The plan has been shaped by a great many people, including over 2,000 members of the public, staff and officers from our police service, partners we work with such as the NHS and local councils, as well as others involved in the criminal justice system. Every line of feedback, comment and opinion has been examined, alongside complex and, at times, seemingly contradictory statistics, facts and figures.
This work has brought into focus a potential conflict: between the expectations of the public (and to a certain extent the workforce) and the evolving nature of crime. We are living in a changing world and new threats are emerging. The complexity of investigations is increasing; fraud is becoming the new volume crime of our time. Vulnerable people are at times poorly served by a fragmented system. However, in the midst of such complexity lies a simple truth. North Yorkshire is a very special place: one of the safest in the country, with a good and effective police service.
Our starting point then is one of strength, a stable platform upon which to construct our future. But what does this future look like? How do we square the circle between the traditional demands of the police service so readily identified by the public and our new challenges? The answer must be to focus on the needs of our citizens, however they manifest.
We care about what we do; whether it is the attention to detail we apply to investigations, the compassion we extend to victims, our responsiveness to individuals and communities, or the consideration we offer when working with our partners and one another.
To achieve this vision, we have agreed four clear priorities, along with a set of objectives that set out our vision of an exemplary service, and outcomes which show the change we expect to see
- Caring about the Vulnerable
We will have an in-depth understanding of how we can best protect the most vulnerable people in our society and will invest in services, skills and partner relationships to deliver the best possible outcomes.
- Ambitious Collaboration
We will reach out to partners and drive innovation forward to enhance policing, public protection, community safety and local justice services.
- Reinforcing Local Policing
We will equip our people with the technology, skills, capacity and personal support to prevent and tackle crime and reduce demand.
- Enhancing the Customer Experience
We will embed an outward-facing perspective to guide all our endeavours, providing an exemplary service that exceeds expectations, whether that be in serving the public, shaping the organisation or working with colleagues and partners.
Over the past few years, we have worked hard to shape our culture around three values: courage, compassion and inspiration. These values will continue to be promoted, supported and encouraged, alongside the police service’s Code of Ethics.
Realising our vision is not a simple task and it will require leadership, focus and energy. But by being explicit about serving our public as best as we possibly can, we are confident that people will be safer, and also feel safer in their homes, at work, online and going about their daily lives.
Towards an ‘exemplary’ service
All the evidence points at a changing world. This plan therefore deliberately looks at how we need to change to meet the emerging and new challenges faced by our police service. It is a plan for the future. But that doesn’t mean we take our eyes off the here and now.
Burglary, anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, alcohol-fuelled disorder and road safety remain amongst the public’s top concerns. This is because these issues have a direct and immediate impact on people and communities, so no matter how the world is changing, such problems must be dealt with robustly.
At its most basic, the public expect a good local police service. This is a nonnegotiable baseline that must continue to be delivered.
We are proud that at the start of 2017, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) assessed North Yorkshire as a ‘good’ service. This plan therefore builds on this success, looking at what we can do to provide an ‘exemplary’ service.
We will celebrate and learn from our successes, but also be open to exploring how improvements can be made, if we things differently. We need a more proportionate attitude to risk for example, and to approach those times we do not succeed with a culture of honesty and candour, ready and willing to learn from our mistakes.
Under each priority, objectives state what we mean by ‘exemplary’. The corresponding outcomes detail the change we expect to see over the short, medium and long term as a result of the work undertaken to achieve the objectives.
By caring about the way in which we protect vulnerable people, being ambitious about collaboration, reinforcing local policing, and improving the customer experience, we not only ensure that we are ready for the future, but also improve our ability to deal with the here and now. The combination of the two will help us provide ‘exemplary’ service, in the round.