Making Dialogue Effective 2: Effectiveness at the Grassroots: Seeking the Personal and the Genuine

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

St Aidan’s College, Durham University Windmill Hill, DURHAM, DH1 3LJ

Mike Barton

Deputy Chief Constable

Introduction to Panel Discussion Series

A series of panel discussions examining the question of how to make intercultural dialogue work. Those working with intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the community or professional level face a range of challenges regarding its effectiveness. We are asked, or ask ourselves, such questions as:

  • Does what we do make or contribute to a tangible difference to society in any way?
  • Does our work, whether directly or otherwise, reach beyond the sympathetic to those whose attitudes and behaviour are an actual threat to peace and social cohesion?
  • Are the relationships that our work initiates across cultural or religious boundaries of a meaningful and lasting kind?
  • Is our work part of something broader that is capable of effecting change on a grand scale?

This series is intended to occasion focused and constructive discussion of such questions among a range of people concerned with relationships between different cultural, religious or social groups, in their professional lives or at the community level.

Findings and conclusions will be published. It is hoped that the series will be replicated at three independent UK branches of the Dialogue Society, allowing us to draw on a wider range of perspectives in collating findings.

Aims and Objectives

  • To encourage interprofessional dialogue, interaction, and cooperation between people working on intercultural/ interreligious dialogue, peace, and social cohesion.
  • To foster dialogue between people engaged with dialogue at the personal or community level, and those concerned with the same questions in a professional capacity.
  • To explore and clarify the questions of what effectiveness in dialogue is, and whether and how it can be measured.
  • To find a range of creative and practical answers to the question of how dialogue can be made effective by
  • identifying and promoting current best practice and
  • identifying and promoting promising future possibilities.
  • To share these answers among all participants of the series and more widely.

Biography of Michael Barton

Michael Barton was born in Lancashire and attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School. He studied law at Newcastle University and graduated in 1978 with an LL.B. After a couple of years working on the family farm Michael joined the Lancashire Constabulary in 1980. Michael has served in most ranks in both uniform and detective roles. He has also worked in Training, Professional Standards, HQ Operations, Research and Planning, Development and was Divisional Commander at Preston for three years. In 2002 he was promoted as Detective Chief Superintendent in Lancashire and was responsible for pulling together Lancashire’s response in the immediate aftermath of the cockle pickers’ disaster in 2004. He joined Durham Constabulary on 2 June 2008 as Assistant Chief Constable and was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable on 4 September 2009.

Since joining Durham Michael has led the successful implementation of the Quest ‘By Appointment’ diary car, Nimrod operations to close open drug markets, and significant improvements in both call handling and attendance within target times; all as part of the drive to improve public confidence. Whilst in Lancashire Michael led the development of the renowned Sleuth software which he has successfully introduced to Durham since joining the force. Michael leads on the regional development of serious crime investigation and has also changed the way that organised crime groups are attacked and neutralised which has proved successful both within the force area and regionally. He has long been a keen exponent of both problem orientated policing and integrated offender management, including Restorative Justice, and has successfully undertaken leadership roles to embed these concepts in Lancashire and Durham. Michael leads the ACPO Intelligence Portfolio and also chairs several national working groups including Crimestoppers, Professionalising Intelligence and the PND.