Minutes of an APComm National Meeting
Thursday 20 April 2017 at 1015, New Scotland Yard, London
1) Persons Present
- Kimberley Brierley, Gloucestershire
- Nigel Calvin, Civil Nuclear Constabulary Observer
- Alastair Campbell, MPS
- Maeve Chappell, Thames Valley
- Amanda Coleman, GMP (Chair)
- Colin Connolly, Hertfordshire
- Sam Edwards, Police Federation
- John Ellul, City of London
- Nicola Growcott, NPCC
- Jacqui Hanson, Operation Hydrant (Secretary)
- Lisa Harris, Police Federation
- Claire Ingram, Thames Valley (Vice Chair)
- Donna Jordan, Nottinghamshire
- Gareth Morgan, NPCC CAG (Chair Observing)
- Dan Mountain, Devon and Cornwall
- Emma North, Dyfed Powys
- Katie Perkin, Sussex
- Allison Potter-Drake, BTP
- Kate Quilley, Warwickshire / West Mercia
- Julie Rainey, NCA
- Ruth Shulver, Surrey (Vice Chair)
- Claire Stanley, Staffordshire
- Ed Stearns, MPS
- Jenny Walker, NPAS
2) Apologies for Absence
- Hilary Alison, Gloucestershire
- Rachel Anstee, NABIS
- Sue Appleton, North Wales
- David Bailey, Staffordshire (Vice Chair)
- Sarah Cooper, Cambridgeshire
- Tanya Croft, Devon and Cornwall
- Daisy Dee, Gwent
- Tony Diggins, Lincolnshire (Treasurer / Membership Secretary)
- Catherine Feast, Police Federation
- Amanda Hirst, Avon and Somerset
- Suzanne Hughes, Humberside
- Rachel Hyde, Hertfordshire
- Jason Lavan, College of Policing
- Jonathan Leach, Derbyshire
- Lynn Marsh, Cheshire
- Chris Starrs, Police Scotland
- Louise Wood, North Yorkshire
3) Minutes of the Last Meeting (14 February 2017) (JH)
Approved as a true record by those present.
- Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) – JH advised that following the update by the IICSA communications team at the last meeting, dates had been set for preliminary hearings in May and June. OP Hydrant would provide updates and advice to the impacted forces. Members were also advised to visit the IICSA website which contained a forward plan, as well as some useful documents coming from the Inquiry’s research into CSA. All contact with the IICSA was required to come through Op Hydrant – no direct contact to the Inquiry at force level.
- Communications Directory – Forces who had not yet completed the Membership Template which would form part of the Communications Directory, were asked to do and forward to the secretary – Jacqui.firstname.lastname@example.org
- NPCC Portfolio leads – Following on from a matter discussed at the February meeting, NG would circulate a directory of strategic portfolio leads for business areas to members.
4) Chair’s Update (AC)
The Chair provided an overview of activity since the February meeting.
- Resilience Training – The feedback had been extremely positive. With this in mind, a half day resilience workshop would take place on the morning of Wednesday 22 November at Belton Woods, Grantham preceding conference.
- APCC – The Chair had met with APCC to discuss the relationship and positioning of APCC communications with APComm. The meeting had been useful, with both sides agreeing to share visibility of forthcoming events and relevant meetings, as well as Minutes and Agenda items.
- PRCA Professional Development – The Chair would be attending a meeting on 1 June in respect of Continuous Professional Development .
- Elections – The Chair reminded members that the process to elect a new executive committee would formally commence in November of this year. The Chair indicated that she was not minded to stand for post again, and asked members who wished to take a more active role in progressing APComm to consider standing. All the executive roles required Chief Officer consent in force as there was a requirement to fund and attend meetings in working time. The posts also required a commitment to working outside office hours and within the post holder’s own time. Any member of the exec would be happy to provide further advice or insight into the roles.
- APComm membership – Forces were asked to ensure that all new members of their communications teams were made aware that they were members of APComm, and the benefits that offered. A Factsheet had been developed for this purpose and was being refreshed, but would be available for Heads of Comms to pass on to new employees as part of their induction.
- Secondment – Vice Chair David Bailey was congratulated on being offered a secondment to the Digital Content Programme, and would commence the role shortly. David had agreed to maintain his post of Vice Chair until the elections later this year.
5) Treasurer and Membership Report (JH)
JH updated in the absence of the Treasurer.
The accounts were healthy with a balance around £15,000. A few forces were still completing the process of renewing membership fees, which would add to this balance. All UK forces, and a selection of related policing organisations, had elected for membership in 2017.
