"Critica" by Julio Ruelas (1870 - 1907) – Painter (Mexican)Born in Zacatecas.
A discussion, a debate, a lecturing, a telling off, a vent; criticism. There is, absolutely rightly a lot directed at the police. I like being in a country where we can do that. I also like to think that we, the police are professional and thick skinned enough to pick out and adopt the pearls of wisdom from the criticism with good grace. It's how we have grown in to the UK's police forces we are today. But it can sometimes feel as if there are no pearls; just moans and venting surrounding even more "directions and recommendations" that show a less than brilliant grasp what we face in the situations we are called on to deal with. It can start to feel like being the employee of a mildly abusive employer who likes to publicly criticize your best efforts. Perhaps my skin has just been worn a bit thin, and as in so many other situations I have been distracted by the language used.
This is an extract from an open letter one of our Chief Officers wrote when working their last tour of duty in the police.
“I need to share with you that I have found myself frustrated, angry and disappointed when I see and read others, at a local and national level, being too quick to criticise policing without first taking the time to understand and engage with those delivering the service. These detractors and critics would do well to remember that much more is achieved with a smile, politeness and appreciation than is achieved through criticism and sharp words. It is easy to criticise others when you do not tread the same footprints and experience the same challenges as those you choose to attack.
The balance to this is of course the public confidence we enjoy, our local communities are not aligned to the national newspapers views or those within the regulation or inspection regimes. They have a much more intimate relationship with us and it is our public that we need to invest our energies focussing on serving and building relationships with them. In the villages, towns and cities of Devon and Cornwall we enjoy great support and people who believe in us and want us to succeed. This is, and always has been, the bedrock of British policing and I am grateful to have shared this most special profession and my journey within it with all of you.”
Thanks for the letter Boss.
I have not picked out examples of the headlines, the every day sniping and ridicule officers face. You will have seen them. I have found my best way to deal with them is to stop reading them, or just change the channel (I'm not allowed to throw bricks through the telly screen).
But I will share this link, just for balance: Thanks Russell for the video.
PS – And as ever, I ask that you please take care on our roads, be considerate of others and honest in all things.”