Rethinking the police

all credits: The Telegraph
published: 28th September 2011

When the last full-scale review of policing took place, officers did not have radios and there were more than 100 forces in England alone. The 1962 Royal Commission on the Police was established to conduct “some fundamental rethinking about the purpose of the police and how this purpose can best be served in our own generation”. Has the time come for some more “fundamental rethinking”?

There has been plenty of piecemeal reform over the years; and there is soon to be more upheaval with the introduction of elected police and crime commissioners and the creation of a National Crime Agency. But the feeling that there is a deeper malaise – a crisis of confidence – is hard to shake off.

Even the matter of what constitutes an offence worth investigating has become a matter of contention. The new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has suggested that the victims should decide which cases should be pursued and which not.

While there are risks attached to such an idea, it is worth considering; the police currently write off one third of all offences. But what do the public want from their police? Are they ever asked?

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