contrast to this, the Financial Times has a very cynical view of the issue stating that David Cameron has failed to ignite a spark amongst the very society it is desperate to mobilize. They also opine that the Big Society seems to run in parallel with cuts in local services and that the entire affair, albeit noble, is getting local people to take on local service delivery as the local authority backs away. (Financial Times 14/2/2011)

What is clear is that no one section of the media has a distinct view.


An in depth analysis of responses revealed key themes.  There was consistent identification of the opportunity to involve citizen more to alleviate financial pressures in the public sector.  Opportunities in clubs, societies and sporting associations, particularly youth organisations, were favoured in the short term.  Opportunities to contribute to goals such as greater cohesion, protecting the environment and improved health were favoured in the short term. 75% of respondents expressed a keen interest in undertaking partnership work with their communities.

The respondents collectively identified 24 risks to greater participation, yet only 11 opportunities.  Risks included ‘a threat to standards and compliance’, ‘costs associated with red tape and management’, ‘the need for greater supervision’ and the ‘potential irreversible loss of assets’.  Opportunities were identified as ‘breaking down barriers’, ‘promoting transparency and understanding’, ‘enabling greater access for hard to reach groups’, ‘alleviating performance pressures’.



Despite a high profile policy drive, and a wealth of successful local schemes, there has been no substantial increase in national levels of engagement and participation.  The barriers to participation are consistent and unchanged sited as insufficient spare time, in particular work commitments or care of dependents (82%), the risk exists that these factors will not easily be removed.

Perceptions of red tape, bureaucracy and rules inhibit involvement.  The same individuals are volunteering in ‘interest based’ clubs and organisations.  Socio-economic factors influence the likelihood of participation with the long term unemployed least likely to get involved.  Employer led schemes represent the only growing area of participation yet financial pressures may threaten their future.  There needs to be significant government focus on identifying and then investing in the enablers and drivers of effective participation.  Local schemes are shown to work, yet require support to enable credibility, sustainability and growth. 

The opportunity to drive initiatives in the wake of the current policy drive should be grasped.  There are impressive green shoots of participation contributing to long term issues of health, the environment and sustainability. 

A consensus has yet to be reached amongst the many groups who share a stake in the outcome of this policy drive, and that some groups retain a level of scepticism.

The beneficial opportunities if realized could be significant, but these come with associated risks as set out above. On balance this report concludes that despite this not being a new idea at a conceptual level, it has had a very short lifespan as a policy with mainstream backing or significant investment, therefore it will interesting to track developments going forward as the push continues.

So what can the public agencies do?

The key policies contained in the Cabinet Office Strategy document ‘Building a Stronger Civil Society’ describe three areas where public services can change the way they do things, they are

Empowering communities – giving local councils and neighbourhoods more power to take decisions n their local area

Opening up public services enabling charities, social enterprises private companies and employee owned cooperatives to offer services

Promoting Social Action encouraging and enabling people from all walks of life to play a more active role in society and promoting more volunteering and philanthropy.

There is a fear that embedding involvement would mean devolving large-scale powers to community groups ill-equipped to manage these.  There needs to be reassurance that any approach would involve communities in the design and delivery of public services.  The approach should involve

  • Informing communities of decision making structure ad service provision
  • Consulting communities on the delivery of services, eg through patient forums, surveys, SNT panels
  • Involving citizens ad community organisations to identify local needs ad develop localised or tailored solutions
  • Devolving appropriate power, budgets or decision making to community organisations eg maintenance of playing fields or street lighting

Achieving the goal of public services and community working together is a long standing challenge with many risks. In a society that has become quite insular and where the public have not always been interested or engaged with public services, there may be challenges in identifying people with the enthusiasm or right skills to engage with this initiative.  People may come to the table with their own agenda, wishing only to make a contribution to issues close to their own hearts. There may also be risks around identifying vulnerable people if services are delivered within the community rather than directly by public services. However it presents enormous opportunities to make public services more relevant, sustainable and potentially cheaper.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Transforming Leadership and other issues

I was asked to give my thoughts on Transformational Leadership. here we go. To reiterate; this is a personal view.

Over the last 10 years Policing leadership has worked to address the balance between Transformational and Transactional Leadership

So what does it mean? Is there a difference or is it just management jargon? Do they operate together or are the necessarily separate entities? Can you be one without being the other?

The Transactional element is essentially about doing the things that have to be done. Ensuring that the transactions of the business are carried out and are executed in the spirit and the word of the business processes and policies.

