Yesterday I learnt about a fabulous project run by the Metropolitan Police Service. Established some years ago now - the project runs a database of officers and staff with specialist skills. The skills include understanding languages and cultures of the various (and many) communities of London. But the database does not stop there, members of the database offer any information about themselves that they think could help with an investigation or other police operational matter.
- Should all police services have such units?
- And secondly - should all public services have such units?
In the same case study, the CCRU’s founding director, Detective Chief Inspector Keith Fraser, is reported as saying "This database allows us to match up the ‘life skills’ – as well as the professional skills – that officers have with the needs of a particular case. The database contains all sorts of information, not only about an individual’s race, ethnicity, faith or cultural experiences, but also things like experience of child abuse, black magic, hostage situations, and so on. It is a really rich resource and allows us to bring new and subtle understandings to our work."
- A better, more diverse and sensitive service is delivered to citizens
- Staff are valued and acknowledged for all of their talents
- Operational practice is more effective and efficient (with less use of costly external expertise & more efficiently conducted operational business)