December 12, 2012

Policing 2020: What kind of police service do we want in 2020?

Policing 2020 looks at the landscape of policing over the next ten years, calling for a return to Sir Robert Peel’s core principles of crime prevention.

It proposes:

The formation of Crime Prevention Officers (CPOs). CPOs would replace neighbourhood police officers who make up around 15% of total police force personnel. They would be more highly trained and equipped and be made directly responsible for crime prevention in their area and held to account through monthly meetings with their local Commander.

Citizen Police Academies should be set up to train the public – using a mixture of police officers and voluntary groups with relevant expertise – on how to play their part in the fight against crime. They would be taught everything from how to perform citizen’s arrests safely to how to avoid danger when walking home alone.

Polling for the report also found that the public support the police working with independent organisations, such as private businesses and social enterprises, to free up police officers’ time:

  • Three quarters of people supported the idea of independent organisations providing IT support and carrying out administrative functions
  • 56% of people thought they should be able to answer calls from the public
  • 47% backed them being able to police crime scenes compared to 38% who opposed the idea

Edward Boyd, author of the report, ”The police will always play the central role in the fight against crime, yet the public still has a part to play. It’s quite understandable that most people feel reluctant to be a ‘have-a-go’ hero and it is important that they have the confidence to intervene and know when it is appropriate. Citizen Police Academies are one way of helping the public feel more confident about their role in preventing criminal activity.

“We also need to increase the police’s focus on preventing, rather than simply reacting to crime by creating specific Crime Prevention Officers who are held to account personally for crime levels in their area.”

Video summary


Edward Boyd

Crime & Justice Research Fellow, 2011-2013

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