PSE&W New President sets out priorities

New Association President Chief Superintendent Gavin Thomas has outlined his priorities as he begins his term as head of the body that represents the senior operational leaders in policing.

Gavin, a Gloucestershire Constabulary officer for 34 years, takes over on 21.3.16 from Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis as President.

He is joined by Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths, of Gwent Police, as Vice President. Both will serve three-year terms.

Gavin has set out several areas of policing which he intends to use his Presidency to draw attention to and prioritise.

These include wellbeing – both of his members and of victims of crime – valuing difference, and the future direction of policing.

Speaking ahead of the Association’s Annual General Meeting, where he formally takes up his role, Gavin said:

“I am hugely excited to lead this highly respected organisation. We play a vital role in policing.

“We support and represent our members’ welfare and their interests. We are an influential voice, and we help to improve standards and shape policy and practice.

“As President my role is to lead the Association, set the example, and to make sure the Association continues to work for our members, remains relevant, and meets their needs.

“The role of President also provides an opportunity to bring focus and emphasis on particular areas.

“I have chosen three that are very important to me and also to our members.

“I will be focusing on wellbeing, as I want to ensure our members are looked after and looked out for as their spans of command and levels of responsibility increase. This includes supporting them in their welfare and that of the people they lead.

“I also include the wellbeing of victims and witnesses in this priority. They deserve the best possible service we can give them.

“My second area is valuing difference, in all its forms.

“Every person in policing has something to offer that could make the difference between a good service and a great one. I believe that the leaders in policing should be looking for and encouraging that difference in every member of staff, to help policing be the best it can be.”

“My third priority is the future of policing, because I believe policing is too important to plan on a short-term basis.

“I want to see the service develop a first-class vision which goes beyond just the next few years, and a plan for how to make it happen. It must address critical issues such as the needs of future generations, the adoption of new technology, and the further integration of public services.

“It should be able to inform and influence thinking, strategy, procurement and people and should shape our service to keep up with the quickly changing environment that we are all experiencing in policing.”

Gavin also paid tribute to his predecessor Irene Curtis, who retires from policing later this month.