Conference - Day 1 (17 May) overview
From devolving policing in England through to Northumbria Police's Operation Dragoon, Day 1 of the national Police Federation conference certainly had plenty of content.
The most interesting session featured the keynote speeches of the national Police Federation chairman and the Home Secretary, followed by the usual Q and A session involving delegates but, unusually, scheduled on the opening day of conference rather than the usual Wednesday morning slot. Once again a number of Leicestershire Police Federation members took the trip down to Bournemouth to see the Home Secretary speak.
Other sessions on the Tuesday saw a presentation on the issue of unconscious bias, challenging all officers to consider their own mindset, a debut conference speech by shadow home secretary Andy Burnham which perhaps went down better than expected given his proposals on further police reform just a few days earlier, and Vision 2020, looking at developing specialist and digital capabilities.
The day concluded with two separate fringe meetings - the National Detectives' Forum and a discussion around limited duties.
After the day's sessions, our reps said…
On the national chairman's opening remarks:
"Steve was overwhelmingly positive - trumpeting recent success, indicating we reached a tipping point on the road to change. What tone did it set for the week? That the future was bright, that the days of pain and blame are coming to an end... Well let's hope." - Peter Bown. On the chairman's keynote speech:
"Overall his speech was conciliatory. He mentioned pay but got no commitment from the Home Secretary. Sounded like a 'goodbye Home Secretary speech', therefore to sum up in three words… so long, Theresa." - Pete Callaghan.
On the Home Secretary's speech:
"To sum up the speech in three words - supportive, calm, decisive. It was similar to other years - a supportive opening, followed by challenging the Federation to finish the job of change." - Leon Gamble.
On unconscious bias:
"This was very interesting, it got me to appreciate the concept of unconscious bias and how this can affect decisions. You need to be self aware of unconscious bias in your thoughts and decisions. They are emotional and easily triggered." - Leon Gamble.
"The presentation by Dr Jones was very interesting, and opened the delegates to some intense self assessment of how the mind forms bias as a consequence of culture, experiences and exposure to other media. He made it clear that we are all 'neurologically pre-disposed to bias', and such bias is formed at a staggering speed as the unconscious mind forms neurological pathways to save processing time later." - Simon Hurst.
On Vision 2020:
"Chief Constable Giles York spoke at the most relevant, engaging and interesting level linking the whole presentation back to the Federation and front-line policing more than the others." - Laura Millward.
On Operation Dragoon:
"Both officers were very passionate about their work on this operation which has now become an established team within their force. It was clear that they were very proud of what their team had achieved and put this across in a very down to earth manner without any corporate spin. They addressed the conference as though they were speaking to a fellow colleague which I thought made them more engaging and easier to listen to." - Jon Carter-Lang.