Chapter 12 Reframing 'place leadership': an analysis of leadership in responding to the wicked issue of county lines and criminality within a context of post-pandemic public health policing
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The chapter explores a practical approach to place leadership within the wicked problem of County lines. The problem is framed within complicated landscapes as multi-agency leaders, including police, develop innovative solutions based on dialogue and relational approaches. COVID revealed how place leaders overcame historical and professional differences and merged understandings of what constitutes the public good. Each leader has differing engagement, assessment of vulnerability and risk, all governed by statutory responsibilities, values, professional culture and standards of behaviour. Policing county lines is very complex, demanding mobilisation of a wide variety of people and publics, where conflict and contestation of interests are evident. Nevertheless, all actors must continually share tacit knowledge, read changing contexts, people and situations in rapidly changing, often escalating contexts and situations. They must also engage in sense-making to understand how others are interpreting, reading and framing situations differently. Significant challenges face those leaders tackling County Lines.

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