• The end of another year - 2012

    It seems to be customary on Twitter to review 2012 and look forward to 2013. So here is my contribution.

    Professionally 2012 took me on a journey of discovery; some of it personal and some of it professional. I continued to enjoy teaching in the Middle East and build my knowledge of the Islamic culture and Arabic language. I worked with some very special people, friends who I shared good times with such as my birthday and passing my doctorate. Teaching in a foreign country, and in a foreign language, is a challenge that I enjoy immensely and I hope that I am able to continue in 2013. I was also fortunate to teach in USA on two occasions and catch up with some old friends and special people- and drink a lot of good whiskey too!

    I also became immersed in the fascinating world of community engagement. Not what we in the police refer to as community engagement, but true community engagement methodology where the public are given a chance to speak and the police have a chance to listen. Much of this work has been conducted in GMP where I have met some dedicated and highly professional people. From a personal perspective this work is not without its challenges, but to sit and listen to people discuss how to make life better for the people of Manchester makes it worthwhile. The opportunity to learn about and discuss politics, philosophy and social policy has been grabbed with one hand and a caipirinha in the other.

    On a personal note I managed to write up and finish my doctorate. It has been a long time coming but I have enjoyed the experience and once again gained some very firm friends along the way. Working with Professor John Grieve is a both a thrill and a pleasure that I will always be grateful for.

    Music plays a big part in my life and 2012 witnessed my attendance at some great rock gigs, but none as great as a wonderful night with Alabama 3. They really are the best live band on the road in the UK.

    Personally 2013 holds a number of challenges and opportunities. I start as a visiting lecturer at Lancaster University and an Associate Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University.

    I am thoroughly looking forward to getting my feet wet in academia. I am also hoping to start to write academic articles based upon my thesis and my passion for legitimacy in policing. This latter element will, I hope, turn into an opportunity to work with a number of police forces in the UK.

    The work with GMP and the learning and writing of the project enters a crucial phase. Planning takes place early in the New Year and it will be full on from that point. Having suffered the terrible loss of two police officers in 2012 the fortitude of those working in and with GMP is to be commended.

    Professionally I think that policing will face some of its stiffest challenges in 2013. In terms of brand, policing needs strong leadership and a clear understanding of what the public want from their police service.

    I am just not sure that at the moment we have leaders of sufficient stature to lead us through 2013 without the blemish that has seen sacking and suspensions in numbers not previously seen

    I think that the full impact of PCCs will be felt fairly on in the New Year and this will pose a huge challenge to policing in UK. But I am sure that it is a challenge that those involved in policing will rise to – so here is to best wishes to you, your families, friends and colleagues.

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