NPCC’s Sara Thornton calls for transformation of the UK’s policing culture

Changes in leadership and cultural shifts are vital if the UK’s police force is to continue to keep up with the demands of modern society, according to one of Britain’s most senior ranking policing figures, Sara Thornton CBE.

Chair of the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) Chief Constable Thornton called for the industry shake up at the recent N8 PRP event, ‘Mobilising Data to Inform Police Research and Practice’. Sara Thornton delivered the session ‘Fostering a Culture of Organisational Learning’, which explored the changing landscape of the policing environment and encouraged professionals to learn from their mistakes rather than hiding behind them.

The session focused on organisational learning and support, exploring the routes for building a learning culture within the UK’s policing sector and how to overcome the barriers to change.

The event, held in Leeds, brought together experts, scholars and practitioners to explore innovations in data exploitation and research collaboration and provided a unique networking opportunity for new synergies between researchers and police practitioners.

In 2015, Sara Thornton became the first Chair of the NPCC, a body that brings together the expertise of police leadership to co-ordinate policing and agree national approaches in the public interest.

She served with the Metropolitan Police from 1986 and has held several operational postings in West London and strategic roles within New Scotland Yard. In 2006 she was awarded the Queens Police Medal and was awarded a CBE in the 2011.

N8 PRP enables and fosters research collaborations between universities, police and crime commissioners, government, police forces and other partners working in policing policy, governance and practice.

N8 PRP’s academic lead, Professor Adam Crawford of the University of Leeds, said: “We were delighted to welcome Chief Constable Sara Thornton to speak at the N8 PRP’s latest workshop. As one of the UK’s most senior and experienced policing figures, Sara offered an interesting insight into the future of the UK’s policing sector and how it must adapt to meet the demands of our society.

“The workshop showcased the powerful potential of the N8 PRP and its ability to foster collaboration between academia and industry, providing all attendees with the opportunity for additional networking and develop new ideas for innovative research.”


1 thought on “NPCC’s Sara Thornton calls for transformation of the UK’s policing culture”

  1. It is interesting speaking to colleagues amongst the Policing family, about their personal experiences of in-house leadership training. It is then disappointing to hear that they have limited training, early on during their promotion process. Transformational leadership qualities should be promoted within the policing culture, especially amongst rank and file, but I have yet to see more examples of this. It is encouraging however, to see change occurring at a great pace, in a great place.

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