Free Bespoke Training Day for Prospective PCCs

You’ll remember that TopOfTheCops has frequently been sceptical about the approaches of the Local Government Association and the Association of Police Authorities in their attempts to provide support and national representation for PCCs. The scepticism has flowed from the more-grudging-than-Damascene conversions of these organisations from ‘PCCs must be stopped’ to ‘now we have to have them, can they provide our livelihoods’.

This is particularly the case with the Local Government Association. Their rivals in the Association of Police Authorities are at least doing a similar job at the moment, have been commissioned by the Home Office to provide representation on national bodies, and are not running around pretending that they are ‘the’ national representative body for PCCs. The LGA are however engaged in that very pretence.

Both organisations are currently offering training/briefing for candidates, which will bolster the organisations hoped-for future roles as support structures for PCCs. All that is well and good. It is perfectly fine for organisations to offer support in an attempt to build relationships with prospective PCCs, which may prove valuable to both parties later, as long as everyone realises that is what is happening. But the organisations established by various arms of the state are not the only way of doing that, and a bit of extra choice and competition may encourage everyone to raise their game, particularly while the risk remains that the APA and LGA may yet bury their differences and remove the only other appearance of choice.

That’s why I’ve decided to support the briefing day run by Crest Advisory. Uniquely among the three organisations offering support, the folk at Crest Advisory have actually been supportive of the role of PCC since before it was proposed, so that’s a welcome bit of variety. They are also a commercial organisation. They are hoping to build a business, and that is clear from the start. I like the simplicity and honesty of this. I know what they are getting from it. With the LGA, there seems also to be an attempt to derive some sustenance from PCC’s mandate.

The event takes place in Crest’s offices in Tavistock Square, London, (WC1H 9LS – 5 minutes walk from Euston) on 26th June 2012, is aimed at prospective PCCs at various stages in the selection or election process, and involves input from senior politicians on a cross-party basis, experts in policing, campaigns and elections, and, er, me.

To register for your free place or to ask for more information please email


09.30 am: Registration begins

10.00 am: Introductory remarks by event chair, Rt. Hon Hazel Blears MP, Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, member of the Intelligence and Security Committee

10.15 am: Keynote address: The ambition for PCCs

Rt. Hon. Nick Herbert MP, Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

11.00 am: Audience discussion


11.45 am: Running an effective campaign and developing policy

James O’Shaughnessy, Downing Street’s former Director of Policy

12.15 pm: How to use evidence to determine effective policy

Professor Martin Innes, University Police Science Institute (

12.45 pm: Legal requirements for PCC elections

Ros Baston, political and electoral regulation expert, former lead adviser on party and election finance at the Electoral Commission

1.00 pm: Sandwich lunch


1.30 pm: PCC powers and partnership working, chaired by Rt. Hon Hazel Blears MP.


– Lord Gordon Wasserman, Government Adviser on Policing and Criminal Justice

– Prospective PCCs, including Sam Chapman, Editor of the Top of the Cops website

– Andrew Morley, Chief Executive at the London Criminal Justice Partnership

3pm: Assessing the performance of a police force

Sir Denis O’Connor, CBE, QPM, Chief Inspector of Constabulary

4.15 pm: What to do when things go wrong

Panel discussion with:

– Sean O’Neill, The Times’ Crime Editor

– Victor Marshall, Former advisor to the Home Office on Police complaints

4.45 pm: Round up

Rt. Hon Hazel Blears MP

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7 Responses to Free Bespoke Training Day for Prospective PCCs

  1. Graham Nelson says:

    Are you receving a fee for your participation? Because this looks awfully like sponsorship to me.

    • samchapman says:

      No. As a ‘speaker’ my train ticket is paid for, and all prospective PCCs get in for free, but that is all. I’m supporting this event because I believe it will be the best one, a very useful opportunity for candidates to meet each other and lay the foundations for future collaboration, and because I don’t want the market in PCC advice to be limited to those who opposed PCCs in the first place.
      Could I have negotiated a fee? Perhaps. But on this occasion I didn’t. If anyone wants to pay me to repeat what I already say here for free, I’m happy to take their cash though, and if they pay enough I won’t be too choosy, even if they happen to be the APA or LGA.

  2. ianchisnall says:

    Hi Sam, firstly can I say that my decision not to attend the Crest event is not in any way a failure to support you in your career. I am unable to attend as I have a prior commitment which I hope will offer me a more substantial benefit in the election. I am however able to attend the LGA day on the Thursday and the APA day on the Friday so if anyone else is likely to be in Brum or Coventry overnight on the Thursday and fancies a curry & beer I would be keen to contact them.

    Secondly I am speaking at a youth justice event on 12th July in central London and the panel is me, Stephen Greenhalgh, Vera Beard and Peter Levy. Just in case any of your readers want to know.

    My final comment is that I feel concerned that first the ACPO, LGA, APA and now Crest all feel they can put on events with grand aspirations and important speakers (the event I am speaking at is not specifically for PCC candidates) and assume we are all able to dedicate unlimited time and budget to the endeavour. It seems very odd that three events are all taking place in one week – do these organisations not communicate!. As PCCs we are intended to engage with our constituencies – perhaps these agencies could try to model this in their approach. The LGA just like ACPO are simply opening up an existing event to prospective PCCs. However I have not been approached by either the APA or Crest to find out what I need as a candidate. Would it be too difficult for these groups to pick up the phone or send out a few emails to see if we want their help.

    As a hint in case they are bright enough to read Sams website and the comments of ranters like me, I will not be interested in supporting or financing any agency (privately run or Government endorsed of neither of these) if elected that did not have the decency or common sense to ask me what I want from them.

  3. Pingback: More briefings |

  4. Ian,

    You say in your post, “I have not been approached by … Crest to find out what I need as a candidate. Would it be too difficult … to pick up the phone or send out a few emails to see if we want their help.”

    In fact, you have been approached by us and we have asked for your views. On the 13th May I wrote: “I’d love to hear about what briefing you would want to see at the event and whether you might join us.”

    You have also been receiving our briefings from the point you requested them in March.

    Gavin, Crest Advisory

    • ianchisnall says:

      Hi Gavin
      I think telling me you have an event planned and asking what I want included is much better than not asking me my views – however I am not sure how many events we can all sustain.

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