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  4. 3.21 Leadership with political astuteness: The dynamics of police working with politicians

3.21 Leadership with political astuteness: The dynamics of police working with politicians

Academic team: Professor Jean Hartley, Jane Roberts (Visiting Fellow with CPRL)
Policing partners: Dorset Police and North Yorkshire Police
Status: Complete

Cambs police officers

This research examines the dynamics of senior police working with elected politicians, and the roles, relationships and skills which help police to navigate in a political context.

All public service senior leadership roles are inherently political, in the sense of having to deal with both the formal institutions and agents of the state, as well as more informally the contested nature of many public service issues and practices. 

This research explores four questions:   First, how do senior police officers and staff understand the roles of elected politicians? Second, how do senior police officers interact with elected politicians? Third, what skills do police officers use to navigate their relationships with politicians?  And how do police acquire leadership skills to work with elected politicians? 

The first phrase of the research was a literature review (Roberts and Hartley, 2022) which showed that there is a considerable literature about the legal and governance frameworks of chief constables working with police and crime commissioners but that there is relatively little about how each understands their roles or how they navigate their roles vis-à-vis each other.  The second phase was 22 interviews, of which 11 were with chief constables and 11 with their counterpart police and crime commissioner.  The researchers also carried out four hours of workshops with 11 aspiring senior leaders (superintendents and chief superintendents).

Outputs

Title Outputs type Lead academic Year To note
Roles and relationships in leadership: The dynamics of senior police working with elected politicians Conference presentation Hartley, J 2023 Available on request
Police leadership at the political interface: A systematic literature review Report Roberts, J 2022 Available on request
The dynamics of police working with politicians Conference presentation Hartley, J 2022 Available on request
The dynamics of police working with politicians: Accountability, governance, roles and behaviours Conference paper with ppt slides Roberts, J 2022 Available on request
Leading at the political interface Conference presentation Hartley, J 2021 Available on request
Police leadership at the political interface Conference presentation Hartley, J 2021 Available on request

 

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