In times gone by in this great country armies at war would invariably lay siege to a castle. England and Wales are peppered with castles on our shores and borders and there are many historic events documented when castles were under siege.
The premise is simple. Surround the castle completely. Do not allow anyone to enter nor anyone to leave. Wait.
Many castles had wells and so a water supply could be maintained if spring fed. Many castles had grounds within the Bailey and the Keep where some crops could be grown. They also kept animals within the walls that were food/milk providers and also a source of meat. The castles were often occupied by a considerable number of soldiers and peasants/serving people and so stock piling of provisions was common. Probably even more hectic when the enemy army appeared on the horizon.
During this long slow wait the food supply would dwindle. Castle occupants would become hungry. Children and people would die. As this worsened the people in the castle would begin to question why they were holding out. Muttering and grumbling would become vocal protest. Fighting between groups within the castle would erupt as tensions rose.
The King or Lord in charge would face a dilemma. Holding strong for reinforcements was desired. Surrender was not a favourable option but eventually the pressure would become too much and he would negotiate their surrender. They would often leave with colours flying but defeated nevertheless.
The police service in the UK is under siege. If we take the tale above and transpose it we are surrounded by the government. We are holding out. We are being strong but the government are holding out and are prepared to wait.
In the meantime our federation leaders do all they can to negotiate and convince the government of their folly. The police service is not the castle they should be laying siege to. We are fundamental to order within the country.
These are difficult times. Within the castle walls the tension is rising. Tempers are easily lost and words uttered or typed cannot be withdrawn. The government will be delighted to see the police service turn in on itself whilst under pressure. We will collapse, hold no credibility and lose the good will of the public who are in support of us. We will look like a shambles and the government will storm our gates, take the castle and put an elected commissioner in charge.
There are many police officers on twitter who are identifiable as individuals. There are many more who remain anonymous as myself. We all have a part to play in ensuring the police service continues to benefit from social media. We all have different levels of service, experience and varying opinion.
Yesterday I read two blogs by @pcstanleywmp They are fairly innocuous. They contain information the public and his followers may find interesting. It’s not a university thesis but a simple plain English explanation of his view and understanding of the topics.
What has shocked me is the vitriol that has been posted as comments. The officers knowledge, experience, level of service and his actual existence have been questioned. The reaction was in many ways appalling and indicative of the internal breakdown we must avoid.
Leadership is something that has been missing in the police for years. It has through a rather patronising course by the NPIA been introduced as the CLDP. Notwithstanding the quality it does highlight an area that has been sorely needed in the police service for many years.
Leadership is encouraging and educating not criticising and condemning. Leadership is to motivate and mentor not demoralise and deter. I saw plenty of the latter and precious little of the former yesterday.