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What is the future role of the police force?

10:56 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

A public debate on the future size and role of the police is urgently needed, says the independent Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. What is your reaction?

A report published by the centre claims spending on police overtime in England and Wales increased by 90% over the past decade to £400m, even though there has been a record rise in the number of officers.

Overall police spending grew from £9.8bn in 1999 to £14.5bn in 2009, largely due to a rise in civilian staff, such as police community support officers. Much of this spending was borne by council tax rises, which may not be sustainable in future, the centre says.

Are you a police officer? How has the police force changed over the past decade? What role should the police force have in future?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless.

  • Comment number 2.

    What is the future the police force?

    How about splitting operations from the bureaucracy?

    As i understand it, at present there are hundreds of uniformed officers fulfilling full-time clerical positions which could just as easily be performed by civilians, at a lower rate of pay.

    Then you could increase the number of trained officers available for real policework whilst hopefully saving a bit of money overall.

  • Comment number 3.

    How about solving crime by getting them out of their cars, away from their radar traps and out on the beat. I don't believe for a minute that "paperwork" is the reason they are unable to solve crime, they simply concentrate on what makes money and what's easy. That is not what we pay for.
    I'm quite sure elected chiefs will help focus their minds on the real problems because if I'm getting burgled while all the police in the area are hanging out behind the local bus shelters with radar guns then the chances of that chief keeping his job at the next election are pretty much zero. I suspect this is why they are so resistant to the idea, the thought of earning their vastly over stuffed pay packets frightens them to death.

    If you want to see how busy they are with "paperwork" call them and tell them there's an untaxed car parked on the street. See how long they take to arrive, then contrast that with how long it takes them if the call out is to a burglar, behind still hanging out of the window, swag bag over the shoulder.

    Elected chiefs will remind them of who works for who and no bad thing.

  • Comment number 4.

    The previous government politicised the police and encumbered them with too much bureaucracy. We need more local control and less form filling. I would advocate an elected Police Authority to supervise each police force and a volunteer force of Citizen Observers who could be mobilised to observe police actions. Obviously these observers would have to be trained and vetted , but they should have full access to police stations and the right to accompany police officers at any time and in any situation. Generally police officers only behave badly if they think they can get away with it. A Citizens Police Watch would be a significant check on abuse of police powers and would restore the trust of tax payers and local communities. Maybe each police officer could have his or her own observer to monitor his or her activities in place of all the forms that are currently having to be filled out.

  • Comment number 5.

    1. At 12:07pm on 13 May 2010, Vanessa wrote:
    My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless.

    ----

    It would be interesting to run a national on survey on this as a couple of recent high profile cases (I'm thinking of the ones regarding sustained anti-social behaviour in particular the case where a woman took her own & her daughter's life)seem to suggest that there is a percentage of reported crimes that police simply ignore.

    It would be enlightening to find out a) if thats true and b), if it is true just what is the percentage is.

  • Comment number 6.

    If we had a proper deterrent on crime we'd need fewer Police offices. But
    as we have such a criminal friendly judicial system, we need more Police and more Prisons. Time to Get Tough on Crime and the Causes of Crime. This will not happen if Nick Clegg gets his way which will mean the at least the criminals and the corrupt lawyers will be happy.

  • Comment number 7.

    No 1 Don't blame the Police, blame the last government and we the Council Tax payers have been forced to fund the unecessary beaurocracy.

    a radical overhaul is urgently needed.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think the time has come to restructure the failing Police force. Set up a seperate body to deal with motoring offence, speeding etc. It doesn't mean they can't be drafted in to help out generally when required. The remaining Police can then concentrate on offences against people and property. A specialist team to feal with finance and fraud cases should als be established.

    All three "elements" should be national in scope. Criminals work across national and international boundaries and the days of the local police force have come to an end.

  • Comment number 9.

    The Police have lost their sense of purpose. As well as becoming remote, and misusing their powers, they have been more interested in targets than policing. Lets also have them looking like Police again. They are the scruffiest Police I have seen. The rediculous flourescent jackets and body armour and equipment make them look like para-militaries. They are better protected than I was in Northern Ireland with the Army - and we were being shot at there!
    The amount of days lost for sickness is astronomical amd as for taking time off for stress!!!! what a bunch of wimps! I don't want PC PCs.

  • Comment number 10.

    I want the police to police. I want them out on the streets in cities, towns and villages. I want the village "bobby" back, you know, the ones consigned to history books that know people in the area (old and young) and know when something is a-mis. I want police stations that are open all day, every day. I want the police to deal with serious crimes rather than to fill out paperwork.

    What don't I want? Police with targets (meaning they spend time stopping people speeding on clear roads rather than muggers and murderers. PCSO's (they should either be properly paid police with the same powers or not at all). Excessive amounts of overtime (which costs more per hour than police on stanard rate - just employ more police officers).

  • Comment number 11.

    WHY?
    The (uniformed) police should be out on the beat (not squad cars), doing the job they signed on for. Detectives should be busy solving the big stuff. Simple.

    Back office jobs should be for civilian staff. Why waste the time, energy and training of uniformed staff on something they simply don't need to be doing?

    Please, let's not waste time and money debating the blinding obvious!

  • Comment number 12.

    I would like to know where you get your background information from. I happen to have a police officer son in the Met. He works 12 to 14 hour shifts on a miserly salary - gets no overtime because only Seargents benefit from extra payments - he travels 59 miles to work and it takes 90 mins each way which means he hardly sees his 2 children when he is on duty because he needs to sleep and turn round and get back after 7 hours at home - We never have police officers on the beat especially here in Westminster - Victoria St - no policemen about when the Schools finish at 3.45pm - not a PC in sight at a bad traffic junction at anytime between Euston and the Strand down to Admiralty Arch - where Minor Crime is at its worst - the police have to work all night on night shifts because the 24 hour drinking laws which allow young bingers to stay out all night - the Ambulance Service never stop on Thursday - Friday and Saturday nights along with the night shift officers - they used to finsh around 1am on a 2pm to 12midnight shift - now they have to they don't till the early morning because of the 24 hour drinking laws. Surely you must know that if you de-regulate and bring down standards Crime is bound to go up - Drug dealing is now rife in the binging dance clubs in the West End and even the Casinos are not safe places to go to because of the young students who fight in the Slot Machine Areas of the Gala clubs in the West End. The Young Students that can walk into the Gaming Clubs and gamble since the deregulation by the Labour Govt. is mind boggling - gettting into debt - using credit cards because they are lured in with free food and drink. Why should the police not get paid for answering the phone on their days off? The MP's on 3 times more wages are allowed to fiddle extra payments and never have to use their £56,000 salaries to pay their mortgages and travelling unlike a Police-officer who gets a £26,000 basis wage before tax. Crime is at its highest - I know because my son tells me what is going on - All in high Immigrant Areas. Just remember that we the middle-class voters are fed up with people like yourselves and professor Nutt. We need more Officers on the beat - stop the 24 hour drinking and go back to regulating the Gambling dens which now have young 18 year olds walking in with a Debit Card ID and getting hooked on Poker/Slot Machines and Roulette. Pay the Local Council officers less - Everything is outsourced to that Greedy Monster Capita and get back to Standards and Values - We do not want our Police Force Interferred with - Stop Critising the Met - they are on Paltry Salaries.We do not want to hear the word "CHANGE" It is the changes under "THATCHERISM" carried on by Blair and Brown that has brought this Country to its knees.

  • Comment number 13.

    I would like to see the civilian side of the police force (the non-police) cut down while freeing up the actual police officers to do their jobs. Also a clamp down on anti-terror laws would be nice as certain areas are still reporting an abuse of these laws by police, even after they were instructed not to.

    I respect the police force but I would like to see them more active and less restricted by red tape. The police do try but the paperwork is insane (I was told by a trainee officer).

  • Comment number 14.

    Scrapping the idea of 40-odd, largely independent Police forces would be a start. A National Police force would cut out acres of administrative repetition. Where's the downside to that?

  • Comment number 15.

    The Police have priced themselves out of affordability. Their salaries and pensions are over generous. I understand a constable with ten years service gets over £36k outside London and £40k in London. Policemen have retired on a full pension at age 48 after only 30 years service.
    As Osric commented earlier there are also too many police officers that spend their working day in an office doing jobs that could be done cheaper by non police staff.