The Transformational approach is all about challenging the business, supporting and growing talent, working outside the managerial confines of the dreaded "box", and making change systematic.

But, I would suggest you need both.
Leaders cant just operate in the world of persistent changing activities and forget the delivery of the business. Yes, as a transformer one should be seeking out better and more effective ways of delivering the business. But, for example, if crime rises or detections fall then the leader should be looking to correct and focus in a transactional way. I don't think you can be completely one or the other, I think you need to be both but that the % of time in each will differ according to the task and the context.
Transformation Leadership is about building, transactional is about maintaining, in short.

So what about today's leaders, what should they be?

Without doubt they need to operate in a very changing environment.
The budget restrictions and loss of staff alone demonstrate the need to deliver the business with far less and in much more effective ways. It is about losing valuable people, Departments disappearing and boundaries being removed.
Agility in thinking, Adaptability to a new environment and the ability to visualise new solutions to old problems will be paramount.

But equally the new leader needs to adapt the business to new crimes, whose impact is still starting to develop, Phishing, ID theft, Trojan horse, Hacking, the impact of Social Engineering will require careful analysis and a response that can operate effectively in a Neighbourhood, as much as it can in Cyberspace. A big ask indeed.
Equally our new leaders need to be able to communicate in different ways, digitally and dynamically.

They need to develop themselves, their team and impact on the organisation to improve the business delivery for all.

I think the new leaders will be transformational, but they will also need to be keeping a weather eye on performance and delivery, particularly of the confidence people have in Policing.
Instant History as revealed through social media and the response by the existing media will breed a new requirement to understand not just what is happening with existing performance but a whole host of other indicators inside and outside the organisation.

No mean feat

But I am also confident that Police Leaders have developed over the years and by sharing with partners and being open to new ways of doing business we will deliver the policing service the public can expect.

Finally, the relationship Leaders have with their Officers or Staff is fundamental to the success of the organisation. That relationship is neither transactional nor transformational. Its more important that both. It's critical.

Bramshill, White Deer and Pumpkins

Bramshill is seen by many in policing here in the UK and abroad as a jewel in the crown of law enforcement. It is a mixture of operational centres, the National Police Library. CEPOL the European Policing Centre, Leadership training and a whole host of other services. Located south of Reading it remains not the most accessible place in the world but has been part of many police officers and staff careers and history.
For me its always been here and despite the fact that its hasn't really changed its looks over the years, its role has been transformed.
Tomorrow I will be supporting the Leading Powerful Partneships programme, a mix of police and other public sector managers and those from the third sector. The formula insists on people really working hard during the week to secure success and forces partners to work together. A little example of how partnerships should work.
Each delegate is supported and recieves constructuive feedback but has the opportunity to test, check and work with different people in a safe environment.
It is no easy journey and in my view is one of the most progressive courses around.
So I am really looking forward to working with my group of senior cops, senior NHS, Local Authority, Fire service and a Colleague from afar. A great mix of skill and talent. The chance to help them develop is very fullfilling.

So more on that next week

I asked people to tell me what I should put on my blog. The next 2 issues come from them.

Living locally to the College is a herd of White Deer

Bramshills' white deer

So whats the connection between Policing and White Deer

Hard to say but perhaps, since a highly respected colleague asked me to add it in, here we are.
They live near Bramshill and seem not to worry about the activities here, equally those attending can coexist with them. If, as a former President of the USA says, People and Fish can live together in perfect harmony then maybe cops and deer can do likewise at Bramshill

To conclude this light-hearted blog Pumkins also need to be addressed,

There is no direct link to policing so here are some recipes once you have used them

But pumpkins are used for Halloween which can be a frightening time for folk, particularly the old or lonely.
Many forces offer advice and guidance. Some have specific posters people can use to ensure they are not to disturbed during the evening

A picture of the No Callers Please - Enjoy your Evening Halloween poster

This is Gwent's which includes a Pumpkin

The next blog will focuses on a host of managerial issues my Tweet followers want me to cover

Friday, 14 October 2011

NPIA leadership training. Thoughts from today

Today I chaired a panel and fed back to a range of presentations from officers and staff on the Senior leadership programme at Bramshill Police College

The task they had as part of their development programme, was to identify how to design a plan to remove 20% from an operational budget within a police force

The groups were made up of Superintendents and Staff equivalents and they worked in syndicates.

This is Training for Reality at it's best.

During the exercise delegates were able to use their own research and inputs from Unions and Federation to design a plan and present it to the panel.

Real life issues, real decisions for real leaders.

