An introduction to public leadership
An introduction to public leadership

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An introduction to public leadership

1.1.2 Leading policing: the night-time economy

Policing in the UK is a complex and rapidly changing sector, and is a good example of how leadership in the public sphere functions.

In this video, Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Garry Forsyth of Humberside Police talks about some of his work over the years in tackling the problem of Friday night binge drinking and its impact on city centres. While Garry has clearly exercised leadership in the way he has dealt with the problem, the video reveals that the police benefit from working with other leaders.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_police_vid_1004.mp4
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The work that we started around alcohol consumption in city centres during night-time economy happened back originally in Leicester at around about 2006, which we ultimately won a Beacon Award for through the Government's Beacon Initiatives. Conventionally, we would go out and we would police the night-time economy. We would do a little bit of education perhaps up-front and probably a little bit of engineering maybe around CCTV. But the majority of what we did was around deterrents and enforcements.
But when you actually look at the night-time economy per se as a whole system, then what do people want to do in the night-time economy? They want to go out with friends, they want to have some drinks, but they want to go out in effect and enjoy themselves and have fun, in many cases get drunk, and hopefully get home safely. But it doesn't always happen.
Policing now is incredibly complex, isn't it? And policing the night-time economy is a degree of complexity over and above the ordinary complexity as well. The stakeholders are multiple. So we are an obvious stakeholder in policing, in terms of providing a safe and secure environment for people to enjoy themselves, and live, and work. There's obviously the residents who, the night-time economy takes place in city centres where people live as well. So there's the people who live there, the people who work there. Obvious ones as well, the local authority. You've got then the licensing authority within the local authority as well.
We have a number of third sector engagements and support in the night-time economy area. So here in Hull we have a group called Street Angels. Elsewhere, they're called Street Pastors. The Street Pastors or the Streets Angels are a fantastic asset for us. And what they are is a multi-faith group who come together voluntarily. And we provide them with some training and some awareness around how to keep themselves safe. And we give them the ability to link-in with the officers who are out there on the night-time economy as well.
But what they provide is a level of diffusion really. We can all see things escalating around us. But actually an intervention by the police might, in some circumstances, lead to a further escalation of that. Whereas an intervention by somebody who is just concerned with your welfare and is happy to have a friendly conversation with you and provide you with some support and guidance actually can very often diffuse a situation and de-escalate it really effectively.
And then stakeholders into your health. So you've got the immediate response in terms of the ambulance service. But then one of the big issues that we found and were able to have some particular success around was drawing down funding from the winter pressures fund. Because actually if we can divert people away from A & E at the times when they're busy, then actually health are quite happy to give you some money to support that in innovative ways, things around street triage and making sure you've got better access. And diverting people away from A & E is really, really helpful.
The public now don't pay any less taxes, they probably pay more, whilst we've seen significant budget reductions, as has the majority of the public sector. The expectation for the level of public services provided has certainly not gone downwards with the budget. If anything, it stayed the same or perhaps even increased. Because people are actually paying more tax and it's not an unreasonable expectation that you get access to first-rate public services.
So I think that then puts a greater pressure on local authorities, public authorities and public services to really drive out the value that exists within their organisations. And it's much more efficient and effective to do things as a systemic and systematic approach rather than each agency working in individual silos only conscious of what it contributes to their own particular performance indicator or outcome that they're seeking to achieve.
And that's where the real benefit comes. You can get into quite a virtuous circle really, rather than a vicious cycle, and you start to get really beneficial impacts. And that's the things around reducing A & E. That's really beneficial and people will give you money. And so I can do more with the resource that I've got by actually making sure that we're linked-in effectively with partners. And that really does provide some significant public value.
End transcript
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Activity 1

You just heard DCC Forsyth explain how police officers are expected to exercise leadership in managing the social impact of the night-time economy of a major city centre.

From the interview and what you saw, who else was involved in exercising leadership in this situation?

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