Agenda item

Chief Constable Hearing

This is a confirmatory hearing for the appointment of the Chief Constable.

 

The preferred candidate is given an opportunity to address the Panel and then answer questions from the members. The format will be as follows:

 

a)    The Commissioner to introduce his preferred candidate.

b)    Candidate  has an opportunity to present to the Panel his/her understanding of the role

 

c)    Opportunity for the Panel to ask questions of the candidate.

 

d)    Candidate is given opportunity to clarify any answers given during the hearing and ask questions of the panel about the next stage of the process.

 

 

The attached papers include guidance on how the Panel will conduct the hearing, and the following:

 

·         Advertisement for Chief Constable

·         Candidate Information Pack comprising:

o   Letter from the Police and Crime Commissioner,

o   Job Description and  Person Specification, and

o   Terms and Conditions of Appointment

·         Copy blank application form

 

 

TO FOLLOW – Information on the candidate will be provided once available.

 

Minutes:

38.1    The Panel understood that the confirmatory hearing for the appointment of the Chief Constable was required by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The Police and Crime Commissioner would be invited to speak to the Panel to outline the selection process and to introduce the candidate. The candidate would then have the opportunity to address the Panel, and members could ask questions of the candidate relating to professional competence and personal independence. The Panel would then go into exempt session to make its decision on whether to recommend the appointment, recommend against the appointment or to use its power of veto.

 

 

38.2    The Commissioner explained that this was an important day for the Constabulary, and introduced Rod Hansen as his preferred candidate for the position of Chief Constable. Mr Hansen had been fulfilling the role on a temporary basis for the previous ten months. The Commissioner outlined the selection process as detailed in the report provided to Panel members. He informed members that the process had followed the guidance of the College of Policing and the papers included a report from an Independent Member.

 

38.3    One candidate had applied for the position; this reflected that the pool from which an appointment could be made from was very small. There had been a lot of interest from Deputies from other Forces who had asked questions on the process and about Gloucestershire Constabulary. The Commissioner suggested that the fact that only one individual had applied could be due to an awareness that there was a strong internal candidate.

 

38.4    The preferred candidate had gone through a written application process and met all the criteria. He had met with a staff forum to answer questions and had faced a very testing media interview that he had performed strongly in. In addition, he had appeared before the Commissioner’s Forum prior to the formal interview with the Commissioner and four other panel members.

 

            Questions to the Police and Crime Commissioner

 

38.5    In response to a question, the Commissioner stated that the appointment was for a five year period which was the maximum contract he could offer. Following that period, a 1-3 year extension could be offered. He explained he had made this decision in order to ensure stability.

 

38.6    One member stated that she was pleased that the position had been advertised more widely, although she was surprised that there had not been more applicants. The Commissioner stated that one particular potential applicant had expressed that they felt it wasn’t the right move for them despite expressing an interest in the County.   The vacancy had been advertised on the Constabulary website, the Police and Crime Commissioner website, through the College of Policing and through a number of networks including for BME and LGBT officers.

 

38.7    One member expressed concern about potential candidates not following up their interest and asked for assurances that they had not been put off by discussions with the Commissioner’s Office. The Chief Executive of the Commissioner’s Office stated that the Office worked hard to attract a wide field of candidates and that the lack of applications had been seen in other Forces. It could be speculated that individuals were not inclined to move across the country, or that they could receive an improved salary elsewhere, or pension reasons could be an influencing factor. The College of Policing were carrying out some work to addressthis national issue.  In response to a question as to whether the Commissioner had considered re-advertising the position he stated that he was happy with the process that had been undertaken and that he had the right person for Gloucestershire as his preferred candidate.

 

 

Questions to the preferred candidate

 

38.8    Before the Panel asked questions of the candidate, Rod Hansen was given the opportunity to address members. He stated that he had over 29 years of policing experience. He had looked closely at the role profile and understood that he needed to set a vision and influence the culture of the Constabulary. As temporary Chief Constable, he had started the work to ensure an efficient and effective Police service, to ensure stability for the organisation, to ensure local policing and to lift the organisation through a digital programme where possible by 2021. He emphasised that Gloucestershire Constabulary had ‘tremendous men and women working for it’.

 

38.9    Mr Hansen explained that he had started the journey in May with the introduction of supportive leadership and a wellbeing programme. He emphasised the importance of the Constabulary’s staff.

 

38.10  One member commented that he welcomed the experience Mr Hansen brought to the role, he asked whether if an extension to the five years was offered, would he take it? Mr Hansen stated that he was looking forward to stabilising things over the next five years and would take any offer on its merits at the end of that period.

 

38.11  In response to questions, Mr Hansen explained that the Constabulary had gone through a difficult time in terms of funding challenges and the outcome of HMIC inspections. Specifically in relation to the HMIC Safeguarding report, he explained that the reshaping and re-engineering of the Constabulary had impacted upon the ability to recruit and in turn to have the skills and expertise needed in those critical areas; the example given was around analysts. He stated that the latest reports from HMIC were good and that improvement work was ongoing.

 

38.12  Mr Hansen spoke about the importance of balancing resources between emergency response functions and local policing. He detailed the positive feedback on the Mounted Policing section and the ways it could help to improve police visibility.

 

 

38.13  One member commented on morale within the Constabulary and perception of the public and media. Mr Hansen stated that improvements were already in place to improve morale through supportive leadership and embedding management skills, supported by the wellbeing programme. He provided the example of staff feeling able to bring up smaller specific issues and seeing resolutions put in place (marginal gains). The staff survey which could be compared against other constabularies showed a significant shift in the way that staff felt.  In terms of the media, there was reflection around the importance of promoting the things that the Constabulary were doing well.

 

38.14  Mr Hansen explained that his focus was on Gloucestershire, but that he did have three national areas of responsibility which he was content with.

 

38.15  One member asked whether in his Police career to date there had been any incidents or actions which would lead to any disciplinary proceedings or embarrassment for the Constabulary. Mr Hansen responded that he had nothing to declare.

 

38.16  In response to questions around operational independence, Mr Hansen explained that he was clear on his role and that he had a professional relationship with the Commissioner and felt there was a culture of him being able to speak independently at the regular holding to account meetings each week. He stated that he would express his operational opinion and would not compromise the safety of officers or the public.

 

 

38.17  One member commented that each time a member of the Constabulary with particular expertise had attended Panel meetings that he had been educated and impressed. He asked that the Panel continue where appropriate to welcome these individuals to speak to members.

 

38.18  In response to a question on legacy, Mr Hansen explained that he was proud to be Chief Constable and would be proud if the Panel ratified the permanent appointment. He felt it was important to inspire and lead people and to provide the stability the Constabulary needed.

 

 

Supporting documents: