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A Case Study:
Durham Constabulary

durham logo.jpeg

Goal: to make Durham Constabulary the best police force in the country.

Outcome: Durham Constabulary recognised as top Police Force 3 years in a row!

"The first time I met him, I immediately warmed to Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary especially when he told me his goal was to make his force "the best force in the country".


He had a big audacious goal, and I was delighted we were going to get the chance to help him turn his vision into reality 

There is nothing better to hear from a client when you ask them about their ambition than 'We want to be the best in our field', especially when they really mean to make it happen! 

Mike now credits a broad approach to diversity using Packtypes as their core culture change tool, as one of the main reasons his force was able to transform itself, leading to being awarded a triple "outstanding" rating by HMIC - the only force in the UK to receive such an accolade."

Will Murray, Founder Packtypes

"We've been scored outstanding on efficiency but I always say it's not about efficiency, it's about people"

Mike Barton, Chief Constable, Durham Constabulary

"85 per cent of my money goes on people because our efficiency is all about people performing at their peak. People perform at their peak when they understand themselves and others.

When they recognise and value their own skills and they are confident in them, that opens the door for them to truly recognise and appreciate others who have a different skill set or approach to them.

Everybody is different, and we should celebrate difference but instead of this, many forces approach diversity as if it's a burden, simply a legal duty, something around which we must tiptoe because that way is safer.


The reason why diversity in policing has become synonymous with superficial markers of difference, like ethnicity or sexual preference, is because of the difficulty in measuring less obvious differentiators, such as mindset and personality type. 


The great thing about Packtypes is that its accessibility means everyone understands it, rather than just one per cent of your organisation. People know what I mean when I say 'a Guard Dog is more different to a Coach Dog than a woman is to a man, or someone who is straight is to someone who is gay'."


"Our organic approach meant that culture change filtered through the organisation naturally from the grassroots, rather than being imposed from on high In fact, this change in the "feel" of the force was specifically noted by HMIC inspectors.


It wasn't a regimented, rigid plan or strategy to deliver culture change It was a feeling that this was something that would allow people to recognise how they were different to others and to acknowledge and value these differences.


For example, it quickly became apparent that one of the Packtypes - the Pointer, associated with a factual, analytical mindset and problem solving - was not feeling as valued as some of the other Packtypes. Pointers can, in a very powerful Police culture, feel like they're not being listened to and seen by others as a bureaucrat who hits targets, but misses the point We now talk much more about the importance of the analytical approach and a Pointer's natural ability to patiently investigate and research as an excellent contribution.


As a result, the constabulary was also named as the only force in the country to be 'outstanding' at investigating offending, by the HMIC.


The more that Packtypes pervaded the Durham force, the more that leaders were able to identify trends and accumulate insight into the personality traits best suited to different roles.


Historically in policing, it is only leaders and semor management that have been given this kind of psychological profiling support to understand themselves which is why empowering everyone with this knowledge has made such an impact.


Diversity initiatives in policing have focused on widening the range of role models and better reflecting the communities that forces serve While these goals are clearly important, genuinely celebrating diversity has a much less talked about but more commercially crucial outcome ... 

...higher performing teams!"

CC Mike Barton

Extracts from 'Diversity is more than skin deep' article in Police Oracle , by Suzy Bashford, 2016

"Packtypes has allowed us to say; this is what makes us different'. It has been the main vehicle to legitimise the fact that conversations around diversity and equality must go beyond protected characteristics and legal duty.

To talk about yourself emotionally, you have to have a vehicle to describe your feelings, otherwise you are rudderless."


CC Mike Barton

From Packtypes Champion to Triple Award Winner!

Detective Sergeant Hannah Bell, who led the Packtypes rollout across Durham Police, picked up both the 'Most Inspirational Leader Award' and "Internal Customer Service Award' from Durham Police, as well as a 'Highly Commended Leadership Award' from the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) for her work.
Hannah Bell.jpg

What rank and file officers thought about Packtypes

A quick glance at the comments section of a Police Oracle article about Durham Constabulary's use of Packtypes shows what can happen when you introduce something radically different into an environment as operational as the police: 

Anonymous Question: "Has anyone asked the rank-and-file what they really think about Packtypes? The cynical side of me thinks that most will be on the floor laughing and would rather be out and nicking people as opposed to doing another useless training package"

Response 1

As a rank-and-file officer in Durham constabulary I can say categorically that Packtypes. combined with other innovative approaches, has had an enormous impact on our culture and is one of the reasons the force has been recognised as the best force in the country

Response 2

Every grade and rank within the force has experienced Packtypes. The feedback from front line officers and staff is that increased awareness has improved relationships at home, especially with children as well as at work. This is so important as resilience and wellbeing should be of paramount importance to Senior Leaders.

