Sunday, 21 September 2008
I didn't know Mike TODD the Chief Constable of Manchester who was found dead in the mountains of Wales. I do however recognise that he was in need of help. If the account of his friend Tracy Clarke is to be believed then this tragedy was avoidable.
This man was a popular high achiever, but with flaws. It would appear that his situation was not unknown to his managers whilst in the Metropolitan Police. Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, but why didn't somebody put an arm around this bloke and get him counselling. Yes Tracy Clarke mentioned it to him, but he thought it might be harmful to his career.
This macho weakness thing needs to be addressed by all police forces. The warning signs were all there with Mike Todd, the self driven "work" therapy, pushing himself harder. In reality at times he was falling apart.
I can identify with the mountains of Wales. Been there and done that one in the bad times. A truly breathtaking landscape, where you can find true solitude and do some "stress busting". I can name one force who sold off their facilities in North Wales, in the name of financial prudence. What a shame that they couldn't be used as a National Police Centre for team building.
If something positive is to come of this tragedy then it is to raise awareness of stress. I do hope the opportunity is not missed. Perhaps the former ACPO colleagues of Mike Todd could make this happen.