Historically, policing hasn't excelled in Cultural Intelligence and landmark cases, such as the investigation of the brutal murder of Stephen Lawrence, have demonstrated this all too clearly.
The British model of policing requires that the police have the support or "the consent" of the general public and that police officers are a part of the communities that they serve. London has the fastest changing and growing population in the country with 100,000 people joining the current 8.6million Londoners each year. This growth reflects ever greater diversity of nationality, language, religion, background, experience and beliefs.
The Metropolitan Police Service is here to deliver a policing service to them all, to tackle criminality and protect the vulnerable. Our ambition is for London to be the world's safest global city. This cannot be achieved by the police working alone. The ability to work with organizations from all sectors and, just as importantly, with communities and their representatives, is central. These relationships need to be robust and authentic enough to withstand critical incidents when they occur and to overcome deep-seated and sincere beliefs based sometimes on events that happened decades ago or on experiences of policing in a different part of the world.
Policing is not a task for the faint-hearted but it needs more than determination. It needs knowledge, understanding, strong personal values, highly-developed skills (both professional and personal) and perhaps most importantly, the ability to cross boundaries. Our front-line staff and leaders deal with immensely challenging incidents 24 hours a day, every day of the year and need the Cultural Intelligence both to resolve them safely and to develop longer term solutions to the issues that generate police demand. I am proud to be part of the Met and proud of my colleagues. I am also proud that we are contributing to the ‘streetwise mba®’ and hope that it challenges and supports all of you who are a part of it, helping you on your professional and personal journeys.
AC King serves on the Advisory Board of the streetwise mba: a leadership programme for leaders who want to be more inclusive.