  • Comment number 16.

    Unfortunately unless there are major changes I fear the future of the police force will be more of a state tool rather than public servants. Police will be targeting members of the public with petty matters which dont have a custodial sentences but rather fines. The police already seem to put more resources into traffic offences than officers on the beat to protect citizens and their homes.I do support the police and I am aware that it is a difficult job it just seems the state is using them to control rather than protect. This isnt the fault of the police but the state,for example using police to "Kettle" demonstrators and arrest people who question politicians etc just to release them a few hours later without charge? God only knows what this Tory government will have the police doing while they are meant to be guarding public safety maybe looking after the corporations intrests?

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm ot a policeman so forgive me for being stupid but the role of the police should be and always has been to enforce the law, to protect property and reduce civil disorder! Why should this change?

    What we should be asking is what can change to make sure they are doing what they need to as effectivly as possible.

  • Comment number 18.

    'What is the future role of the Police Force'?

    Just like NHS medical care - it often depends on where you live?

    That's obviously the main issue that has to be addressed?

    1)Most 'average' people/families only call for police help when they are desperate, afraid or feel threatened; or are victims of crime?

    2)Some of the worst cases, that ultimately led to death/suicide, in recent years had originally been described as 'anti-social behavour' (ASBOs).

    3)The term/law of 'anti-social behavior' has to be reviewed and revised? Why? Because good people in 'bad' areas are not protected. Bad people in all areas are not targeted?

    4)Personally, our family have a huge respect for the police and expect them to be ENABLED to respond to the needs of the law-abiding majority.



  • Comment number 19.

    First of all, cut off all overtime. Overtime doing what?
    Second, stop them referring to non-police personnel as "civilians". The police are civilians, like everyone who is not a serving member of the armed forces.
    Third, reduce police pay to the current local going rate for office clerks.

  • Comment number 20.

    It's realyl quite simple: the police seem to be run, like most things now, FOR PROFIT. Until this is stopped, targets and all the other government imposed red-tape is removed, expect the police SERVICE (remember, it's not PC to call it a Police FORCE) to continue to go for the "easy kill".

    This new "government" has the chance right now to do something about it; it's impossible to expect a certain percentage of crimes to be recorded and solved in X days/weeks/months and because of this, they target people driving ever so slightly over the speed limit for a small moment, bang them with a fine, there "crime solved" and the high-5s as another STATISTIC is generated.

  • Comment number 21.

    Overtime spent doing what?

    If its overtime spent actually doing more policing out on the "beat" then that is good.

    If its overtime spent doing the policing that should have been done, but wasn't because they were filling in paperwork so they could tick all their Government enforced targets then its bad,

    If its overtime spent doing all that paperwork and they are not actually doing any policing then that is really bad.

  • Comment number 22.

    I really feel for the police, they must get sick and tired or arresting and re arresting the same old offenders, ever watch cops with cameras, or motorway cops?

    The biggest drain on our legal system are the criminal justice lawyers... an oxymoron if ever there was one.

    Far too much money to be lost by locking criminals up by these parasites, looking for loopholes in the way crims are arrested and lets not get on to criminals human rights!

  • Comment number 23.

    So many changes could be made here.

    Firstly, having more sensible drug legislation, i.e. legalising and regulating them, would free up a huge amount of time for the police. The amount of paperwork they have to do just to process someone carrying a small amount of cannabis, for example, is highly wasteful. Decriminalising drugs would also lead to a reduction in drug related crimes such as robbery, burglary and mugging.

    A lot of administration could be better organised. Having worked in the emergency services, it seems a little silly to be unable to contact anyone working on a particular case because the whole team is on night shifts – if there was an office manager and one or two administrators per station the day to day admin could be dealt with far more efficiently and take much less time. A classic example of this is trying to arrange interviews with ambulance staff after an assault of murder – I know from my last job that sometimes setting up these meetings can be almost impossible because although ambulance services have admin officers, police officers often arrange their own casework and if they’re on nights for the next ten days you can forget about making an appointment with them.

    Greater communication is needed between counties, and some level of centralisation, particularly the use of central databases (if this is not happening already) would make it harder for criminals to set up shop in another part of the country. We also need to have better cooperation with police services in other countries, especially our close neighbours.

    Involving the local community more would be beneficial. Urban neighbourhood watch schemes, and occasionally actually seeing a uniform on the streets should have an impact on the kind of crimes that people feel do not get solved, like vandalism and burglary.

    Protecting police officers is a priority, as incidents of stabbings and shootings are going up. Funding should be set aside to research ways to improve the safety of police officers on the streets.

    And, most importantly, the attitudes of police officers need to change. There is a sense of superiority and arrogance emanating from many of them, and most people I know have come across at least one officious, condescending officer whose ‘power’ has gone to their head. Police officers need to remember that they are servants of the people, not the other way around.

  • Comment number 24.

    This is politically motivated research. It's too close to the election to be tory so I guess it's labour as they were always slagging people off and lying to the press before they reduced our public services.
    Everyone in public service knows it's crunch time. If the tories are real when they say we are all in this together, then offer wage cuts as an alternative to redundancies. I've already taken a 10% cut. Let teachers and nurses and drs and police do the same.

  • Comment number 25.

    Why not just double the fines for offences committed deliberately and put the money back into the police force. Having watched all the reality TV police shows, you often see a dozen or so police officers sorting out minor offences which the culprit might get a £50 fine for. This idea would also act as a deterrent.

  • Comment number 26.

    Freeing them up from fighting the immoral and pointless "war on drugs" would give them plenty of time to concentrate on actual crimes.

    The police should not exist to enforce what is at most a health issue.

  • Comment number 27.

    Way back in the 1980s when I was taking driving lessons, my instructor taught me to lock my vehicle doors at traffic lights and in traffic jams.

    Furthermore, today in 2010:

    1) don't leave your jacket with all your keys and cards on the back of your pub/cafe chair - especially in university towns - you are an easy target. Grow up - trust no-one, get real and assume you will be robbed and behave accordingly!
    2) why do you walk around with a mobile stuck to your ear and not expect to be mugged?
    3) Finally, expect to be mugged/robbed/attacked and adjust your behavior accordingly.

  • Comment number 28.

    I'd like there to be enough police so that there is no need for them to work overtime. In order for anyone to do a job as well as they can, they need a sufficient amount of rest.

    I'd like there to be a ban on visible tattoos in the police force again.

  • Comment number 29.

    Please, please get rid of the useless PCSOs and replace them with properly trained and warranted officers.

    Stop alienating the public by prosecuting millions of motorists every year for technical offences and concentrate on removing the unlicenced and uninsured drivers from the roads.

    Cut out the politically correct paperwork and get bobbies back on the beat both on foot and in Panda cars, patrolling local areas getting to know the public and their own area.

  • Comment number 30.

    The people see the police as after everyone, not looking out for criminals but trying to make criminals of the people. We don't feel safe talking to officers, and we expect that if we defend ourselves from crime we will get arrested, couple that with the fact that so many of us know police who have abused their position and thus we view the police with suspicion, mistrust and fear - not the respect they should be earning.

    I'm in favour of:

    1. Remove PCSOs. Train proper police officers who know the law (and not just abuse people like photographers).
    2. Enforce physical fitness requirements for police officers.
    3. Attach a remote video camera to all police officers. Record at all times (to be used in court cases to reduce the time and money wasted on the denials of thugs and criminals - and to protect the innocent).
    4. Pay police officers a good solid wage for the tasks they carry out. Paper pushers get paid the least, those who face dangers get paid the most.
    5. Instil respect in the police for the public. Nowadays so many tend to talk down and act as if they are the special ones rather than the public servants they are supposed to be. Give respect and you'll get it.
    6. Stop early retirement without reasonable cause (ie a long service history involving truly fighting crime rather than scanning cars).
    7. Bring all police forces together and use centralised control rooms with live data feeds to track where they all are and how they are behaving.
    8. Enforce standards of dress in police officers.

    It should be an honour to be a police officer, getting respect because you are a polite, respectable guardian/protector of the public, being honoured for your role in fighting crime and saving the innocent, and being rewarded accordingly.

  • Comment number 31.

