In a break with tradition, Lancashire Constabulary has today announced the launch of its 'Rebranding Rebranding' programme, under which short meaningless titles for projects will be banned, and officers will be encouraged to use descriptions that don't have to be explained, because they already mean what they say. “It's bit like the Rebranding Rebranding programme itself.” said force spokesperson Chief Inspector April Prime. “What we are doing is rebranding the very act of rebranding, which is a core part of modern policing. There will be no more Operation this or Operation that, because policing isn't just about dressing up in uniforms and playing soldier. Things will only use the term 'operation', if they involve actual operations, you know, with Doctors and Nurses and all that. We hope the scheme will save money because, while the titles will be longer, we won't have to spend time and money explaining to our staff and partner organisations what these various things are all about.
Operation Nimrod will become 'Locking up Drug Dealers”. The Tower Programme will become “Making Thieves Take Their Methadone”. Operation Summer Nights will become “Looking Busy When We've Only Got A Budget For Public Relations”.
The scheme has become controversial though, because it introduces rules for rebranding activity that are felt to limit officers' career development. Under the scheme, officers who initiate rebranding initiatives may only do so after signing a commitment not to seek promotion in the next 3 years, after an analysis of previous projects showed a correlation between the number of rebranding initiatives proposed by an officer and their rank held when leaving the force.
Chief Inspector Prime explained, “We just asked ourselves the question 'If everything is continually improving, how come nothing ever gets any better?' It turns out that a number of schemes were only successful before they were implemented, in the planning stage and not after. Where they were genuinely successful sometimes the blindingly obvious had simply been repackaged under a fancy name. Either way the person who invented it was usually then promoted.”
The force is understood to have encountered some resistance from officers with ACPO aspirations. One said on condition of anonymity “You only get thirty years to get through the ten ranks from Constable to Met Commissioner. Promotion every three years is pretty much required to ensure the force has senior leaders tomorrow.”
But Chief Inspector Prime is undaunted “Historically, we have been the first force to do many different things, from police radios to time travel. Now we're the first not to be the first with anything anymore.” It is understood that the force are already considering renaming the initiative Operation Hotpot, in the hope the Lancashire connection is preserved as the successful initiative is taken up in other forces.