Intelligent, creative and informed policing

We are open to new sources of information, continuously developing our own knowledge to help the police service to grow and change in line with new challenges and stay at the forefront of public service.

Informed analysis and creativity are critical to what we do. They sit at the heart of our thinking and our decisions, meaning that effective and critical problem solving is second nature to us. Balancing our decisiveness with consideration and evidence-based approaches, we are able to challenge our thinking and draw on multiple diverse sources of information for new ways of thinking and working.

Competency : We analyse critically

We analyse information, data, viewpoints and combine the best available evidence to understand the root causes of issues that arise in complex situations.

We draw on our experience, knowledge and wide sources of evidence to give us a greater view of what is happening underneath the surface. We combine insight and evidence-based approaches to help make decisions, accepting that we will not have all the answers but will always try to gather facts and robust information to be able to think tactically and strategically.

Why is it important? Critical thinking drives effective policing as we are faced with a wide variety of complex issues on a day-to-day basis. This means that we all need to be able to make sense of a complex environment, accept that ambiguity is part of contemporary working life and, therefore, be able to identify interrelationships between different factors.

If we are able to analyse the best available evidence and see what is happening underneath the surface, we will be better able to make confident and effective decisions and implement preventative solutions that deal with root causes.

We analyse critically

Level 1

  • I recognise the need to think critically about issues. I value the use of analysis and testing in policing.
  • I take in information quickly and accurately.
  • I am able to separate information and decide whether it is irrelevant or relevant and its importance.
  • I solve problems proactively by understanding the reasons behind them, using learning from evidence and my experiences to take action.
  • I refer to procedures and precedents as necessary before making decisions.
  • I weigh up the pros and cons of possible actions, thinking about potential risks and using this thinking to inform our decisions.
  • I recognise gaps and inconsistencies in information and think about the potential implications.
  • I make decisions in alignment with our mission, values and the Code of Ethics.

Level 2

  • I ensure that the best available evidence from a wide range of sources is taken into account when making decisions.
  • I think about different perspectives and motivations when reviewing information and how this may influence key points.
  • I ask incisive questions to test out facts and assumptions, questioning and challenging the information provided when necessary.
  • I understand when to balance decisive action with due consideration.
  • I recognise patterns, themes and connections between several and diverse sources of information and best available evidence.
  • I identify when I need to take action on the basis of limited information and think about how to mitigate the risks in so doing.
  • I challenge others to ensure that decisions are made in alignment with our mission, values and the Code of Ethics.

Level 3

  • I balance risks, costs and benefits associated with decisions, thinking about the wider impact and how actions are seen in that context. I think through ‘what if’ scenarios.
  • I use discretion wisely in making decisions, knowing when the ‘tried and tested’ is not always the most appropriate and being willing to challenge the status quo when beneficial.
  • I seek to identify the key reasons or incidents behind issues, even in ambiguous or unclear situations.
  • I use my knowledge of the wider external environment and long-term situations to inform effective decision making.
  • I acknowledge that some decisions may represent a significant change. I think about the best way to introduce such decisions and win support.

Competency : We are innovative and open-minded

​We have an inquisitive and outward-looking nature, searching for new information to understand alternative sources of good practice and implement creative working methods. We are committed to reflecting on how we go about our roles, being flexible in our approach as required to ensure the best outcomes.

We seek to understand how well we are performing, both as individuals and as teams, and we seek to continuously improve. To do this, we look at relevant standards outside policing in other organisations and sectors.
Constantly changing and adapting is part of our role. We maintain an open mind to allow us to identify opportunities and to create innovative solutions.

Why is it important? New and emerging threats mean that our required response will not always be obvious. We will need to adopt new thinking and assumptions, be continually inquisitive and committed to continual improvement. The perpetual need to adapt, innovate and question our assumptions is at the heart of being able to serve and protect the public. It includes taking innovative, preventative action to reduce demand.

Being open-minded and reflective also allows us to tailor our approach to specific contexts and the communities we serve.

We are innovative and open-minded

Level 1

  • I demonstrate an openness to changing ideas, perceptions and ways of working.
  • I share suggestions with colleagues, speaking up to help improve existing working methods and practices.
  • I constantly reflect on my own way of working and periodically review processes and procedures to make continuous improvements.
  • I adapt to change and am flexible as the need arises while encouraging others to do the same.
  • I learn from my experiences and do not let myself be unduly influenced by preconceptions.

Level 2

  • I explore a number of different sources of information and use a variety of tools when faced with a problem and look for good practice that is not always from policing.
  • I am able to spot opportunities or threats which may influence how I go about my job in the future by using knowledge of trends, new thinking about policing and changing demographics in the population.
  • I am flexible in my approach, changing my plans to make sure that I have the best impact.
  • I encourage others to be creative and take appropriate risks.
  • I share my explorations and understanding of the wider internal and external environment.

Level 3

  • I implement, test and communicate new and far-reaching ways of working that can radically change our organisational cultures, attitudes and performance.
  • I provide space and encouragement to help others stand back from day-to-day activities, in order to review their direction, approach and how they fundamentally see their role in policing. This helps them to adopt fresh perspectives and identify improvements.
  • I work to create an innovative learning culture, recognising and promoting innovative activities.
  • I lead, test and implement new, complex and creative initiatives that involve multiple stakeholders, create significant impact and drive innovation outside of my immediate sphere.
  • I carry accountability for ensuring that the police service remains up to date and at the forefront of global policing.

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