    The police need to concentrate on the real criminals not try to make law abiding citizens into criminals, I.E busy people who are just trying to get on with there busy lives, waisting money on speed cameras, lazer guns, trying to find pot smokers and people just having fun.
    They need to concentrate on gangs, murders, conartists.
    all they do is try to find new cases instead of dealing with the problem at hand! when o when will will get some police reform! Iv been Burgaled, phisicaly assulted, but every outcome was the same, Nothing!
    I drive 3 miles an hour over the limit and get a £30 fine and points! what is going on!

  • Comment number 32.

    From reading the news; I'd say the police do a good job - its the CPS and judges that let the public down:

    30 years for an acid attack
    05 years for killing a 25-days old baby

    Where's the logic?

    Both crimes are terrible but if you have to a put a scale on these things (and we do otherwise jail sentences would be the same length) I know which one I think is worse.

  • Comment number 33.

    Well. It seems that there is a general consensus that the police only stop and fine speeders as they are trying to increase their income.

    I've never heard anything as pathetic in my life. Anyone who genuinely believes that driving faster does not increase the risk to other road users (including their own passengers) should, in my opinion, be banned from driving any vehicle. It shows a dangerous lack of understanding of the vehicle and the laws of motion.

    Anyway, on the main subject, I think that there is a lot to say for a national police force. I don't honestly see any benefit in having regional forces- it increases cost, bureaucracy and discourages consistency. I'm surprised to see police numbers have risen, given that my experience is that I see fewer, but this may be rose tinited spectacles.

    I'm not sure police oficers are overpaid- I would not do their job for their money. The usual rules apply- anyone who thinks police pay and conditions are so great, but does not wat to apply to join may be fooling themself but not me.

  • Comment number 34.

    I quite agree. I would like to see elected Police Commisioners and get the police back to fighting crime instead of chasing targets and enforcing political correctness. Hooray for the Police, now let them do their real job!

  • Comment number 35.

    Firstly we need to un-politicise the police. The previous government has ruined a once great service with too much paperwork & beaurocracy.

    Our judicial system also needs to be run in the interests of the public protection NOT the human 'rights' of the criminals. Too often the police put many hours of hard work in to collecting the evidence only for the courts to release criminals back on to the streets without punishment. The onus ALWAYS is in the victims to prove they're being harassed. In my experience the courts do not take in to account the impact on the victims. I recently experienced the backlash from a chap I had reported to the police for talking to children, when he had just been released from prison with the restriction of not talking to children, since he was locked up for sexually abusing a child. This came to court only to be thrown out after him being told I had made a statement. As a result this man physically attacked my disabled partner twice while threatening to kill me. These incidents were logged as verbal altercations because my partner had no choice but to fight back as he was physically incapable of running away & the police didn't want to drag him up to the police station as technically if they were to arrest the chap they would also have to arrest my partner because he admitted to hitting back. I imagine there are many people living with the misery of anti social behaviour with no way out because despite the police's best efforts they do NOT receive the backing of the courts. Human rights legislation is being abused in the solicitors interests of keeping a case going as long as possible to maximise their profits rather than being used for it's intended purpose of ensuring we are able to live in peace without the threat of abuse by an anti social minority.

  • Comment number 36.

    26. At 1:07pm on 13 May 2010, Brentus wrote:
    Freeing them up from fighting the immoral and pointless "war on drugs" would give them plenty of time to concentrate on actual crimes.

    The police should not exist to enforce what is at most a health issue.
    ----------------------------


    health issue?

    nothing at all to do with health!

    get tougher on drugs, lock junkies up until they are clean.

    Biggest drain on our society.. If they cant deal with reality then a few weeks in cold turkey should do the trick until they get the message.


    Like my little 'un said, why can people take drugs and not get in trouble?

  • Comment number 37.

    1. At 12:07pm on 13 May 2010, Vanessa wrote:
    My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless.

    So, what do expect to happen, the police to use £thousands to investigate something they have no chance of gaining return of or catching the culprit.

    You provide NO detail as to circumstances, maybe this is also the reason why the police could do nothing.

  • Comment number 38.

    What police force? Their image suffers, both in uniform and physically(which varies considerably)- hats on or off; pedal bikes and what looks like icecream salesmen togs, together with being, in some cases, about three feet in height, and about as representative of law as a Hobbit. Today's officers, do not, as it happens, have as much paperwork as those in past decades, because they don't have to enforce as many laws- these are merely neglected, or have "lapsed" due to misdirection by government. There are high-profile "Grandstand plays" for media consumption occasionally, when crime figures go up, but also other routinely offences go astray- such as (to name but two) parking within pedestrian crossing markings, or speeding (yes, a very necessary enforcement, as any mortuary attendant, or hospital casualty staff might tell us). Officers shouldn't work for the motoring organisations to that extent. All right: there ARE officers who try to do their job, who are not seeking public and media popularity to the detriment of duties, and let's support these law officers, even if we sometimes don't like the result because we're the ones committing, say, a traffic offense and are on the receiving end. "Not in my backyard" mentality doesn't work- but we do need officers recruited who look the part. Recruit some of those who've left the armed forces, and also get a recruitment programme for physically adequate would-be officers as well as intelligence. Sorry, but small people, able otherwise, are a liability in a punchup, and don't automatically command the offender's attention...

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    Maybe if society was not so lazy in taking responsibility for itself then such problems would not exist, or at least in much fewer number, then we all would not have to pay out unnecessarily.

    Why constantly blame the police and government and officials for societys ills when it is the people in society who are to blame.

    WE call ourselves a society, but what does that mean in modern terms.

    It basically means that most just get on with their private self-centred little worlds and ignore the real world, until something goes wrong, then they crawl out of the woodwork and scream and shout at the "nanny" state for failing them.

  • Comment number 41.

    The role of the police? hmmmm lets have a think......how about their role being to fight crime?
    My other half works for the police, and she informs me that the chief of police sets down every few months a set of certain crimes they must target, and sometimes he will reclassify some offences into another category, all so that he can receive his £30k bonus at the end of the year for hitting the government targets.
    In my mind, this is an absolutely shambolic and pitiful way to run a police force.
    I shouldn't blame the chief, for if i stood in line to get a £30k bonus at the end of the year, on top of my already hefty £130k plus salary, I'm sure i'd probably do the same. Doesn't really instill trust in the police forces motives or policies though does it!

    The police should be run the same way the education system and the health care system should be run. The police know how to fight crime, Teachers know how to teach, and doctors and nurses know how to treat the ill. Targets and Managers who set them are an absolute waste of time, money and effort.

  • Comment number 42.

    I disgree that they do overtime from a " sense of duty " when they take " generous " payments for it from increases in our council tax...
    I do not see any police complaining about being overworked either while they reap the financial rewards to the tune of £400 million at our expense...
    All we see these days is wannabee TV stars on ' crime Uk' Streetcrime UK uncut' ect ect..and where does all that money go that they get from such shows ? Were getting council tax increases while for them to court Tv carreers...
    Of all the extra spending on police throughout time all we get is more crime..& Tv shows glamouring the arrests of drunken drivers ect..
    The BMWs ect they drive around in and all the James Bond equipment they have...I beg to differ who are the criminals...

  • Comment number 43.

    « Previous | Main
    What is the future role of the police force?
    10:56 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

    A public debate on the future size and role of the police is urgently needed, says the independent Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. What is your reaction?

    A report published by the centre claims spending on police overtime in England and Wales increased by 90% over the past decade to £400m, even though there has been a record rise in the number of officers.

    Overall police spending grew from £9.8bn in 1999 to £14.5bn in 2009, largely due to a rise in civilian staff, such as police community support officers. Much of this spending was borne by council tax rises, which may not be sustainable in future, the centre says.

    Are you a police officer? How has the police force changed over the past decade? What role should the police force have in future?

    Bookmark with: del.icio.us | Digg | Newsvine | NowPublic | Reddit - What's this?
    CommentsPost your commentYou are currently signed in as fursty-ferret. Sign out.

    Previous Next 1. At 12:07pm on 13 May 2010, Vanessa wrote:
    My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless.

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    2. At 12:12pm on 13 May 2010, Osric wrote:
    What is the future the police force?

    How about splitting operations from the bureaucracy?

