KHS Lecture Series


We were delighted to welcome Assistant Chief Officer of Hertfordshire Constabulary, Cat Hemmings, to deliver the latest talk in our Kingham Hill Lecture Series. Cat has enjoyed a varied career holding positions in several different Police Forces throughout the country. Today, she oversees custody, criminal justice, strategy, and transformation, and holds a prominent role as the national policing lead for women offenders.


Cat’s talk focussed on the fact that in recent years, there has been a series of high-profile cases of gross misconduct and illegal behaviour by police officers. The government and policing bodies have recognised this has led to a loss of public trust and confidence in the police.

During her talk Cat reflected on several of these recent cases, such as the murder of Sarah Everard, looking at things that were missed and questions the Police had to answer afterwards. She spoke about some of the key public inquiries into police standards and culture, explaining why they are an essential learning tool, providing guidance on changes that need to be implemented in order to continually improve procedures and practice. 

She spoke about some of the commitments made by politicians and the police to restore public trust. This included examples of the things that the Police are already doing better, such as stricter staff vetting, the instigation of a “Call it out” culture and initiatives such as the Police Race Action Plan and the Violence Against Women and Girls Toolkit.

A key message in her presentation was that the “The Police are the public and the public are the Police”. She linked this back to Sir Robert Peel's Policing Principles from the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829. One of the 9 Principles was “To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.” 

The session provided the watching audience of pupils, staff and parents with a real insight into the issue of public trust and confidence in the police. It was hugely interesting to hear how the police are working to readdress the balance and striving to work with people to keep everyone safe.