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PSA leader signs off with unity call

The Superintendents’ leader has signed off with a call for unity.

Policing of all ranks must work together to face future challenges, the Superintendents’ leader has urged.

Signing off with a final blog before stepping down, the President of the Police Superintendents’ Association said silos won’t create the structures needed to tackle 21st Century offending or the demands to improve standards.

Paul Griffiths, who is standing down after six years at the top, is now handing over to his successor.

Paul Fotheringham of Kent Police will begin his three-year tenure as president, alongside Chief Superintendent Harvi Khatkar of West Midlands Police who will serve as vice president. Both were elected by the PSA’s National Executive Committee in January.

He signed off with a call to colleagues to work together: “People can help people – that’s something I truly believe in and something we must remember when we face the challenges ahead of us.”

His comments follow two reports - by HM Inspector of Constabulary and the Police Foundation, both considering future demands on officers.

Mr Griffiths, who has raised issues such as climate change as future challenges for policing, said it was vital that the Service takes stock.

“In a Service based around communities and social dynamics, we must constantly push to improve.  Whether that’s better working environments for our people, better services for the public or better structures through which we work, we must never rest,” he said.

“If we get things right now and start thinking 10, 20, or 30 years ahead in everything we do, we’ll start to be a Service that is dynamic, agile and responsive to the changing world in which we live.”

His tenure has come during unprecedented pressures including lockdown and the aftermath of the Sarah Everard case as well as the pensions battle and a pay freeze that led to the PSA ditching the review board.

He urged officers to stick with their vocation: “Our legitimacy has come under the spotlight in the most extreme way. Many officers and staff are feeling lost as a result of this and my plea to them would be to remember who they are and why they joined the Service.

“Day in, day out we see countless examples of colleagues going out of their way to help people. To protect and serve, and I thank every single one of them. We must never lose sight of what sits at the heart of the majority of our 220,000 strong workforce. Care – for our people, our police and our public.”

A critical issue for him has been improving training and support for new officers. To achieve this he helped develop a mentoring scheme and used his role at the College of Policing to lobby for improvements.

Andy Marsh, CEO of the College of Policing said: “I’d like to offer a massive personal thanks from me and everyone at the College for the role Paul has played as a member of our board. For everything he’s done for developing leadership in the service, for developing mentors, and for supporting leadership at every level, but most of all for what he’s done to support his members who do such a brilliant, difficult and demanding job.

He added: “He deserves every happiness in his next role and I thank him for making me so welcome when I came into this national role.”

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