    As i understand it, at present there are hundreds of uniformed officers fulfilling full-time clerical positions which could just as easily be performed by civilians, at a lower rate of pay.

    Then you could increase the number of trained officers available for real policework whilst hopefully saving a bit of money overall.



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    3. At 12:24pm on 13 May 2010, not happy wrote:
    How about solving crime by getting them out of their cars, away from their radar traps and out on the beat. I don't believe for a minute that "paperwork" is the reason they are unable to solve crime, they simply concentrate on what makes money and what's easy. That is not what we pay for.
    I'm quite sure elected chiefs will help focus their minds on the real problems because if I'm getting burgled while all the police in the area are hanging out behind the local bus shelters with radar guns then the chances of that chief keeping his job at the next election are pretty much zero. I suspect this is why they are so resistant to the idea, the thought of earning their vastly over stuffed pay packets frightens them to death.

    If you want to see how busy they are with "paperwork" call them and tell them there's an untaxed car parked on the street. See how long they take to arrive, then contrast that with how long it takes them if the call out is to a burglar, behind still hanging out of the window, swag bag over the shoulder.

    Elected chiefs will remind them of who works for who and no bad thing.


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    4. At 12:25pm on 13 May 2010, Anarcho-libertarian wrote:
    The previous government politicised the police and encumbered them with too much bureaucracy. We need more local control and less form filling. I would advocate an elected Police Authority to supervise each police force and a volunteer force of Citizen Observers who could be mobilised to observe police actions. Obviously these observers would have to be trained and vetted , but they should have full access to police stations and the right to accompany police officers at any time and in any situation. Generally police officers only behave badly if they think they can get away with it. A Citizens Police Watch would be a significant check on abuse of police powers and would restore the trust of tax payers and local communities. Maybe each police officer could have his or her own observer to monitor his or her activities in place of all the forms that are currently having to be filled out.

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    5. At 12:26pm on 13 May 2010, Osric wrote:
    1. At 12:07pm on 13 May 2010, Vanessa wrote:
    My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless.

    ----

    It would be interesting to run a national on survey on this as a couple of recent high profile cases (I'm thinking of the ones regarding sustained anti-social behaviour in particular the case where a woman took her own & her daughter's life)seem to suggest that there is a percentage of reported crimes that police simply ignore.

    It would be enlightening to find out a) if thats true and b), if it is true just what is the percentage is.


    Complain about this comment

    6. At 12:29pm on 13 May 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    If we had a proper deterrent on crime we'd need fewer Police offices. But
    as we have such a criminal friendly judicial system, we need more Police and more Prisons. Time to Get Tough on Crime and the Causes of Crime. This will not happen if Nick Clegg gets his way which will mean the at least the criminals and the corrupt lawyers will be happy.

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    7. At 12:32pm on 13 May 2010, Lynn from Sussex wrote:
    No 1 Don't blame the Police, blame the last government and we the Council Tax payers have been forced to fund the unecessary beaurocracy.

    a radical overhaul is urgently needed.

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    8. At 12:32pm on 13 May 2010, Boz Scaggs wrote:
    I think the time has come to restructure the failing Police force. Set up a seperate body to deal with motoring offence, speeding etc. It doesn't mean they can't be drafted in to help out generally when required. The remaining Police can then concentrate on offences against people and property. A specialist team to feal with finance and fraud cases should als be established.

    All three "elements" should be national in scope. Criminals work across national and international boundaries and the days of the local police force have come to an end.

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    9. At 12:34pm on 13 May 2010, Peter Thomas wrote:
    The Police have lost their sense of purpose. As well as becoming remote, and misusing their powers, they have been more interested in targets than policing. Lets also have them looking like Police again. They are the scruffiest Police I have seen. The rediculous flourescent jackets and body armour and equipment make them look like para-militaries. They are better protected than I was in Northern Ireland with the Army - and we were being shot at there!
    The amount of days lost for sickness is astronomical amd as for taking time off for stress!!!! what a bunch of wimps! I don't want PC PCs.

    Complain about this comment

    10. At 12:34pm on 13 May 2010, superiorMunchkin wrote:
    I want the police to police. I want them out on the streets in cities, towns and villages. I want the village "bobby" back, you know, the ones consigned to history books that know people in the area (old and young) and know when something is a-mis. I want police stations that are open all day, every day. I want the police to deal with serious crimes rather than to fill out paperwork.

    What don't I want? Police with targets (meaning they spend time stopping people speeding on clear roads rather than muggers and murderers. PCSO's (they should either be properly paid police with the same powers or not at all). Excessive amounts of overtime (which costs more per hour than police on stanard rate - just employ more police officers).

    Complain about this comment

    11. At 12:36pm on 13 May 2010, theoldgoat wrote:
    WHY?
    The (uniformed) police should be out on the beat (not squad cars), doing the job they signed on for. Detectives should be busy solving the big stuff. Simple.

    Back office jobs should be for civilian staff. Why waste the time, energy and training of uniformed staff on something they simply don't need to be doing?

    Please, let's not waste time and money debating the blinding obvious!

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    12. At 12:40pm on 13 May 2010, prendiville1 wrote:
    I would like to know where you get your background information from. I happen to have a police officer son in the Met. He works 12 to 14 hour shifts on a miserly salary - gets no overtime because only Seargents benefit from extra payments - he travels 59 miles to work and it takes 90 mins each way which means he hardly sees his 2 children when he is on duty because he needs to sleep and turn round and get back after 7 hours at home - We never have police officers on the beat especially here in Westminster - Victoria St - no policemen about when the Schools finish at 3.45pm - not a PC in sight at a bad traffic junction at anytime between Euston and the Strand down to Admiralty Arch - where Minor Crime is at its worst - the police have to work all night on night shifts because the 24 hour drinking laws which allow young bingers to stay out all night - the Ambulance Service never stop on Thursday - Friday and Saturday nights along with the night shift officers - they used to finsh around 1am on a 2pm to 12midnight shift - now they have to they don't till the early morning because of the 24 hour drinking laws. Surely you must know that if you de-regulate and bring down standards Crime is bound to go up - Drug dealing is now rife in the binging dance clubs in the West End and even the Casinos are not safe places to go to because of the young students who fight in the Slot Machine Areas of the Gala clubs in the West End. The Young Students that can walk into the Gaming Clubs and gamble since the deregulation by the Labour Govt. is mind boggling - gettting into debt - using credit cards because they are lured in with free food and drink. Why should the police not get paid for answering the phone on their days off? The MP's on 3 times more wages are allowed to fiddle extra payments and never have to use their £56,000 salaries to pay their mortgages and travelling unlike a Police-officer who gets a £26,000 basis wage before tax. Crime is at its highest - I know because my son tells me what is going on - All in high Immigrant Areas. Just remember that we the middle-class voters are fed up with people like yourselves and professor Nutt. We need more Officers on the beat - stop the 24 hour drinking and go back to regulating the Gambling dens which now have young 18 year olds walking in with a Debit Card ID and getting hooked on Poker/Slot Machines and Roulette. Pay the Local Council officers less - Everything is outsourced to that Greedy Monster Capita and get back to Standards and Values - We do not want our Police Force Interferred with - Stop Critising the Met - they are on Paltry Salaries.We do not want to hear the word "CHANGE" It is the changes under "THATCHERISM" carried on by Blair and Brown that has brought this Country to its knees.

    The Met pays £28k+ on joining and £32.6K after 2 years plus a £6k housing allowance. No doubt you are one of the many who whinged about 'the nanny state' and yet you complain about students gambling because of deregulation. All deregulation meant was to put the onus on the person to behave like the majority of us.Students are supposed to have a modicum of sense, those that cannot afford to gamble shouldn't. No sympathy. I am sure it is against the law to sell alchohol to someone who is under the influence.Simple remove the suppliers licence or close the premises down for a week.Will cut down on binge drinking.

  • Comment number 44.

    The role of the police is to defend the status quo and I am sure they will continue to do so.

  • Comment number 45.

    We need to have effective control over our Police Forces & I hope the new government will address this. The Police just adopt a 'going through the motions' attitude where their jobs are concerned & not really trying to get to grips with tackling real crime. They should be disbanded & the contract given to the most competent body: we should even welcome a police force from abroad if that means we feel safer in our own country!

