The difference leadership can make

The Telegraph reports:

In three years, Stephen Watson, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), has turned a failing force that was on its knees into the one rated most improved by the official police watchdog.

How bad was it?

When he arrived in the summer of 2021, GMP had been placed in “special measures” after failing to record 80,000 crimes – a fifth of that year’s total. Emergency 999 response times were the worst in the country, with serial warnings that it was failing domestic abuse and sexual assault victims.

So rock bottom.

Now, says Watson, every crime is investigated, emergency response times are among the best in England and Wales, arrests of domestic abuse perpetrators have doubled in a year and overall crime is down by 7.7 per cent. Since he took over, stop and searches have quadrupled to 46,029 in a year – a key reason, he believes, behind sharp falls in robberies, firearms offences and people presenting at hospitals with knife injuries. “It is about leadership and having an effective plan,” he says.

Stunning. And what did he do?

Instead, he believes it is about investigating every crime no matter how minor and thinking about crime “through the prism of the victim’s experience rather than the prism of some sort of Home Office classification”.

It echoes the US-inspired “broken windows” philosophy on tackling crime. “I expect my officers to enforce moving traffic offences, litter and graffiti, right the way up through the spectrum. It’s as much about the small stuff as it is about the big stuff,” says Watson.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that if you don’t tend to anti-social behaviour, which is symptomatic of crime, eventually things will deteriorate to the point where you get embedded endemic, deep-rooted crime and anti-social behaviour.”

We now have this in NZ. In Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington there is so much anti-social behaviour employers are moving out of the city.

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