Friday, August 15, 2008

Remote Controlled Police.

Policing to targets leads to the police making arrests that boost their statistics rather than those which would cut crime:

A senior police officer has criticised some Home Office targets, saying they have had a damaging impact on policing in England and Wales.

Chief Constable of Staffordshire Chris Sims said they encouraged a "policing to targets" culture, rather than one focusing on the public's needs.

It's a fair point, but it is inevitable that we rely on targets if the police forces are all run by the Home Office. When the people in charge of the police are so remote from what's going on they have to use a simplistic set of statistics to determine what is going on. So if the police are to actually focus on the important stuff then control should be transferred to a locally accountable body.


Umbongo said...

It used to be that only the Met was actually run by the Home Office. Now the theory is that all police forces are "controlled" by local Police Authorities. These Authorities (except the London PA which has a bigger membership) comprise 17 members: 9 local councillors appointed by the local council, 5 independent members selected following local advertisements, and 3 magistrates from the local area. A Police Authority is, according to the PA Association website, there "to make sure that the local police are accountable for what they do to you – the people who live or work in the area and that you have a say in how you are policed."

These Authorities could - if the members could get off their fat arses - tell the Home Office to f*ck off or the members could resign en masse (as if) if they didn't like what was coming down from the HO. That's the theory and that's why the police, within living memory, were genuinely receptive to local opinion. Evidently members of PAs are drawn from the same population of jobsworths, time-servers and general dildos who inhabit the quangocracy which wastes our money to so little (good) effect.

Rob said...

Directly elected Chief Constables, elected every two years. The rot in the Police started from the top, and until we grab the b*stards by the balls nothing will change.

These elected senior police officers will have to police according to the public wishes - or lose their jobs. Gasp! Populism! In a democracy? An outrage!

Ross said...

"Directly elected Chief Constables, elected every two years."

Either that or genuinely elected police boards.