Source: New Zealand Police (National News)
New Zealand Police has released the final report from an independent review of its systems and processes for the prevention and management of bullying.
The Police Executive has accepted the review’s findings and its 30 recommendations.
The external review, announced by Police Commissioner Mike Bush in October 2019, was conducted by experienced consultant Debbie Francis.
The review was commissioned to provide a clearer picture of what works well, and to identify any areas where improvements may be needed.
As well as looking at key documents and data, the review involved a series of interviews and focus groups in three Policing Districts, the Royal New Zealand Police College and Police National Headquarters.
Input was also sought from the Police Association, the Independent Police Conduct Authority, and State Services Commission.
“Bullying has no place within New Zealand Police – but, like any workplace, the reality is that there will sometimes be behaviour that occurs that is not acceptable,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush.
“Preventing bullying or ensuring it’s dealt with effectively are absolute priorities.”
“Police has successfully implemented a Prevention First operating model in the way we police, and we want to start taking this approach inside the organisation.”
“This means putting our central focus on the needs of people harmed by bullying or other inappropriate behaviour.”
“It’s been invaluable to have someone as experienced as Debbie Francis come in and offer suggestions regarding how we can do things better.”
“I would like to acknowledge the expertise that Ms Francis brings and the constructive recommendations in the report.”
“I would also like to thank our staff who spoke to Ms Francis as part of the review.”
“Work is now under way to implement the report’s recommendations.”
“An implementation plan will be in place by the end of March and I expect all 30 recommendations to be actioned within 12 months.”
Early priorities for action, which are signaled in the review and expected to be fully completed within three months, include:
• Replacing the current Speak Up reporting channel with an externally-hosted helpline, staffed by trained professionals who will offer advice and support.
• Ensuring practical training in coaching skills is in place for our people leaders.
• Adopting a restorative practice approach for the resolution of bullying and harassment complaints, with more formal approaches used in more serious cases or if restorative approaches have failed.
“As Ms Francis has noted, the recommendations represent the last 5% of the Police’s culture transformation journey,” says Commissioner Bush.
“We are committed to getting the work under way quickly, so we can ensure Police has a safe and healthy culture, in which all people feel respected and have a sense of belonging.”
See Debbie Francis’ full report here – Independent external review
Issued by Police Media Centre.