  • Comment number 46.

    Drugs: if you take drugs your more likey to die early! if you want to take drugs then take them!
    If you commit a crime whilst on drugs its the crime that should be punnished not the drugs.
    Dont forget alchohol is a drug!

    Driving offenses: if your stupid and drive 50 60 in a 30 then you deserve to be banned! and yourl soon come a cropper.

    must accindents are caused people overtaking slow drivers, if its a 30 do thirty if its a 60 do 60 (o by the way thats the white circle with a black line through it)!

    Police seem to be scared of gangs, they need to spend money on the real issues and let people get on with there lives.

    WE DO HAVE BRAINS! LET US MAKE OUR DECISIONS!

  • Comment number 47.

    With £400 Million overtime why should police retire at about 50 ,surely they still can walk and if not; with job behind the desk they could retire like the rest of us at 65.

  • Comment number 48.

    StormTroopers enforcing the oppressive regime of the corporate fascist establishment!

  • Comment number 49.

    Well hopefully less recruitment drives at BNP and NF summer barbeques will be a start!

  • Comment number 50.

    It's very clear that there are thousands of too many conflicting/contradictory laws/legislation introduced by Labour, that have confused; not only the ordinary person, but MPs, politicians, layers and the police too, whose original mission is to protect the law-abiding majority?

    In order for OUR police to do their intended work; as OUR guardians and protectors of you and me - huge tranches of 'lawyer land speak' (most lawyers don't understand most of the nonsense either) has to be repealed?

  • Comment number 51.

    I for one believe that the police force should not be target driven. Every single crime is important to the victim involved.
    Get rid of countless duplicated form filling and allow the police to do the job they are paid to do.
    Obviously high profile crime will always take priority over misdemeanors but that shouldn't mean that some criminals get away with the pain and nuisance they cause.
    I have been the victim of crime twice and while the police were polite and helpful they did little to determine who might have taken my property. I was given a crime number in order to make an isurance claim and then the case was put aside with many hundreds of others and forgotten.
    The police force also need the full support of the CPS and of course the legal profession in general. All too often hundreds of hours are clocked up on hopefully cracking a case only for the CPS to dismiss it out of hand or for a judge to decide that justice would be best served if the ciminal was treated with kid gloves.
    If I was a police officer I would spend half my time in a rage when little thugs are more or less patted on the head and told to be good.
    Sentencing needs to be fair, strong and consistant across the country.
    If a thief knows he will definitely receive X amount of years with no parole he/she might think hard before stealing.
    We see and hear of repeat offenders clogging up the courts just because they prefer the easy life inside prison. Make it so that it is not an enjoyable experience and watch the numbers drop.
    I know that many will feel that treating criminals like criminals only exascerbates the problem but we have to do something. Any parent will tell you that a swift sharp punishment does marvels for bad behaviour so why should offenders be treated any differently. Take from them their mobile phones, computers, Ipods etc. and let them work physically hard for the food and bed they are given at our expense. Why feather bed them? What good does it do other than to let them know that the State is an easy touch.

  • Comment number 52.

    "
    44. At 1:56pm on 13 May 2010, Human0Bean wrote:

    The role of the police is to defend the status quo and I am sure they will continue to do so.
    "

    Good news for Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt.

  • Comment number 53.

    They dont listen and talk to everyone as if they are stupid! they do not show any common sense and plenty have joined in order to fulfil their racist ways!

  • Comment number 54.

    As John Humphries found out when he visited a no go area in wales for Radio 4 , the police are there "to contain the situation", helllooooooooo

    Blind drunk isnt funny, isnt "what young people do", lock them in a specialist unit for 12 hours until sober , then issue them with an increasing fine for repeat offenders, lets start at £200, and non payment equals a week in a nice new Jail, specially built for the purpose.

  • Comment number 55.

    "
    43. At 1:48pm on 13 May 2010, fursty-ferret wrote:
    "

    I see you've not quite got the hang of cut 'n' paste yet. Keep trying though.

  • Comment number 56.

    The police seem to have been on a mission to make themselves irrelevant to criminals, and positively loathed by the essentially law abiding.

    Too many people have experience of reporting crimes to the police, only to be fobbed off and ignored, or faced by stroppy, incompetent police officers.

    People say this sort of story is apocryphal, but we are all aware of serious cases where police laziness and incompetence have led to people dying.

    The police can rightly blame the bureaucracy imposed by the last government for some of the problems. But there is a huge problem with the culture and attitudes of front line police officers, too.

    The police needs to change, as an organisation and as individuals.

  • Comment number 57.

    Stop using the roads for their own use, if i see another Newton Heath copper fly through the lights with flashing lights to get to McDonalds, i will ..... err........well do nothing because i wouldnt be able to complain! id be scared of being a police target for exposing them! thats how they make the public feel, they are not their to protect, well other than themselves! just ask charles de menezes!

  • Comment number 58.

    I despair of these law and order threads. Most peoples' posts tend to read:

    Durrr, durrr, durrr, GATSOS!, durrrrrr, the REAL criminals, durrr, durrr, good clip around the ear, durrr, durrr, AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!!!

    We need more thinking and less jerking of the knees.

  • Comment number 59.

    27. At 1:10pm on 13 May 2010, corum-populo-2010 wrote:

    3) Finally, expect to be mugged/robbed/attacked and adjust your behavior accordingly

    ----

    45. At 1:57pm on 13 May 2010, ian cheese wrote:
    We need to have effective control over our Police Forces & I hope the new government will address this. The Police just adopt a 'going through the motions' attitude where their jobs are concerned & not really trying to get to grips with tackling real crime. They should be disbanded & the contract given to the most competent body: we should even welcome a police force from abroad if that means we feel safer in our own country!

    ----------

    Harry H Corbett!

    The Dailies Mail, Express and all have finally turned the British population into a buch of craven, cowardly and cowed credulous fools.

    I promise you that you can leave your house at any hour of day or night and not fear being atacked by 'ferral yooves' immigrants with swine flu, or any of the other groups the Dailies like to single out for their 'special treatment'.

    You can actually go to the shops without being mugged by a violent thug disguised in a bhurka.

    You just need to grow a spine and stop believing that Britains urban landscape is characterised by violent gang warfare and paedophiles.

    No rational person believes that the police forces of the UK aren't fit for purpose - Just that they could be made to run far more efficiently for the benefit of both the taxpayer & the officers themselves.


  • Comment number 60.

    I no longer feel that police are on my side. They seem to want to divide the population into three categories:

    (1) criminals they've caught (a small number);
    (2) criminals they haven't yet caught (a large number);
    (3) people who haven't yet committed a crime but will one day (the rest of us).

    I was brought up to trust and respect the police force. I will not be handing down those attitudes to my children.

  • Comment number 61.

    The police should stick to what they are good at putting parking tickets on cars, and radar speed traps. this brings in much needed extra moneys to our councils. All serious criminals and illegals should be force to go away on holiday, Payed by the taxpayer, It would be much cheaper as new private prison are better than most hotels, and they cost us far more than a package holiday.

  • Comment number 62.

    It might help if we re-introduced an ancient thing that was once used called punishment, for criminals.

    Temporarily removing a criminal from society and temporarily removing their freedom to roam and cause havoc is NOT a punishment . It might be a punishment in the minds of fairy lairy PC liberalists and humanitarianists, who more often than not are religious zealots who believe in mystical superbeings and a mystical afterworld where perfection is absolute and naughty people are not allowed to go.

    The fact is, is that being nice and humane to everyone is a non starter especially because most criminals themselves ONLY respect the harsh reality of violence but are often the first to scream injustice, and also the loudest.

    For so many, you could give them £50,000 to stay out of prison and say- go start a business and new life. They would more likely start a drugs business, or spend it on drugs, or drink it up or just blow it on rubbish.

    Many of these people basically require a serious slap, because as with ALL the combined liberalist community and other soft punishments, including ASBOs, the MAJORITY of criminals just go on to behave as they always have done.

    There is ONE serious fact in all this, and it can easily be accessed by anyone with computer/internet.

    Just look at the growth in crime figures from when the death penalty existed then when and after the death penalty was removed, in conjunction with more and more, softer and softer liberalist christian prison regimes and greater prison comforts.

