A little post by way of signing off for a much-needed period of annual leave! I’ve had an absolutely frantic and fairly fraught six months since I last had some time off and I’m ready to fall into a long, deep and peaceful sleep sometime soon.
I need to start finding a bit more time to look after myself, too -
I was in Bournemouth on Tuesday at the Police Federation’s annual conference. The Inspectors’ Central Committee were kind enough to invite me to be part of a panel of guests answering questions on issues identified by the inspectors of England and Wales as important issues. Policing and partnerships were two of those issues. It was an honour to do it, sitting alongside a Chief Constable, a Police and Crime Commissioner as well as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary and a Russell Group Professor. It felt a bit like gate-crashing a party but I keep kicking myself to remember that I’d been invited to be there!
The inspectors asked questions that are well covered on this blog: section 136, out of hours NHS responses and so on. Plenty of passion in the room to make things better and frustration that progress on these issues is slow. You can watch the session for yourself on the Police Federation website. (It should be uploaded any time now.)
Having done my bit I sat down with my colleagues from West Midlands Police to wait for lunch only to get somewhat hijacked. As the Chairman of the ICC, Alan OGG, started to wrap things up, he suddenly announced that he was presenting a special recognition award from the Inspectors of England and Wales – to me. Alan spoke some extremely generous words and then invited me back to the stage to receive a beautiful, inscribed glass bowl from the ICC. Impromptu, I then blurted something about why I wrote a blog and how I was just glad to know it was supporting inspectors and the police officers we lead to do better for vulnerable people and to help keep cops out of trouble.
It’s quite something to be recognised for your work, but I came away thinking it was something very special indeed to be honoured by your peers who’ve noticed this is mostly done in my own time. So I am especially grateful to the ICC and to Inspector Paul FORD whom I suspect was plotting and scheming to keep this a surprise! I drove home feeling rather humbled and somewhat emotional about it, if I’m honest. So I give my grateful thanks once more to the ICC and my peers, the Police Inspectors of England and Wales.
I’ve got a busy period in June – some really exciting opportunities to be involved in a few international conferences, but this will be the last post for a while as I’ve got a 9yr old son, a wife and a dog who are very overdue a highly disproportionate amount of my time. Oh, and a stack of books to read in the tranquility of our Cornish hideout – with Twitter turned OFF!
And finally, remember this: people in suits rule the world – people in uniforms let them!
The Mental Health Cop blog
– won the Digital Media Award from the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind
– won a World of Mentalists #TWIMAward for the best in mental health blogs
– was highlighted by the Independent Commission on Policing & Mental Health
– was highlighted in the UK Parliamentary debate on Policing & Mental Health