Your Opportunity to change Policing

On the 15th of November 2012 the election of the Sussex PCC (Police & Crime Commissioner) will take place. For the first time the electorate will have a direct say in policing. The Police Minister Nick Herbert said in a speech that this will be

"a new era in policing, when local people will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex" .

Up until now the Sussex Police Authority has had this power; Who are they?, what do they do? I think most ordinary residents will be unable to answer that question.This will all change with the election, the electorate will be able to decide what Police force they want and how it operates. This is why I am putting my name forward to be chosen as the Conservative Party Candidate.

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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Systems Thinking-how it could help reform Policing in Sussex

Taiichi Ohno WorkplaceManagement

In my business and my political career I have used Systems thinking as a way of managing and incentivising  staff, The world can thank a pioneering Japanese man for systems thinking.  Taiichi Ohno, former executive vice president of the Toyota Motor Company, pioneered ideas that later became coined as Lean by American's.

It all came about because levels of demand for cars in the post war economy of Japan were low and over production in the factories had to be avoided.

Having visited and seen supermarkets in the USA, Taiichi Ohno recognised the scheduling of work should not be driven by sales or production targets but by actual sales.Toyota still uses Lean to this day – some 50 years after Mr Ohno started the revolution

What is Systems thinking and what relevance is there to modern day Policing?

Well rather than being some over complicated academic theory it’s based on common sense, it empowers staff and creates a culture of continuous improvement. 

The concept of unnecessary and avoidable process’s being built into jobs and then taken for granted was noticed by motion efficiency expert  and former bricklayer Frank Gilbreth who saw that masons bent over to pick up bricks from the ground.  The bricklayer was therefore lowering and raising his entire upper body to pick up 2.3kg brick, and inefficiency had been built into the job through long practice.

To any Police Officer reading this blog will immediately realise why Systems Thinking can help the Police, the same habit of building in efficeny into their work practices have plagued the Police for years.

Frank Gilbreth introduced a non-stooping scaffold which delivered the bricks at waist level and allowed masons to work about three times as quickly and with less effort.

Small commonsense changes suggested from the grassroots at the sharp-end improves effiency and increases staff morale

For example, I remember when at the Council we were discussing a target, should we target to answer our phone calls within 5 rings or 6 rings, (this was the type of Top down Micro management we had to implement under the last government). 

 Systems’ thinking approaches the question from a different angle, rather than ask how many phone rings you should have, it asks the question why are we having so many telephone calls in the first place?

Systems Thinkingin Public Sector
John Seddon
 When an organisation does not do something properly it generates negative demand, People phone up to complain about something that has not been done, Systems Thinking deals with the negative demand by leaning systems to be simpler, so to get it right first time.  Nobody rings up their council to say things have gone right, they just expect it to be so. 

large organisations over the years have built up over complicated process’s or moved manual process’s on to Computers without any thought of reform, this sometimes involves up to 30 different actions from start to finish to complete one function or outcome, if you study what needs to be done from start to finish and reduce the number of actions you get a more efficient and workable process (Not complicated), yet over decades organisations, many in the Public Sector have done this. Leaving us inefficient top down structures.

Control & Command
 John Seddon

How do you “get buy-in” from staff and middle management, well you walk the floor and talk to them, most staff at the sharp end know what needs to be done, but they are compelled in working a certain way by the Control and Command management style.  Once you start to trust your grassroots staff to make decision and redesign process your efficiency and staff morale rises and you have a much more dynamic organisation,

This would be one of the changes I would implement to Sussex Policing if I am given the chance.

If you want to know more about systems thinking there are several links to follow :-  Wikepdia Systems Thinking   &  John Seddon (Advocate & Consultant) 


  1. Excellent blog keep sharing such great post. Thanks Business Telephone Systems Sussex

  2. A communications degree would also help you when dealing with local news crews and national broadcast teams if you ever have to contain a populated crime scene. David Tian


Rt Hon Nick Herbert (Police & Justice Minister) & Paul Dendle

Rt Hon Nick Herbert (Police & Justice Minister) & Paul Dendle
Nick Herbert (Police Minister) meets Paul Dendle on the streets of Arundel