Response 3

The majority of the organisation have access to Packtypes and use it for so many areas of their work, in particular problem solving, personal development and above all, how to truly understand yourself and others. Packtypes has been a huge part of listening to the needs to the communities we serve and making sure we are getting it right.

Response 4

Packtypes is now a key part of Durham Constabulary and used on a daily basis by staff and officers of all grades and rank. It has been embraced as part of the culture.

Response 5

As a former cynic to Packtyping I have watched first-hand how it can transform not just individuals but whole teams. The knock on effect Packtypes has on teams and police stations extends to the communities we help an the quality of service we provide.

Response 6

Packtypes and DS Bell have changed the core of Durham Police in a most positive way. Be a cynic if you want, but if offered Packtypes, give it a try. You may just learn something about yourself. I did!

Response 7

Packtypes has created a great energy within the force, and it is as impactful now as it was 4years ago when we're first introduced to it. Sometimes you have to think differently to achieve your goals and be curious and open to new ideas.

Anonymous's Response: "To everyone who replied to my comment expressing my cynicism. I am pleased to be proved wrong about how the rank-and-file has embraced Packtypes. My cynicism was based on previous experience of things like colours training and MAD (makes a difference). They cost a lot of money and had no discernible impact in the workplace"

Case Study Results:

During the period that the Packtypes team worked with Mike Barton and his colleagues at Durham Constabulary, their performance really was 'Outstanding'!

'The Best Police Force in The Country'

Under Mike Barton's exceptional leadership, Durham Police Force were assessed as "Best police force in the country", despite suffering huge cuts in funding. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) gave the force "five outstanding ratings". 

The only force of the 43 in England and Wales to score so highly!

'Durham Police judged most efficient Police Force in country': Chronicle Live, by Sophie Doughty, Crime Reporter 10.10/15

'Best record for solving crime'

According to a detailed breakdown of the 4.7 million crimes committed in England and Wales during 2017, Durham Police, led by Mike Barton, the country's top performing chief constable, have the highest success rate at solving reported crimes in the country.


More than three times better than similar forces! 


'Meet the Police Chief whose force is solving the most crime" Daily Mail Online by David Jones, 28.06.18

'Top Performing Police Force for a third consecutive year'

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's (HMIC) assessed all 43 forces in England and Wales to see how effective they were at keeping people safe and reducing crime. For the third straight year, Durham Police were rated 'outstanding' by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, which singled out its efforts in preventing anti-social behaviour, protecting vulnerable people, and fighting serious and organised crime. 


No other police service achieved this highest ranking! 

'Meet the Police Chief whose force is solving the most crime" Daily Mail Online by David Jones, 28.06.18

What can we learn from Durham's Experience?

'One of the most rewarding aspects of working with Mike Barton and the whole team at Durham Constabulary, was the way our innovative work together converted into results. Everyone here at Packtypes is so proud to be associated with such amazing performance'

Will Murray, Founder Packtypes

Being outstanding requires vision and determination:
Mike Barton, had a big, hairy, audacious goal, he wanted to lead the 'best police force in the planet' and knew he would have to work exceptionally hard to make it happen. But he stuck with it, tried new things, inspired people to follow him, and got his rewards.


No substitute for strong, united leadership teams:

Getting your whole leadership team behind you is key. If they're not totally committed to making your people your greatest asset, you will struggle, as they are the role models you need to demonstrate your values and bring your vision to life.


You must engage your whole organisation:

Deep cultural transformation involves including everyone, not just your senior and middle leaders. The greatest performance improvements are always driven bottom up, not top down, and if you don't equip and empower your whole organisation, these won't happen. 

RVD is the game changer:

Recognising and valuing difference is the foundation of empowerment and empowerment drives outstanding performance. To performs at their best, people need to know where their own and their colleagues strengths lie, and what attributes their customers value most. 

You need a 'performance conversation tool':

Sustainable performance improvement only happens on the back of regular performance conversations, where people talk openly, frankly and productively, and this doesn't come naturally to most people, so requires a tool like Packtypes.


You will get kickback:

Most people don't like change and fear anything new, especially something they worry may expose them. The answer is personal demonstration, sticking to your guns, expecting to repeat yourself and involving everyone, till people realise this new way of working is actually pretty good.


Teams can go backwards as well as forwards:

Outstanding performance requires investment and vigilance. Changes of leadership can be very damaging to outstanding performance, so you need to embed what you're doing in the structure of the organisation, before moving on to anything else. 

Have a question?

Thanks for getting in touch, one of the team will get back to you shortly!

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