Some of you may know that I have a fondness for American crime fiction. This week's blog is prompted by Raymond Chandler's 1953 novel, The Long Goodbye.
The story has been described as "A study of a moral and decent man cast adrift in a selfish, self-obsessed world where lives can be thrown away without a backward glance."
You will be relieved to know that this is not a metaphor for my time as Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Nonetheless, the book's title strikes a chord. My term of office has just over 60 days to go. Last week, I delivered the first of my goodbye messages to the Police and Crime Commissioner's Strategic Partnership Board (SPB). Here’s a short extract.
“I've always believed that those responsible for delivering good public services need a forum where we can come together to talk frankly and openly about the challenges and the opportunities that we face. A forum to share good practice and success stories, and if we are honest with one another, a forum to talk about the things that didn't work out entirely as we had planned.
Community safety has always been about much more than policing. Security and wellbeing can only be achieved by working in partnership. The SPB embodies this principle.”
At my suggestion, SPB members have embraced the opportunities offered by taking a trauma-informed approach to violent crime. Tackling harmful behaviour has been uppermost in the minds of every organisation represented around the table.
Everyone has acknowledged the dire consequences of adverse childhood experiences and their impact on crime and antisocial behaviour. They understand the value of taking an holistic, public health approach to tackling complex and interrelated issues such as substance misuse, sexual violence, child abuse and escalating criminal behaviour.
Partnership involving health authorities, local councils, the police, and the other emergency services prevents crime and protects the people of Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland. The partnership thread has run through every aspect of my time in office. I'd like to think it's unbreakable.
There will be more goodbyes during the coming weeks. I will try not to have too many of them, in case it should remind you of another Chandler masterpiece – The Big Sleep.
Coincidentally, Thursday is World Book Day; check back for an update on my current reading pile.
1 March 2021
Posted on Monday 1st March 2021