Home Secretary’s Letter to Chief Constables and Reply from Gavin Stephens QPM and Rachel Swann QPM:
On 1st September the Home Secretary wrote to the NPCC (PCC’s) challenging any political lobbying on the part of Staff Support Associations (SSAs):
On 14th September, NPCC Chair CC Gavin Stephens QPM and NPCC Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Lead CC Rachel Swann QPM circulated the below letter in response to the Home Secretary’s letter:
This blog post is intended to inform and prepare you for meetings you may be called to within your forces as CPA Leaders.
The potential challenge of SSA input to policies does not mean that SSAs will cease to be. It does mean that we will, along with the other SSAs, likely find ourselves under a period of scrutiny. We may be part of a themed inspection by HMICFRS in the coming season. I will do my best to support you in this and give you the opportunity to discuss anything that is worrying you.
It is very simple. CPA are essentially apolitical. Since 1883, we have been an independent association that has sought to help the police service to achieve their strategic goals and objectives, whilst looking to support the wellbeing of our colleagues and their families. 140 years on we still wish to Support, Encourage and Empower, and be a national voice for Christians in Policing.
I was very privileged to attend two NPCC meetings on Thursday 15/09/2023:
- NPCC Religion & Belief Strategic Meeting chaired by CC Chris Haward; and
- NPCC Internal Stakeholders Meeting, chaired by CC Rachel Swann.
In meeting 1, I suggested that we take as a strategic goal over the next 9 or 10 months, to aim to identify exactly what SSAs can do to assist NPCC to achieve Pillar 4 Objective 1 of the NPCC Strategic Vision for the 5 years from 2025 to 2030. This should hopefully set minds and hearts at rest and ideally allows SSAs a valued position to assist in trying “To develop and inspire our workforce and evolve our culture” with the aim of developing a “A talented, representative and inclusive workforce that feels supported and has the capabilities to meet future policing challenges”. This will occur through attracting and retaining the right candidates, which will be assisted by strong supportive SSAs. This is wholly in keeping with CPA goal to Support, Encourage and Empower.
In Meeting 2 – I thanked CC Rachel Swann for her supportive letter and advised her of my suggestion to the previous meeting, suggesting we make this one way for staff support networks to play a role in improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
We are here to serve without fear or favour and as Christians in Police Service, we have an incredible opportunity for such a time as this, to assist in building bridges between the police and the Christian communities around the UK; to restore relationship and reputation, without being political, but simply calling the body of Christ to prayer from scriptural responsibilities. So please don’t worry.
1 Timothy tells us that we need to pray for all those in authority that we may lead peaceful lives. Romans 13 tells us that all authority comes from God. We believe your appointment to service in the police is from God. Colossians 3:23 tells us to work as though we are working for God, and Jesus calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves. It is clear that CPA are great potential allies, who can mobilise support. When you are in meetings with senior management in your police service, ask “How can CPA assist you to achieve your strategic goals and objectives?” and feedback. We will give you the tools and support you to the best of our ability. Plus, we can share our ideas and plans at the monthly Leader’s meetings.
God bless, Brian.