    When prisons and punishments were harsher, it is a PLAIN and FACTUAL reality that crime was less than 25% of what it is today. UK population has not grown by corresponding amount so what has gone so wrong.

    I have said many times that christian liberalists have much to be responsible for in our deteriorating society. They seek to create a fantasy mystical world where everyone loves each other and is nice and kind, regardless of how poor and desperate they are or how rich, or how inteligent or how ignorant or stupid. I personally think they took the wrong turn at Neptune and really need to return to their own planet and stop interfering in this one and trying to mould it into their perfect idealistic fantasy world. Nature of beasts and the environment just cannot be controlled by such non violent means, which is why circuses have diminished because many beasts can only be controlled via inflicting harsh violence upon them, including humans.

    Picking on the police in such a way and singling them out as greatly responsible for our social chaos is just muppetish and ignorant and does not take account of all the other parts of the equation, which includes our own individual responsibilitys to stand against thugs and criminals and also ensure our own endemic behaviour is decent, and also stand against the liberalists from overpowering our social governing systems and implementing policys that go against the very nature of combating and countering the worst of our species bad behaviour.


    The future of our police force is what we make it, but it is also what we allow to happen via our personal responsibilitys to ourselves and communitys.

  • Comment number 63.

    48. At 2:13pm on 13 May 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    StormTroopers enforcing the oppressive regime of the corporate fascist establishment!

    Couldn't have put it better myself.

  • Comment number 64.

    1. At 12:07pm on 13 May 2010, Vanessa wrote:
    "My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless."

    Did you recognise the person that stole it? Did they have CCTV of the crime with a clear face of the criminal? Did he/she leave any finger prints or other evidence at the scene? If not, what exactly do you expect the police to do without any way of tracking down the perpetrator? Sometimes 's**t happens' that we can do little about.

  • Comment number 65.

    congratualtions #43, you've learnt how to copy and paste.

  • Comment number 66.

    thats about right lets have another debate paying people to come to a conclusion that most normal people already know.

    we do not need more or less police we just need them to be able to do their job. they are ment to protect the innocent which they would all love to do if they were free from needless paperwork and the justice system actually backed them up

    there is a total lack of respect for the police especially from some of our young people, they have no fear becuse they know nothing will happen to them thanks to the PC and Human Rights brigade. as with everything there is a fine line and we have gone so far its gone complete circle and bitten us in the bum.

  • Comment number 67.

    Final comment on this HYS question. Our front-line workers:

    Police, fire fighters, street cleaners, nurses, refuse collectors, doctors, paramedics, - not in order of respect - are the best people that we should never, ever take for granted. All of the above, and those not mentioned, have a vocation/profession - let's change our culture and respect those who we only miss when they don't work?

    Let's just get over our ancient ignorance - intelligent and highly educated people want do manual or creative work - plus, some of the biggest egos and least intelligent seek a job in local authorities?

  • Comment number 68.

    "
    19. At 12:54pm on 13 May 2010, AlanLeon wrote:

    First of all, cut off all overtime. Overtime doing what?
    Second, stop them referring to non-police personnel as "civilians". The police are civilians, like everyone who is not a serving member of the armed forces.
    Third, reduce police pay to the current local going rate for office clerks.
    "

    Result, no more Police, what a wacky idea. Labour or Lib Dem voter by any chance?

  • Comment number 69.

    In response to the 'police direct too many resources at traffic offences' comments -

    I think you'll find that more people are seriously injured or die due to traffic related incompetence (speeding, not paying attention, reckless driving, drunk at wheel etc etc) than are seriously injured or killed by voilent crime (burglary, mugging, GBH, ABH, rape etc etc). Of course that doesn't mean we should ignore these more serious crimes, but it also means significant resources NEED to be aimed at traffic related offences...and before you tell me 'but it doesn't work because there are still many deaths and serious injuries from traffic offences', I think you'll find that has MORE to do with that fact that the number of cars and other vehicles on the road has grown very significantly and they can accelerate quicker and go faster than ever before.

  • Comment number 70.

    Officers murdered in line of duty: about 3 per year.
    Deaths in custody: about 50 per year

    Questions?

  • Comment number 71.

    "36. At 1:30pm on 13 May 2010, justanotherworkerbee wrote:
    26. At 1:07pm on 13 May 2010, Brentus wrote:
    Freeing them up from fighting the immoral and pointless "war on drugs" would give them plenty of time to concentrate on actual crimes.

    The police should not exist to enforce what is at most a health issue.
    ----------------------------


    health issue?

    nothing at all to do with health!

    get tougher on drugs, lock junkies up until they are clean.

    Biggest drain on our society.. If they cant deal with reality then a few weeks in cold turkey should do the trick until they get the message.


    Like my little 'un said, why can people take drugs and not get in trouble?"

    Yeah right like thats worked for the last 70 odd years. And does your 'little 'un' wonder why you don't get in trouble for taking your drug of choice alcohol? Because booze is a much harder drug than cannabis.

  • Comment number 72.

    "
    54. At 2:18pm on 13 May 2010, justanotherworkerbee wrote:

    As John Humphries found out when he visited a no go area in wales for Radio 4 , the police are there "to contain the situation", helllooooooooo

    Blind drunk isnt funny, isnt "what young people do", lock them in a specialist unit for 12 hours until sober , then issue them with an increasing fine for repeat offenders, lets start at £200, and non payment equals a week in a nice new Jail, specially built for the purpose.
    "

    I'd say start at a month in jail and certainly not in some purpose built one.

  • Comment number 73.

    Dan Dover hear hear well said

  • Comment number 74.

    What needs to be done is a reduction in the amount of paperwork that the police need to fill in. A friend of mine you is a policeman said that 50% of his time was spent on it. Some paperwork is needed, but do we really need as much as we currently collect. You could increase police resources by 25% without incurring any additional cost if we reduced it.
    Same applies in the NHS and Local Government, where a lot of paperwork is required to monitor performance. My wife who works in the NHS spends half her time completing forms to show exactly what she has done, who said what etc, so her performance can be measured against targets, and also to protect her if there ever is litigation.
    I also had dealings with my local council recently, when I made a complaint. All I wanted was an answer, which they gave me very promptly. Then a week later I was sent a form to complete which ran to three pages asking me to comment on how well they had dealt with my complaint. Apparently this is because this is another target they are required to measure. My wife advises that she has to do this in her job as well. What a lot of waste.

  • Comment number 75.

    So the taxpayer spends 14.5 billion a year on the police, add to this court time, lawyers, prisons, rehabilitation, social workers, parole officers etc plus the multitude of benefits that no doubt most criminals are claiming and the cost to the country is nothing short of astronomical. Add in the personal cost to the victims of crime and the whole situation is totally unaceptable. My own solution would be to build tens of thousands of extra prison places and lock up the estimated hundred thousand or so who are thought to commit half of all crime and throw away the key. This would act as a deterrent to everyone else and reduce the costs of crime significantly. If you think this is unfair then simple, don't break the law.

  • Comment number 76.

    Provide more surveillance cameras – If you don’t break the law; you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  • Comment number 77.

    There needs to be serious debate about what police are here for.

    We cannot hold police responsible for peoples behaviour, nor for the so called justice system. These both need serious attention.

    What we can do is hold police to account for the protection of society from criminal activity.

    It is quite extraordinary that with one person in 500 being a police officer, their presence is so invisible. Clearly, only part of the force can be engaged in community policing, but only by that and the local knowledge that brings, can there ever be effective policing.

    We are not concerned in the main with major crime like bank robberies, but antisocial behaviour and the risks to our children from drink, drugs and associated crime affect most of us.

    We have excellent officers and PCSOs, so they are not the problem. Is it the time wasting with various consulative bodies, the Whitehall initiatives, and Bramshill brainwashing?

  • Comment number 78.

    From the perspective of a member of the public: To protect and serve the public.

    From the perspective of the Government: To protect and serve the government from the public.

  • Comment number 79.

    I prefer a Police Service to a Police force. In my view the Police are one of the organisations which bind our communities together and therefore require the consent of the community they serve. By the same token the community should respect and uphold the law and support the Police in the carrying out their duty.
    All these people who whine about speeding fines and 'the police should chase criminals not drivers', if you exceed a speed limit you are breaking the law!
    I am not sure about the idea of elected Police Commissioneers, we already have Police Authorities, which replaced the old Watch Committees oversight role. I certainly don't want a national police force controlled by a Minister for Justice/Home Secretary based in London. Local accountability is the key.

