Monday, 23 May 2011

Supporting Young Enterprise S@faty-Net Cumbria

Today I had the pleasure of meeting the Young Enterprise team at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton Cumbria who epitomise what is good about the relationship between Education, Industry and Police.

They recently progressed to the North-West final of the Young Enterprise competition as county champions and hope to go as far as we possibly can in the future

They have set up a Company under the Young Enterprise Scheme in order to, firstly, learn about how to create a business, but also to help deliver an important social message. In essence this is a Social Business.

The group call themselves S@fety-Net and take responsibility for delivering internet safety training to Primary Schools and younger Secondary School students. They have created their own design, artwork and web presence

Here is what they have done in their own words;

“We felt it very important to alert children, teenagers and parents to the dangers of the internet and help them find ways to protect themselves from the unpredictable Web. The main aim of the company is to spread awareness for the increasing problem of cyber-bullying, mainly to primary school pupils years 3 to 6.
At first, we created professional, bespoke presentations tailored to different age ranges of cyber-bullying and how to remain safe whilst online.
However, as time has progressed, we are beginning to run out of schools in which we, as students, can physically reach (mainly due to the fact the schools are so spread out across Cumbria and we are in full time education and are therefore restricted in the number of presentations we can perform).
However, we are always looking to expand and improve the business to spread the important message of cyber safety to more primary school pupils around the country.

Our most recent product, the Virtual Learning Education Moodle course contains all of our resources which would normally be given out to schools after a presentation, as well as the presentations themselves. It also includes various helpful links to websites regarding the issue and hand made quizzes which engage younger users of the course.

Thanks to generous support from Stobart Group and the Cumberland Building Society, we can afford to and are in the process of giving 200 of these useful resources to schools around the country.”

Have a look at their site

They are making a difference

So why would this approach work rather than perhaps using other Internet Safety Experts.

  1. They remember what it was like at Primary School
  2. They know and understand the technology that young people are using, Smartphones, FB, Twitter etc as well as the Street rules of use and abuse
  3. It helps the relationship between there school and feeder schools as well as others
  4. It provides them with experience in creating a working enterprise and business skills
  5. It gives them the opportunity to meet Key Stakeholders
  6. It helps them build a valuable CV for later life.

I could go on...........

I take my hat off to them for their efforts and wish them every success in the next round of their challenge.

On a wider issue wouldn’t it be great to replicate this elsewhere. Secondary Schools providing Internet Safety to Primary schools could work on a County basis.

Any thoughts on this would be gratefully received before I reach out to other stakeholders for thir help and guidance

Well done S@afety-Net great job

Friday, 20 May 2011

Do we need new rules or are we covered

At a seminar over the last day or so I have been engaged in a debate about poise IT issues with poeple from a numb of countries. As part of that debate we have considered how organisations like the police can get the most out of social media yet provide a blanket of protection to utheir staff. In addition what rule set should we apply in establishing the most appropriate guidance for our staff.
The almost overriding conclusion was that the set of principles governing particularly police officer conduct offline should apply online. Why reinvent a set of principles and create a series of random or unnecessary rules when it's already covered
So to test this out here are the police Code of conduct for our officers.

Honesty and integrity

Police officers are honest, act with integrity and do not compromise or abuse their position.
Authority, respect and courtesy

Police officers act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy.
Police officers do not abuse their powers or authority and respect the rights of all individuals.

Equality and diversity

Police officers act with fairness and impartiality. They do not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly.
Use of force

Police officers only use force to the extent that it is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances.
Orders and instructions

Police officers only give and carry out lawful orders and instructions.
Police officers abide by police regulations, force policies and lawful orders.

Duties and responsibilities

Police officers are diligent in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities.

Police officers treat information with respect and access or disclose it only in the proper course of police duties.
Fitness for duty

Police officers when on duty or presenting themselves for duty are fit to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Discreditable conduct

Police officers behave in a manner which does not discredit the police service or undermine public confidence, whether on or off duty.
Police officers report any action taken against them for a criminal offence, conditions imposed by a court or the receipt of any penalty notice.

Challenging and reporting improper conduct

Police officers report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which has fallen below the standards of professional behaviour expected.

This Code covers most of the behavioural issues that one might want to explore with staff and most importantly provides an ethical context for our staff. It covers situations where for examples officers are rude, disparaging, showing inappropriate images, disclosing information that is sensitive, and just about any other aspect that could take them into the discipline domain. That was the conclusion.

So what are you views on this. Can we just apply the existing doctrine into another context or is the permanence and technology such that it requires both a different mindset and a different set of rules.

