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Trusted, Professional and Effect: British policing at its best

November 2, 2012 7:42 AM
Cllr David Goodall & Tom Brake MP, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons discuss the Trusted, Professional, Effectiive - British Policing at its best - a policy produced by the Lib Dem Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs and Justice he Co-chaired

Cllr David Goodall & Tom Brake MP

The Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, David Goodall recently met Rt. Hon. Tom Brake MP, to discuss his booklet on policing entitled "Trusted, Professional and Effect: British policing at its best".

Tom Brake from June 2010 was Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities. Tom co-chaired the committee alongside Baroness Hamwee and Lord Thomas of Gresford OBE QC until September 2012, since when he has been Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.

This booklet makes proposals in three key areas that will change the culture of the police for the better:

  • More Trusted Policing
  • More Professional Policing
  • More Effective Policing

Commenting on the booklet, David Goodall said:-

"This is an excellent booklet that highlights a number of areas that can be worked on to improve policing, the new role of police and crime commissioner and the new police and crime panels"

Below is a summary of the main points.

More Trusted Policing

Listening to local people and making policing much more responsive to communities' priorities and make policing more trusted by:-.

  • Being visibly present on the streets and building a rapport with the public are essential parts of policing and must be supported as core activities by all police officers and all ranks, whether formally in neighbourhood policing, responsive policing or specialist roles. Stop and search must be intelligence-driven and precisely targeted.
  • Police & Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Chief Constables must set up genuine, effective, very local mechanisms to listen to the public and use that feedback to drive what the police do and how they do it, both at the police's local area command level but more importantly at a level which is as close as possible to the communities they serve.
  • Police & Crime Panels (PCPs) should ensure they have regular access to experts in policing and crime matters, and people from the voluntary and community sector and those groups who are most often victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • There should not be any organisational or financial barriers placed in the way of PCPs meeting often enough; with access to the Chief Constable and other senior police officers when they require it; having sufficient data; and with dedicated independent support and advice to enable them to undertake their role as effectively as possible.
  • Community safety partnerships (CSPs) across a PCC area should work jointly together so that they can engage with PCCs and the PCPs, for example through producing a joint strategic assessment of community safety across the force area.
  • The Coalition Government should commission a systematic and independent evaluation of the new structure of PCCs and PCPs introduced in the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011. This should begin immediately, in line with the new arrangements put in place in London from the start of 2012 and to look at the preparations being made for the changes in other areas. It should report by the summer of 2014, the mid-point of their term of office. of 2014, the mid-point of their term of office.
  • The remit for this independent review should consider whether Police and Crime Commissioners and Police and Crime Panels have achieved the objectives set for them across their crime and policing remit.
  • There should be no expansion of the role of PCCs until the independent review has reported and the Coalition Government has responded to any issues it raises.
  • The Home Office should commission a training programme for PCCs and PCPs.
  • Responsibility for training PCCs and PCPs should not be placed with police training organisations. The best fit would be with those agencies which provide leadership and related training to local authorities

More Professional Policing

Setting up a new police professional body with a key responsibility to recommend detailed national minimum recruitment standards for the police and make policing more professional by:-

  • The remit of the Chief Constables' Council should be limited to collaboration over explicitly operational matters only and decision-making processes must be transparent.
  • An early priority for the new police professional body should be to recommend detailed national minimum recruitment standards for the police.
  • The new police professional body should also consider an additional entry route - Police First, based on the highly successful Teach First scheme.
  • Consideration should be given to accrediting certain police stations as "teaching police stations"
  • One of the early tasks for the new professional body should be to make recommendations on how to make promotion processes more objective, including 'blind marking' of written papers and assessments carried out by a number of different assessors to avoid any personal bias.

More Effective Policing

Making evidence-based policing the defining feature of 21st century policing by establishing the world's first Institute for and make policing more effective by:-

  • This country should lead the way in making a significant commitment to developing evidence based policing as the defining feature of a C21st police service by establishing the world's first Institute for Policing Excellence.
  • Universities, particularly research-intensive universities, should increase research on policing so that more knowledge about service effectiveness is generated and disseminated, using randomised controlled trials and other rigorous scientific methods such as epidemiology (including mapping), field trial, and decision analysis.
  • PCCs and Chief Constables must do everything possible to protect spending on front line policing, both response policing and neighbourhood policing.
  • Despite the progress made in merging specialist services (such as terrorism units or mounted branches) and in sharing support services (such as finance and HR) and between forces or with local authorities, much more can be done to drive collaboration efficiencies through police forces.
  • The government in consultation with the new police professional body should publish a strategic framework providing guidance to PCCs and Chief Constables on civilianisation and outsourcing of policing activities.
  • Police and local authorities should consider collaborating to bring together neighbourhood policing and local authority crime prevention, enforcements and regulatory roles into a joint service.
  • The police should do more to increase the use of new technology adopting best practice from business.
  • PCCs should take advantage of participatory budgeting approaches to involve the public in reviewing the police budget on a rolling basis over their four year term.
  • Unless they are satisfied that all possible measures have already been taken to reduce the costs of police bureaucracy, PCPs should exercise their right to veto a PCC's draft budget that reduces the number of police officers.
  • PCPs must be properly resourced to support them in undertaking the important role in assuring the public that waste, inefficiency and bureaucracy are being driven out of policing, including access to the independent financial advice and analysis.