I write following the front-page article (Personnel Today, 25 March) in respect of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). The notion that it is hampering front-line policing is an exaggeration.
The NPIA was created rapidly by any standard – through no fault of the staff or senior managers concerned. Birthing any new organisation brings with it a host of people management challenges and, in the case of the NPIA, this is compounded by the organisation being forged from a range of constituent parts spread across multiple locations.
From a fairly brutal perspective, it also takes time to remove any dead wood and implement new management structures, which the NPIA has also had to do. Given these challenges, is it any wonder the NPIA has had some employees who felt unsettled or uncertain?
While all of this change and upheaval has been going on, the NPIA has continued to be a clear leader and supporter for modernisation in the police service, has been developing the first national leadership strategy for policing, and has worked closely with Acpo, the Home Office and other parts of the criminal justice system. That doesn’t sound like an organisation that is hampering front-line policing to me.
As someone who has worked in three police forces, I have benefited from the work of the NPIA and its predecessor body, Centrex, and do not see any reduction in the quality or breadth of programmes being offered to police authorities, particularly by the People and Learning Directorate led by the highly respected and talented Angela O’Connor.
As a local authority director responsible for strategic partnership working, including that with the police, I have witnessed the quality support provided to an individual police authority by the NPIA on key issues, such as neighbourhood policing. I am therefore disappointed by the unfair headline when my own evidence contradicts such comments completely.
PPMA president & director of people and policy
Cambridgeshire County Council