An influx of younger, more socially liberal recruits into the police will change attitudes and help change the ‘macho’ culture of the service nationally, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner has said.
In an exclusive interview with CBJMagazine, Paddy Tipping said there was “a lot we’ve got to do” to change attitudes and the culture in the force.
He said: “We’re recruiting heavily at the moment – nationally 20,000 officers over three years. The effect of that will be that at the end of that three-year period, a third of all officers will be under 30 and have less than three years’ experience. But I think new people, younger people coming in and more, let me put it like this, socially liberal, more thoughtful people will help us change the culture.”
The departure of older, experienced officers was acceptable, he said.
“That’s a big loss, but having younger people coming in, who, as I say, are perhaps more worldly wise and have a different set of attitudes is going to change the culture of the police.”
Tipping was speaking following the publication of the HMIC report into police handling of the vigil for Sarah Everard in March where officers clashed with the crowd.
“we’ve got to use it as a tool to move forward and I think we can do that
The report acknowledged that the incident had created bad publicity for the Metropolitan Police, he said, but it represented a seminal moment where institutions can work together to eradicate violence against women and girls.
“Out of that tragedy we’ve got to use it as a tool to move forward and I think we can do that. There’s been a series of discussions between me, as Chair of The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and The National Police Chiefs’ Council, to put a plan together.”
He added: “Images of women on the ground with boots of male officers on top of them aren’t very helpful at all.
“We had a very successful vigil here in Nottingham. People who came were very respectful and thoughtful, wore masks, social distanced. The police were there, but it was two female officers who were there, very low key.”
In April 2016, Nottinghamshire Police became the first police force in England and Wales to treat misogyny as a hate crime, a collective effort which had involved collaboration with other institutions.
“The police force were the first ones, but we worked in partnership with Nottingham Women’s Centre, Nottingham Citizens and Nottingham Trent University. It’s been a collective effort and has been a long slog since 2015, but we’ve got there in the end.”
Responding to former Notts Chief Constable Susannah Fish’s allegation that there was a “toxic culture of sexism” in significant parts of policing, he acknowledged that policing in general had the reputation of being a macho culture but said Notts did better than other parts of the country.
“it has been a long slog since 2015, but we’ve got there in the end”
“We’ve worked hard in Nottinghamshire to recruit more women – 50% of recruits are women. That’s not the case across the country. The Met Police, for example, [the proportion] is only about 30%. Promoting women of the organisation is important too. We’ve had two chief constables here who’ve been women and the present deputy is a woman.”
Looking to the future, he said there remained “an awful lot to do” to help make women safer.
“You talk to your mate, your colleagues and hear that they suffer regular verbal and physical abuse. If you go to the pub or clubs, it’s wrong that you get touched up and rubbed against.
“I’ve always been very clear, I have a series of priorities but one of my priorities throughout the period in office has been making sure that women and girls receive proper services and are protected.”
But he admitted that change would take time.
“We’re going in the right direction. We need to put our foot on the accelerator a bit but we know where we’re going.”
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