Your New Best Friend

Congratulations, Commissioner – well done!

The blur of praise and well-wishes may be getting a bit much now, or you still may be in the psychological state of euphoria. Good job you have a few days to get over it then as, formally, you have to wait till next Thursday before you take up the reins. We both know that’s not going to happen.

Everyone is praising your abilities as a winner, and there is, after all, plenty of evidence of that. However, there are many out there who look at you like cartoon Tom looks at cartoon Jerry, as their next meal.

I don’t merely mean they want to have you for breakfast, though that is true. I mean that you are now a very important person. You may not be the most important person in the world but, for some people, you are the most important person in their world, and you are where their next and every meal comes from, whether they be cops, former police authority staff, PCSOs, police civilians, or a range of partners and voluntary groups who are after your coin.

Many will now be seeking to be your new best friend, not least of which will be the Chief Constable or the Chief Executive of the Police Authority. The most proficient of these will get you to believe it, and slowly augment your priorities with their own.

You need help. So get your own, be that a political Deputy or, alternatively, someone you can trust! I was told earlier in the campaign that Labour candidates without police experience were being urged to find a Deputy with some. I reported it, not as a criticism, but as sound advice. And recently I heard an anonymous senior Conservative figure give this advice for new PCCs on what they needed to sort out before anything else – “get a personal adviser, a clever and able person to help you – you can’t be in the room alone.”

In London, the Principle Advisor role falls to Blair Gibbs, and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Policing have appointed other part-time Advisors so they have loyal specialist advice when they need it. Others may chose a consultancy arrangement. It’s not something you can do on the cheap, but it will be worth every penny.

The last thing you can afford to do is to be enveloped by the existing system, and ‘go native’. Because, if you are to be anything at all, you cannot be the system. You are the change.


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6 Responses to Your New Best Friend

  1. Still Sceptical - and vindicated says:

    And your advice to the 8 ex cops?

  2. Catherine Crawford says:

    Interesting and I massively admire your site and all the insights and information you vouchsafe. But on a pedantic point – the ” ditch anyone involved in the ancient regime” you cite as good practice on the part of the new deputy mayor initiatives in London is slightly flawed given that 2 of his new advisers were members of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

    Sent from my iPad

    • samchapman says:

      Thanks Catherine, though I didn’t explicitly say that as it is current loyalties that concern me more than past associations.

  3. Hi Sam, Perhaps it’s a naive thought but should we not consider that it is the role of the media to inform, in which case should the media accept a large degree of responsibility for their poor negative coverage of such an important election. David S. Smith


    • samchapman says:

      I appreciate how you feel, but I’ve seen some of the media coverage up close and been impressed with the effort and time involved. Some media have done a good job on thesevelections. It’s odd that more attention is paid to the US elections, or to who stays in an Australian jungle, but I’ve always believed in supply and demand. One element of this is that candidates needed to give the media somethingto report, and many opted for safe and bland policies that did not attract media attention or public support.

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