  • Comment number 80.

    Quadruple all sentences, and then double them again when someone commits the same offence.
    No one is a criminal by accident – so make them think twice about their choices.

  • Comment number 81.

    today the police are lazy, they fail the public in every way
    it is time that they started walking the beat getting to know the public the police have far to many units attached to policing this is a major
    downfall
    there training should be longer covering serious crime rape homicide burglary child abuse etc instead of being attached to these which means that they are not on the beat (retired officers should be be able to be put into specialist area's not within the first 5 years as a pc

  • Comment number 82.

    62. At 2:29pm on 13 May 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    It might help if we re-introduced an ancient thing that was once used called punishment, for criminals.

    Just look at the growth in crime figures from when the death penalty existed then when and after the death penalty was removed.

    ----
    Actually if you look at crime rates in the 20th & 21st century when compared to the crime rates from the 18th & 19th century when the establishment practised both corporal & capital punishment, as well as transportation for what today would be considered to be fairly minor offences you'd see that the modern crime rate - counter to everything you hear in the media - is an order of magnitude smaller than it was in the earlier centuries.

    Most of that can be put down to better social conditions and less desperation from the poorest members of society.

    On the death penalty - introduce it as a punishment if you must, but there's no evidence anywhere in the world that its any kind of detterrant to criminals - the US states that have the death penalty don't have lower murder rates than those that have it.

    In China you can receive a death sentence for some pretty petty crimes - people still commit those petty crimes.

    Just one more point, you keep banging on about liberal christian do-gooders.

    In my experience extreeme christian conviction tends to be associated with the conservative right, especially in the US, where they are not known for their wishy-washy penal system.

  • Comment number 83.

    69 which would you rather? not get stabbed or murdered, rappped or have an acident which you get some minor injouries from?
    Lets have re-tests at 50! use the train bus at 70!
    im quite sure my breaks are better than 30 years ago when the law was passed! not that we can speed anyway with the ammount of road works, triffic lights, speed cameras around.

    lets use our commen sense instead of some radiculas 12 point scheme! whereby the police time is taken up!

    this is what we are talking about isn't it?


  • Comment number 84.

    It seems from the comments here that part of the problem is the way that people treat each other these days. Younger people drink more, cause more problems and treat other disrespectfully while in their cups, police officers get so used to dealing with rowdy, rude and uncontrollable people that they start to treat everyone with disdain, so the every day folk who aren't making problems for society see surly police officers and their hackles are raised. Police are blamed for not doing enough about the smaller crimes that affect people, but that's probably because a) they're targeted and have to prioritise their workload according to what the government thinks is important (which seems to be any crime that is punished with a penalty fine) and b) because they're spending half their time dealing with drunken morons causing problems in the streets.

    When did we become a society of spoiled, uncontrollable children overseen by weary and disillusioned police officers?

  • Comment number 85.

    The future role of the police is the same as its past role: protect the ruling classes and stifle dissent.

  • Comment number 86.

    lets start using technology to sort this out!

    more cctv, introduction to speed limiters in built up area's.

    how much time do u want? youd have time to fill your forms out then!

  • Comment number 87.

    Policing is in this country all things to all people, it is a one stop shop. We spend vary little of our time dealing with crime as many would understand the meaning of thatr word. We have become uniformed outreach workers, dealing with 'missing' people, minor domestic arguements and 'anti-social' children. The fact is what ever the popular press will tell you is that car crime/burglaries are far rared now that prior to 1997. this will elicite many anecdotal responses I have no doubt. As to the cost doubling over the last 10 years, it would be interesting to see what the increases in wage costs have been nationally over the same period. One point to finnish is that all police officers receive same pay regardless of shifts, not much of an incentive to keep people out of the office working 9-5!

  • Comment number 88.

    Its Time "human rights" started applying to the humans instead of the animal scum.

  • Comment number 89.

    19. At 12:54pm on 13 May 2010, AlanLeon wrote:
    First of all, cut off all overtime. Overtime doing what?
    1. At 12:07pm on 13 May 2010, Vanessa wrote:
    "My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless."

    I'm afraid the above comments simply reflect the public's general lack of knowledge/understanding of policing.

    19
    What do you want my officers to do when it comes to the end of their shift, but they still have enquiries to make/statements to note about the person they detained for breaking into your house and they hav'nt yet interviewed him, never mind photographed, fingerprinted and DNA'd him, lodged the productions, updated you and then written the custody case?

    1 Let him out and just go home (like any other normal member of the public in a routine job)? They would love to - go home that is, not let the scrote out. They have to do far too much overtime and are now at the stage of being bullied out of claiming anything for it.
    2 Pass the job on to oncoming officers - problem being that it'll take a couple of hours to leave/pass on the required information about what has happened/been done to date.
    Oh, and it also means that twice the number of officers will be sitting about at court in 6-18 months time, probably for the umpteenth time of the case being called - instead of working on the street or enjoying their day off with the loved ones - with the accused very often having a reduced plea accepted on the day (but it won't be the first Court day) because the prosecutor/Court can't afford the cost of taking the full charges to trial.
    Then the accused laughs at his slap on the wrist. Do you realise just how difficult, how much work it takes to actually get yourself locked up in prison in this country?!

    1
    64's reply to you was spot on -
    "Did you recognise the person that stole it? Did they have CCTV of the crime with a clear face of the criminal? Did he/she leave any fingerprints or other evidence at the scene? If not, what exactly do you expect the police to do without any way of tracking down the perpetrator?"
    Give that plug a kick - my crystal ball isn't working very well today .... You'll be like the person whose purse I saw and protected yesterday, left lying unattended for over 5 mins in a busy place?

    Over-paid? Ha!!! I could earn more as an unskilled labourer on some major construction projects - and I'm a supervisor!

    Yesterday I supervised about half of a city and about 100,000 residents with less than a dozen officers, all of them running from job to job, 'fire brigade' policing ('scuse the term, fieries!), no time to record, never mind investigate at the time, stood down from the midst of one 'less important' (except to the victim!) job to attend a 'more urgent' one and leaving about the same amount of jobs unattended, which will then come around in 1-2 days time, once they've been evaluated and the basic details recorded by phone, to be allocated out to those same few officers. No refreshment period due to 'exigiencies of duty' four days out of five. Do you work four days without any kind of break? - no, I thought not. And yes, I know we get paid straight through, but that's why and you get paid for the regular coffee/small talk breaks operational officers would love to have.

    What is the future role of the police service? (I'm getting too PC in my old age - police force!). You will get the level of service you want to pay for. With staffing costs forming 90% of the budget, of course pay and overtime costs will increase by large percentages. It's the same as police accidents - the vehicles are driven 24/7/365 and probably accrue 10 or more times the annual mileage, but, comparatively, with less accidents than the average motorist.
    And please don't post ridiculous comments about the police pension scheme. It was set up because it was recognised that most officers don't live very long after retirement due to the ill-effects of 30 or more years physically hard, mentally draining, long hours on variously rotating/counter-rotating shifts and we pay the highest rate of contribution of any public sector. If you want to complain about someone's pension, pick on the civil servants who paid 1% - yes 1%!!! - or those in private sector who do pay more, but who come out with massively inflated, seven figure golden handshakes/parachutes etc.

    Rant? - I'll say.

    Please feel free to post factual, knowledgeable queries/replies and I'll try to answer them.

  • Comment number 90.

