‘Radical’ reform needed for police to cope with modern crime and security threats, report finds

Published on: 29 Jul 2020

A report has said. ‘radical’ reform is needed for police to be able to cope with modern crime and security threats.

The Police Foundation think-tank said that traditional volume crime like burglary and vehicle theft had dropped by 70 per cent since the mid-1990s.

But forces in England and Wales are still operating in the same structures imposed by a royal commission in 1962, despite ‘major changed in police demand driven by technology, globalisation and social change’.

This report said that limited resources and ‘traditional ways of operating’ have struggled to keep up with the scale and complexity of modern crime.

It’s the latest call for a review of the current structure of 43 regional forces operating independently in England and Wales, but the government has so far refused to formally look at the issue.

Sir Michael Barber, chair of the Police Foundation’s strategic review of policing, said the public needed to ‘think radically’ about the role they want police to play.

‘The police service of the future will need to look very different from the police service of today’, he added.

‘The challenge of keeping the public safe has been transformed over the last 20 years, and that the environment will continue to change dramatically in the next 20.

‘While our current approach to policing might have been suitable for a time when the dominant crimes were car crime and burglary, today more people are affected by Internet crime.

‘We need to think afresh about the future shape of the police workforce and how the police service is organised’.

‘We need to think afresh about the future shape of the police workforce and how the police service is organised’.

The same report found that ‘traditional’ crime and disorder issues had dropped amid a huge rise in crime committed using the Internet, including fraud, child sex offences and hate crime.

The report was published after an annual review by the official police watchdog said the current structure was ‘no longer fit for purpose’.

Last week, the Home Office announced a review of 2012 reforms that replaced police authorities with elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs).

In response to the Police Foundation report, a spokesperson said: ‘It is essential that polic have the resources they need which is why we are recruiting 20,000 extra officers and providing the biggest funding increase in a decade.

‘We are committed to working with police to tackle the challenges highlighted in this report’.