Tag Archives: community engagement

Policing Under Pressure

25 Jun

Watching policing under pressure was so interesting I took a lot away from the BBC programme aired this week and I spotted a lot of twitter chatter on the programme. Cautious remarks from serving officers and leaders and anger from the public.

Typically, a lot of the anger on my fairly left leaning twitter stream was to blame the government for cuts for the situation that the cops and communities in the programme found themselves in. I, certainly, think to a degree that is fair. There does come a tipping point when service funding which is at least 80% staff is cut where the service just cannot reorganise to do the same for less and faces the choice between doing different or less or combining those options which I suspect is where many are at. Certainly my experience in the voluntary sector and working with councillors from all parties looking at local government budgets is the mixed approach. None of these options come without pain for staff and communities in implementation. The best outcome is that beyond the pain comes some good results as different approaches achieve better outcomes.

I was left with various conversations that I would be interested in hearing the delegates at Policing Social Citizens discuss either physically or virtually-

1. Under what circumstances do targets become useful? I know people complain about perverse outcomes but surely there are examples of targets being used effectively
2. Do we need to move away from the language of ASB? It seems to hinder rather than help clear conversation between communities and police
3. Do the police have the skills to utilise the community assets within areas of tension and if not, would these be more effective than powers on AsB and curfews?

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Solihull – The future council is a social council?

4 Dec

I have been working with officers and community activists in Solihull on projects to implement their vision of a future council which is called The Social Council. It is so interesting to see a Council tackling the uncertainty and complexity of developing a vision and taking practical steps to test it.

The key assumptions that the leadership are making are these:

  • The funding situation is not likely improve so they will be working with less resources (see the Barnet Graph of Doom article in the Guardian)
  • That there is a technological revolution that can be harnessed to transform service delivery
  • And, fundamentally that Web 2.0 or social, interactive media has shifted the public’s expectation of involvement in their services and the decisions made by Councils.

The Social Council is an umbrella term which mostly focuses on the final assumption and these are the objectives as I understand them:

  • To share leadership across the organisation and with the community – to achieve a new normal that they work in a networked rather than hierarchical manner most of the time
  • To actively enable people internally and externally to make best use of social technology to achieve organisational and civic objectives
  • To be ready in both service delivery and democratic arms of the Council to meet the expectations of the public that they can report issues to us, find out about services and engage with all aspects of the organisation via social, mobile technology

Which is cool. And, I am really enjoying supporting this change programme with some project work …not least because the community activists get it, and want it to work very much.
Stop press – just as I finished I saw this tweet which was timely, as this describes the challenges organisations find with these types of change programmes!

Barriers to digital change tweet

Both tweeters well worth a follow btw and the #digileaders tweets worth a look (4/12/13)