    The future role of the police? Much the same as its historical role,to protect the rich from the poor.This was the real reason for the creation of "The Peelers"(Robert Peel's early London militia,forerunner of the police),the social disorder of Victorian London,its inequality,poverty and lack of social and economic mobility for the majority needed some kind of militia or policing to prevent the ever increasing attacks on property,landowners,landlords and commercial districts.In a very short time,and without the agreement of the masses,the Metropolitan police force was founded.Instead of social reform being the way that order could be attained,the police ensured that the poor were "managed",the way that the poor were regarded at the time was atrocious,no vote for the working man,only for the rich,the landowners,businessmen and the aristocracy,no legal representation for those without the vote,no framework at all for ensuring fair treatment for the working majority in terms of working conditions,rights(non-existent),rents,housing,health,education etc. Against this background the then Conservative party formed the Metropolitan Police from the numbers of ex-soldiers and sailors who were only too eager to exact their own brand of justice on the unfortunate populace,indeed there were innumerable complaints against the militias whose thugs went on to become "Peelers",corruption in the form of "protection" rackets,pay-offs,bribes and downright drunken loutishness masquerading as "policing" Nowadays of course the police are more accountable,but not enough(Blair Peach,Charles De Mendezes etc,),so I see their role as the protectors of the ruling classes,and their mates,the corporate fascists,who make our lives much less productive and fulfilling than they could be by their profit obsessed nepotistic exploitation of the results of the majorities labour.If one reads the detail of that hideous piece of legislation known as the Public Order Act,one can,without extrapolation,realise the intended long-term function of the police in Britain.I am sure we will end up with a privatised police force,that takes its orders from its masters in the,soon-to-be,shiny new Corporate Government...The future is a sharpened stick......or maybe a cattle prod....Tear-gas...riot-shields and truncheons for protest marches by pensioners(already happened)Maybe I'm just too cynical and think of the worst case scenario,but,we'll see..

  • Comment number 91.

    74. At 2:49pm on 13 May 2010, David wrote:
    What needs to be done is a reduction in the amount of paperwork that the police need to fill in. A friend of mine you is a policeman said that 50% of his time was spent on it. Some paperwork is needed, but do we really need as much as we currently collect. You could increase police resources by 25% without incurring any additional cost if we reduced it.
    Same applies in the NHS and Local Government, where a lot of paperwork is required to monitor performance. My wife who works in the NHS spends half her time completing forms to show exactly what she has done, who said what etc, so her performance can be measured against targets, and also to protect her if there ever is litigation.
    I also had dealings with my local council recently, when I made a complaint. All I wanted was an answer, which they gave me very promptly. Then a week later I was sent a form to complete which ran to three pages asking me to comment on how well they had dealt with my complaint. Apparently this is because this is another target they are required to measure. My wife advises that she has to do this in her job as well. What a lot of waste.

    Exactly. Transparency has been translated into targets which demand statistics, the vast majority of which are meaningless.
    Further, politicians have created so much more legislation without a thought for who will 'police'/enforce it.

  • Comment number 92.

    The police should be disarmed as they only ever seem to shoot innocent members of the public including the mentally ill or indeed each other whilst on training exercises. London has far too many red police cars full of machine gun toting storm troopers. When was the last time they were actually needed ? We should return to our fine tradition of an unarmed police force. Of course guns can be "Signed out" when absolutely needed , but they should never be routinely carried. Our politicians , in particular , have far too much security , which keeps them cocooned from reality. Let's see the gates come down from Downing Street and remove the bullet proof screens from Parliament. The latter were only put up to stop people throwing coloured flour at Tony Blair.

  • Comment number 93.

    75. At 2:53pm on 13 May 2010, Rob wrote:
    So the taxpayer spends 14.5 billion a year on the police, add to this court time, lawyers, prisons, rehabilitation, social workers, parole officers etc plus the multitude of benefits that no doubt most criminals are claiming and the cost to the country is nothing short of astronomical. Add in the personal cost to the victims of crime and the whole situation is totally unaceptable. My own solution would be to build tens of thousands of extra prison places and lock up the estimated hundred thousand or so who are thought to commit half of all crime and throw away the key. This would act as a deterrent to everyone else and reduce the costs of crime significantly. If you think this is unfair then simple, don't break the law.
    80. At 2:59pm on 13 May 2010, jaxon wrote:
    Quadruple all sentences, and then double them again when someone commits the same offence.
    No one is a criminal by accident – so make them think twice about their choices.

    Quite. Prison DOES work - for the short time that the recidivist minority are locked up, they can only commit crime against each other, not against the communities on which they routinely prey.
    If you want to rehabilitate them, long them up for longer and provide the prison service with the resources to do so.
    When was the last time you saw a housebreaker (burglar) getting the maximum sentence, even at the umpteenth conviction?
    How about three strikes and the maximum sentence becomes mandatory, unless your defence agent can produce - and PROVE! - some exceptional reason/circumstances why the sentence should be discounted.

  • Comment number 94.

    46 wrote: must accindents are caused people overtaking slow drivers, if its a 30 do thirty if its a 60 do 60 (o by the way thats the white circle with a black line through it)

    the white circle with the black line through it means national speed limit NOT 60...the national speed limit depends on the class of road and the class of vehicle using it...get your basic facts right perleeeze

  • Comment number 95.

    Take a look at this to see what the police themselves think on this question:
    http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/now-we-can-have-christmas-back-excellent/

  • Comment number 96.

    87. At 3:15pm on 13 May 2010, AMARAL71 wrote:
    Policing is in this country all things to all people, it is a one stop shop. We spend vary little of our time dealing with crime as many would understand the meaning of that word. We have become uniformed outreach workers, dealing with 'missing' people, minor domestic arguments and 'anti-social' children.

    Definitely. We are the only agency which, for the vast majority of the time, will not say no - unlike local authorities and in particular their social services departments (who - the latter - are also under-funded).

    You travel from one end of the country to the other to meet someone you've only spoken to online, it doesn't work out, you've no money left, social services decline to assist you - phone the police, why not?!!!

    Your child is being bullied at school or by text message/e-mail/social interaction site - phone the police. Don't think about restricting or taking away the mobile phone/internet access or otherwise taking any form of parental responsibility for your child!

  • Comment number 97.

    "1. At 12:07pm on 13 May 2010, Vanessa wrote:
    My bag was stolen at the weekend and the police have done nothing about it. My verdict: the police are useless."

    -----------------------

    I awoke to find a burglar in my house two years ago. He heard me coming down the stairs and took off. I called the police and they arrived within 4 minutes. 10 minutes after that they were dusting for prints.

    My verdict: The police do a good job with nothing but criticism and obstacles from the government and the public.

  • Comment number 98.

    62,,,Mr Wonderful(UN)Reality...IF you look at the figures for all the countries in the world with the death-penalty you will notice that,far from decreasing the crime of murder,all of these countries have massively higher murder-rates than ANY of the countries without the death-penalty.Having the death-penalty as an option is creating a situation where the message is,its okay to commit murder if you have a legally established reason and an authority figure(the state)to condone and support it.We realised a long time ago that total emancipation includes the state only being allowed to commit murder in war,and even then it must be "lawful"and not just slaughter.If someone convicted of murder is gassed/hanged or similarly murdered by the state,on behalf of the people,and then it is revealed that they were the innocent victim of liars and/or a cover-up for a flawed investigation,or even a mistake in DNA identification,what would YOU say to their relatives/family/spouse? Oh,I'm sorry,we murdered your wife/husband/son/daughter,but it was JUST a mistake?Think again,please,before advocating a return to barbarism.

  • Comment number 99.

    There are so many 'Private' Police Forces about these days,one would think Her Majesties 'Police Force'days are numbered!
    I visited Birmingham City centre today.! there were so many yellow jackets hopping about like bees around a dandilion. All Private 'Cops' and 'snoops'!...I did notice none of them wore a helmet!
    I met just one 'real Policeman' (wearing a helmet) He actualy bid me 'Good Morning'........Such a heart warming and comfortable aquantance!
    On my way to the bus stop; a Police Car came screeching through the City screaming like a 'banchee'. An aged bystander commented. "Going back to the Station,to get his dinner,I expect!"..........So it goes!
    Cyclops

  • Comment number 100.

    It appears most of the contributors have missed the announcemnet - there's to be a full strategic review of DEFENCE and SECURITY in the UK. This means that the role of front line troops, support troops and civilian security staff (i.e. police) will be reviewed and there will quite possibly be a very different structure in the future.

    Think about the levels we have, of which I name a few - regular navy, army and air force, reservists, TA, civilian MOD guards, civil police, special police - far too many and all overlapping tasks. Now I don't presume to out-think the review but I believe it must be front line that we keep and reservists, TA and special police could well have to be scrapped. Especially as most other these will have other jobs it shouldn't adversely affect unemployment figures but will have significant savings.

 

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