The new Statement of Mission and Values for the Police Service
The mission of the police is to make communities safer by upholding the law fairly and firmly; preventing crime and antisocial behaviour; keeping the peace; protecting and reassuring communities; investigating crime and bringing offenders to justice.
We will act with integrity , compassion , courtesy and patience , showing neither fear nor favour in what we do. We will be sensitive to the needs and dignity of victims and demonstrate respect for the human rights of all.
We will use discretion , professional judgement and common sense to guide us and will be accountable for our decisions and actions. We will respond to well-founded criticism with a willingness to learn and change.
We will work with communities and partners , listening to their views , building their trust and confidence , making every effort to understand and meet their needs.
We will not be distracted from our mission through fear of being criticised. In identifying and managing risk , we will seek to achieve successful outcomes and to reduce the risk of harm to individuals and communities.
In the face of violence we will be professional , calm and restrained and will apply only that force which is necessary to accomplish our lawful duty.
Our commitment is to deliver a service that we and those we serve can be proud of and which keeps our communities safe.
The History of Values in Policing
The Policing Principles, known today as the Peelian Principles or more colloquially as ‘the nine points of the law’ have held fast for nearly two hundred years. These principles have been universally adopted by Police and Law Enforcement Agencies around the globe and upon reading them, it is easy to see why; they remain as relevant today as they were at the time of publishing.
This was perhaps one of the first ‘code of ethics’ established for the Police Service, laying out as it did a common set of values and principles that set the direction and blueprint for today’s modern Police Service.
In 1989, Peter Imbert – the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police – drove forward some desperately needed and long-awaited changes; not least of which was renaming the Metropolitan Police Force to the Metropolitan Police Service, a name which remains today. As part of these Changes, Imbert (now Lord Imbert) led on the Statement of Common Purpose and Values for the Police Service.
The Statement of Common Purpose and Values was adopted and endorsed by all UK Police Forces and associations and has remained the only commonly shared values document until the introduction of the SOMAV this year.
At the end of the 1990s, the culture of the Police Service in the UK shifted towards a more performance focused one, necessitated by government targets set in an attempt to make the Police Service more accountable for it’s day to day actions. This culture change often saw a conflict with the Statement of Common Purpose and Values where Officers were often under pressure to meet targets rather than actually delivering the type of service that the British public had come to expect.
Sir Robert Peel
Lord Peter Imbert
More recently there has been a sea change away from a performance and target driven culture, focusing more upon the Police Officer’s most important tool: the use of discretion and professional judgement.
Chief Constable Adrian Lee, the head of the ACPO Ethics Portfolio, along with other members and Chief Constable Francis Habgood, the head of the ACPO Risk Portfolio, sought to drive this change in culture by the implementation of a National Decision Model (NDM) which held at its core the values and principles the Police Service adhere and aspire to, including the Peelian Principles, Oath of Attestation, Human Rights Act and Statement of Common Purpose and Values.
Whilst it was felt that the Statement of Common Purpose and Values remained largely valid, ACPO felt it did not reflect the current needs and direction of the Police Service. Under Chief Constable Adrian Lee's direction, the Statement of Common Purpose and Values was reviewed. After consultation with ACPO, the Superintendent's Association, the Police Federation and other Staff Associations, an updated version entitled the Statement of Mission and Values (SOMAV) was agreed and adopted nationally.
Chief Constable Adrian Lee, Chair of ACPO Professional Ethics
Chief Constable Francis Habgood, Chair of ACPO Risk Portfolio