Thoughts and comments will be very much appreciated

Saturday, 14 May 2011

My day today

This morning I spent time with the Scout movement. Or rather I visited the Ratlingate camp site near Carlisle and met a large number of troops and groups of Beavers, Scouts and Explorers as well as their various leaders. All creating a fantastic experience for 100 young people. Many of whom were experiencing their first night away from home. Wrapped around the ambition of creating a fun weekend,a fantastic facility used by their peers throughout the year.
My thoughts are to recognise the massive contribution made by helpers, mums, dads, friends and other volunteers who make this happen. This is the cutting edge of Big Society. Creating experiences from true collaboration between willing skilled and able volunteers. To many of the young people there, this will be the start of a lifetime of scouting.
Let's celebrate this success and recognise the value that Scouting in all its manifestations brings to our society.
In contrast with the highly technical and sophisticated hi-tech sound system of R1BW on the other side of Carlisle, the scouts had a collection of iPhone, laptop speaker combination to support the singing. Practical, appropriate and free (ish). But it worked. And like Eurovision each participant was able to perform and be recognised for what they contributed to the event. My thanks and best wishes to all those engaged it making it work. You are the main event for me today. Keep up the good work.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Music for the Gym

The advice I was given at the start of blogging was to mix it up

So what do I listen to at the gym, plug in, turn up the volume and rip it up on the cross trainer.

Here goes then, a list of "whats on my playlist" and perhaps why?

Current Favourite
The View ; Superstar Tradesman. This is one hell of a track, just lifts the speed right up and is used for intervals. The machine literally rocks when this is on. Stand well back.

Followed by Zane Lowes Up the Junction.
Slower but splits the speed down a little

Great mixed album The Ramones End of the Century. Mixture of speeds, best being Rock and Roll High School

Glee (sorry for this) a good selection of singalongs of popular tracks. But keeps me going.

Fratellis Costello Music, absolute classic. I became addicted to this catching the train from Victoria to Cryodn when working for Immigration (now Borders Agency)

Obviously The Clash ; I Fought the Law. The drum in at the start is awsome

Green Day. Just keeps up the pressure with some fast tracks

To get through the weight machines I like The Rifles, mixed speed but great sound

Do you have tracks that motivate you in the gym or on the road?

Any ideas would be appreciated

Thanks to Elite Fitness of Penrith

Values and Leadership

Today I brought together some of of future managers. They are the High Potential Development Scheme from the North.

As part of their development I arranged for 2 high quality speakers to share their thoughts about leadership and values. Having worked with both speakers I knew they would be good. But they were excellent.

So here are some of their thoughts;

Firstly, FaySelvan CEO of The Big Life Group, a Social Business. Some really valuable ideas of how to look after those everyone else rejects. Her approach and that of Big Life is based on 6 simple values.

Thoughtful, Honest, Creative, Courageous, Valuing Difference and Inspiring.

But these values transcend everything they do. From providing social enterprise to helping Big Issue vendors. As a Police Service we havesometimes struggled with some of this and so her simple yet dynamic and commited approach was a great example.

The emphasis on solving problems, creating self help initiatives is supported by a large dose of personal responsibility.

A summary of their approach is "Social mission but in a businesslike way". A true balence worthy of the Big Society. In fact if you wanted someone who lives and breaths the delivery of Big Society without using the term, Fay is that person.

Dealing honestly with people and issues is the hallmark of Big Life. Interesting reflection however that the move to commercialisation of the public sector could lead to benefit for private companies but no guarentees for the third sector or social enterprises.

She also gave us food for thought on dealing with the Roma community considered to be the group most discriminated against, within Europe.

Overall a delivery with passion, commitment and relevance to our future leaders.

Big Life is contactable through

The second speaker, Jill Stannard Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council,  gave us a very personal account of her introduction to leadership form an early age.

Her tales of challenging poor practice and facing frustration and bias were very profound. Leadership is not about being asertive and ordering people about. Values run her leadership style and she governs by example of behaviour.

An important aspect of leadership is to hold people to account but not create a blame culture. Allow people to grow but "blame" is not a supportive approach.
Her motivation is about seeing people make a difference. Three short phrases were delivered to the group to respond to issues;
  • Expect Nothing
  • Blame No One
  • Do Something
Both speakers created a lively debate and demonstrated the value of looking outside to those who can relate to policing but are not necessarily part of it.
Both provided a clear link between an agreed set of values and successful leadership.
Great food for thought.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Teaching a Cop

This blog is to test out my revised site but more importantly to say a big thanks to Mike Downes for helping me to make the changes. More to come on this


In 1999 I wrote an article called A Few Copperes Change"

It was about where policing was in relation to the Internet. For those who remember that far back it involved complex dial ups etc.

BUT the conclusions and recommendations are as real today as they were then. Here they are

"The Police service within the UK is not in a position to embark on the wholesale snooping that some authors fear. The lack of activity within force web sites demonstrates the clear need for national and local development. The police ability to respond to Internet crime is currently haphazard and based on luck rather than a prepared and researched provision of a service to the public.
Yet despite the lack of drive and enthusiasm for investigation skills and resources there is a building relationship between the Police and ISP’s that is flexible, legal and valued.
My Recommendations then 

1.       Police use of the Internet should be expanded to reflect the public’s greater.
2.       First contact staff should be able to identify the correct procedure for managing complaints made by the public. 
3.       Officers should be given the confidence to use the Internet and help develop their skills.
4.       The police service needs to maintain and improve the relationship with ISP’s in particular clear lines of access and expectations should be drawn. 
5.       Finally the Police Service should not shy away from greater involvement through the Internet and should be part of the ongoing debate. "
How true these comments are in relation to Social Media/Networking. Let us hope that there are more pioneers this time round.
Thanks you can find it all at
references to force websites relate to 1999 although the links may not work or will take you to up to date sites

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