Letter: Confidence in the chief constable

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The Independent Online
Sir: As representatives of the vast majority of police officers within Merseyside Police we were dismayed to read Beatrix Campbell's article 'Come out of the canteen, chief constable' (26 January).

First, can we say that it does little credit to those who have chosen to 'leak' the confidential draft report of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, and the chief constable's response, thereby prompting a wholly unnecessary debate on a professional disagreement.

Merseyside Police is the subject of a major reorganisation, initiated entirely by the chief constable. He and other chief officers have been scrupulous in involving all members of the force in this important development. Therefore, to suggest that the 'estrangement from middle managers and other ranks is manifest' or that 'the top management are incapable . . . of implementing policy' is a misrepresentation. Indeed, it is paradoxical that genuine openness and the ability of all to be a part of the debate is construed as reflecting anything other than confidence in such a management style.

As to the author's outlandish statement that there is 'a crisis in the force', we would all, both individually and collectively, be interested to learn how such an assessment has been made, as no such statement, implicit or explicit, is contained within the Inspectorate report. Indeed, the article conveniently ignores the many positive aspects that form the major part of the report.

This is perhaps a plaintive cry from an organisation that now finds itself beleaguered, not because of any failings, but rather because of the views of some towards the chief constable, and others who have chosen to use this debate as an opportunity to launch such an unwarranted attack on the management and members of a force which, despite some minor exceptions, is held in high regard both locally and

nationally.

Yours faithfully,

R. WALKER

Chairman

Superintendents' Association

G. CRICHTON

Police Federation

Merseyside Police

Liverpool

26 January

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