CNC had expressed an interest in membership and were attending today’s meeting as an observer.
6) Conference 2017 (ES)
Conference 2017 would take place between Wednesday 22 – Friday 24 November at the Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham, Near Lincoln.
The executive committee had held an initial planning meeting, and the draft programme which had been built around feedback from member’s regarding their desired content, was outlined. Content included:
- Digital communications and services
- Victims – communications challenges and issues in liaising with victims when managing high profile or complex cases.
- Young people and social media – where and how do we reach out to young people?
- The future of social media.
- Crisis communications – a work through table top exercise as well as an input on how the MPS comms team managed the Westminster challenges.
- Breakout sessions on campaigns and partnership working, and internal communications and employee engagement.
- A selection of quick fire case studies – a peek into the challenges of those cases that did – or did not – make the headlines, but offer learning and innovation.
- State of the nation panel discussion.
- Key note speakers from across policing and communications on each day.
The content would be structured to allow delegates to attend on a daily, one night, or full conference basis. A full and detailed timetable would be available in due course.
The format would involve more audience engagement, including audience poll technology and the opportunity for group discussion following key sessions.
Case studies – The APComm executive are keen that case studies for all content in the Conference is forthcoming from members. If you have seen something which you think is innovative, creative, insightful, effective – or anything positive to benefit members’ learning – then please let us know. Email the secretary – Jacqui.email@example.com
We are particularly keen to have forces nominate work other than their own – so if you think someone has done it well – let us know. In relation to case studies in the field of social media, forces cannot nominate themselves and case studies must be nominated from outside.
Action 1 – All – Forces to nominate case studies for profiling at conference to the Secretary – Jacqui.firstname.lastname@example.org
Forces were also advised to reserve places expeditiously when booking for conference was opened, as the previous two years had been completely sold out. Details of how to book will be shared when available via the APComm monthly Bulletin and website.
7) APComm Website (CI)
CI presented on the look, feel and content of the refreshed APComm website which was due to be launched this year.
The refreshed website had an enhanced navigation and search function. The aim was for the website to both profile the excellent work of members, as well as act as a “come to” location to share knowledge and experience.
A dedicated Knowledge Hub would allow members to share material, strategies, and ideas, as well as ask advice from members. This would be password controlled.
The website would also have a forward plan calendar (linking in with NPCC), a Services Directory (service providers recommended by members), monthly CT update, and Force Communications Directory.
The website was in the final stages of readiness, and would benefit from members supplying content that they were happy to share. CI requested that members consider sharing the following material by emailing Claire.email@example.com :
- Case Studies (can be anonymised) which show learning, challenges overcome, etc. across the full spectrum of police communications
- Branded material for recurrent campaigns / publicity
- Photographs – to populate the site
- Issues – and discussions / debate around them
Action 2 – All – Content for consideration for inclusion on the refreshed APComm website to be forwarded to Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org
8) Heads of Communications Workshop (RS)
The format and content was discussed with members, and the following agreed:
- The event would take place on a date preceding or following a national APComm meeting, to reduce travelling and abstraction costs, and provide for a networking opportunity during the evening for those staying over. The July meeting was the preferred option.
- The event would be facilitated to allow full participation.
- The day would be split into a number of themed sessions – (1 )more for less/ effectiveness; (2) personal resilience / managing challenging teams; (3) change culture and leading through change; (4) CPD.
- Pre-session “homework” would be set for delegates, to prepare thinking and discussion for the event.
- The event is open to Heads of Communications only – no deputies or delegated attendance.
- Further details will be provided in the APComm Bulletin.
Action 3 – RS to progress arrangements for the Heads of Communications Workshop
9) Any Other Business
Thames Valley Police / Hampshire – new website now live.
Knife Crime – Any best practice, campaigns which can be shared to email@example.com
College of Policing – KQ had previously requested support for Warwickshire / West Mercia who were frequently called upon by the College to provide communications input to training courses because of their proximity. The next course would take place on 10 May at Durham.
Discussion took place and it was agreed that the Secretary would link in with the College and act as a point of contact for all communications input.
Action 4 – Secretary to make contact with course lead and source APComm members to support communications input going forward.
A wider discussion took place as to whether the College was meeting the development needs of police communications professionals.
Protect the Protectors Campaign – SE outlined the campaign. It would be ideal if every force had a suitable case study to profile the key messages within the campaign. The Police Federation would link in with force communications team in due course around this. There would be video and other material for forces to source as part of the campaign.
10) Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 4 July at 1015. Venue to be confirmed.
The meeting closed at 1145.