I won't go into the pros and cons of each presentation but here are some thoughts that I have gained from listening and feeding back to them

·         We cannot make these savings in isolation. Our staff, the community and their representatives should be engaged.

·         A communication strategy is not the same as a consultation strategy

·         Where we are removing people or departments we need to acknowledge the contribution they have made over time and be sensitive to their efforts in achieving the things they have been asked to do, albeit in different circumstances

·         We need to think wide in approaching the task, and think deep looking in detail at the impact and changes that will ensue from a substantial reduction in budgets

·         Every plan should be Impact Assessed to ensure that the resultant change is fair and proportionate and does not create an organisation we did not intend

·         A well created Equality Impact Assessment is not a box to tick, but part of the decision making process

·         We must never forget that every budget line, department or unit cost invariably has a person behind it

·         We need to be able to describe the organisation we are trying to create. Not just a smaller version of what we have now.

·         Collaboration is not a short term fix. The detail required to make it work can be very challenging, but if the effort is put in, the benefits will come out

·         No part of the organisation should be immune on its own merits, but because it meets critical priorities that have been agreed, and that staff are aware of the consequential increase in reduction elsewhere.

Overall some really valuable contributions and much learning for the delegates to take back to their workplace.

This is an impressive formula for developing leaders and one that the private sector should take notice of and borrow.

I am now charged up ready to help deliver the Leading Powerful Partnerships course next week. More of that later

Well done the leadership team at NPIA

Friday, 7 October 2011

Windermere Swim

So today back in the lake for a swim in Windermere
It was beautifully cold so here is me heading out

And then after about 40 minutes here is me back towards the jetty

A wonderful refreshing experience

Further pictures are on the right

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Immobilise. Some advice to make it easy to use

Here is some simple guidance to using Immobilise.
This helps us to find out about your goods if they are stolen

It's pretty simple

So here goes
Firstly a few key snippets about Immobilise 

· is the UK’s National property register with over 26 million members.
·         The free service is supported by police throughout the UK and helps fight property crime
·         Immobilise provides a free, secure, off-site portfolio of your valuable possessions
·         Immobilise helps police identify the owner of lost & stolen property thousands of times each day.
·         Loss & theft updates you make are immediately available to the Police nationally.
·         Simplify insurance claims and Police reports with certificates of ownership
·         If your phone, bike, computer or any other registered item is lost or stolen, use Immobilise to instantly tell police, insurers, and the second-hand trade. These actions help greatly in the recovery of your property and capture of thieves.
A very good description of Immobilise, its benefits and how it integrates with its partners like the police can be found at
 That page also includes examples of investigation scenarios that may be of use in expanded information. However to briefly summarise for you:
The FREE Immobilise service is the UK’s National Property Register. Together with its sister sites the Police's NMPR ( ) and CheckMEND ( ), it forms a very effective tool in reducing crime and repatriating recovered personal property to its rightful owners.
The secure Immobilise system is used by both the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets, making property ownership details viewable on the Police national property database the NMPR. The Police only online checking service is used by all UK Police forces to trace owners of lost and stolen property. In addition Immobilise is checked daily by a huge range of recovery agencies and lost property offices.
As a direct result of Immobilise there are over 250 cases a week where property is returned or information collected that assists the Police in investigating criminal activity involving stolen goods.
Immobilise is also the only ownership registration service supported by all UK Police forces, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and the Mobile Phone Industry.
We had previously produced a few articles and how to type documents, we have also in the last couple of days produced a few new ones that you might like to refer to or copy content from if you wish. These are:
·         How to Register your mobile phone on Immobilise:

·         How to Register your bicycle on Immobilise:

·         How to Register your laptop on Immobilise:

·         How to Register your iPhone on Immobilise:

·         How to Register an ImmobiTag bike tag:

·         Beware: The Top 5 Items Most Wanted by Thieves:

·         Advice: 5 Tips to Keep your Bicycle Safe and Secure:


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Selecting Future Leaders

I have been helping the service to select new leaders for the Police Service throughout the weekend and the start of this week. It has been a challenging and full-on time working late into the nights to ensure that all aspects of the candidates are considered.
An exhausting yet worthwhile time.
The process is a quality one refered to as the Senior Police National Assessment Centre SPNAC

Candidates are tested against a range of criteria through a series of tests and exercises.
To say the least it is stressfull for candidates and it is also highly challenging for assessors who are from within and without the service. Supported by the whole service and well managed by its staff, the process provides an ideal opportunity to test, probe and explore everything candidates have to offer.

A sophisticated methodology is used to assess and determine whether a candidate is successful or not.

4 days of hard work, completely committed to trying to get the best out of candidates.

A very tiring experience to work on, but helps to maintain a high threshold that people need to meet in order to attend the Strategic Command Course

Many thanks to the excellent work of the staff of the NPIA for all the arrangements and service to assessors and candidates and to the direction and leadership of the Director

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Robert Peston's Who Runs Britain

Normally on holiday I like to infuse myself in books of gore death and destruction. Lee Child'esque for me.
However, for a while I have had a copy of Robert Pestons Who Runs Britain.
I like his comments and not least of all he is someone who does actually respond on Twitter so I think reading his book is a polite way of saying thanks for being so obliging
It is clear at the start why its a best seller. To the point, frank, easy to read, lively script and rather enjoyable style. But, hey, I'm no literary critic.
The book describes a range of interesting folk who dominate the financial landscape but also how they do it. From the straight talking Green and his war over M&S through to Allan Leighton from the Post Office with plenty in between. The mysteries of Hedge Funds explained in simple non Economic theory terms, make this read all the better for a wide audience.
I could pick out loads of anecdotes throughout the book but that would spoil it for others.
What I want to pick out is on page 183 (soft back) which to me epitomises the difference between some Public and some private sector ideals. I am not sure that was the intention but hopefully with the highest regard to quoting 
In describing Goldman Sachs he points out " There is an esprit de corps which is second to none. one is permitted to hide information. There is a team culture of sharing wisdom, insights and information......that is unlike that of any rival firms"
Many years ago I undertook a short attachment to a large bank. What absolutely amazed me was how, at a particular level, the key players were all in competition with each other, effectively lining up to challenge each other rather than looking for collaboration or cooperation. 
The purpose of the police National Intelligence Model has always been to ensure that information and intelligence is shared and not squirrelled away for personal use. It strikes me that an organisation that does not value and share it's internal assets could fail 
For the bank I worked with I suggested that the NIM could be adapted to accommodate  the needs of bankers. Politely listened to, but with little likelihood of acceptance would probably be the best description of the outcome. 
There are times, despite what some leaders suggest, when the public sector has the answer that can help the private sector. 
Notwithstanding this diversion the book is an excellent read and a most enjoyable introduction to the vagaries, risks and dangers of unfettered capitalism. Within the text there are plenty of signs of hope however. 

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Tour of Mt Ventoux. Cycling around it

Having done the annual trip up the Mt Ventoux, I thought I would try out a route I have favoured for some time but not completed. The Tour de La Mt Ventoux. Basically it’s a ride around the mountain. Sound simple. Its not.

Starting at Bedoin there is a relatively easy ride through Flasan to Villes Sur Auzon where the start point for the Gorges de la Nesque is found.

The Gorge is simply an exhilarating ride. Plenty of ups and downs to enjoy. Keeping your eyes peeled on the road is challenging however a necessity not least of all following the thunder storm last night the road is littered with rocks. So extreme caution.

Kicked a few out the way for other cyclists and a couple of rather large ones for everyone to avoid

So the Gorge is a few miles of bliss. You are rewarded with a descent into a beautiful village called Monieux. Well worth a diversion but not for me. On to Sault.

As you approach Sault you pass through numerous Lavender fields. Whilst the smell is still there the flowers aren’t as they were harvested a few weeks ago. But a great sensation to encourage you on. Sault has some fantastic views from the centre of town. But to balance that out there is a steep climb into the town. Great shops for gift BTW. Good supermarket for replenishing oneself

After the compulsory views I headed north to Aurol. This is supposed to be down hill bliss. Unfortunately the wind decided to prevent that and I had to cycle again a strong breeze.

After Aurol turn left along the Tourenlenc Valley or the D72 towards Brantes. I managed to find one field with some remaining Lavender. Lucky me.

Then continue along passed Brantes and take a turning down the D40A towards Veaux. This is one of my favourite places on earth. The great river walk. Brilliant fun for a family. Lots of pools to get soaked scramble over or swim in. Magic.

However on this ride, no larking about so its off back up the hill towards Maeucene. A tough climb but challenging. The ride down into Maleucene was worth the effort. As was the sight of some old WW2 US Army jeeps etc. A bit out of place. But interesting.

Then the usual climb out to the Col De Madeline and back to Bedoin.

About 65 miles.

Start at any point and go either way.

So this mountain has been climbed and circum-ridden.

Job done.

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