Policing Future

Much talk at the moment about the future of policing.

Amongst the headlines and proposals:

  • New recruitment processes
  • New entry routes (three of them – and much animated talk about degrees)
  • New approaches to assessment and professional development
  • New role profiles
  • New Licences to Practice
  • New ideas about pay and reward – including the introduction of Accredited Practitioners
  • New submissions to the Pay Review Body

And then there are the ever-new challenges of technology, of cross border criminality, of international terrorism – and of the complete unknown. All the while, police officers of the immediate future will be expected to deal with the long term costs to society of short term cuts to frontline services.

But there is a danger that all this talk of ‘policing future’ sidelines the very pressing concerns of ‘policing present’.

Policing Present

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating:

  • Crime is rising – particularly crime of the most serious kinds
  • Demand is rising – not least as a consequence of the gaping holes that have appeared in the delivery of other critical public services
  • Complexity is rising – as crime crosses frontiers both geographic and digital
  • Risk is rising – and every officer remains an explicit terrorist target.

Just as money and police numbers are falling to levels not seen in a long, long time.

In the midst of all this, the pace and scale of change has been absolutely relentless: in the view of many, too much, too quickly and not all of it for the better.

We now have fewer people, with fewer resources, doing a job that is more difficult, more demanding and, frequently, more dangerous than it has ever been before.

But there are still more than 120,000 of them out there: the everyday heroes and heroines who police our streets. And, amongst the talk of degrees and detectives and direct entry, we need to be doing a whole lot more to invest in and look after and celebrate the people who are already there. The people who are policing.

Policing Past

Then there’s policing past.

And really, the heart and soul of policing hasn’t changed in almost 200 years. It’s still about saving lives, finding the lost, comforting the broken, defending the weak, protecting the vulnerable, confronting the dangerous, risking it all.

There are a handful of fundamental qualities that have always marked out the best police officers:

  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Communication Skills
  • Common Sense

These are the things that never change – that you cannot put a price on and that we cannot afford to be without. These are the things that make policing extraordinary. These are the things that make the best police officers the very best that people can be.


6 thoughts on “Tense

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  1. I feel drug addicted and overdose calls, and mentally ill should go solely to a medical group so police can focus on other issues of crime. Domestic abuse could be a separate section too if the abuser was immediately held accountable and made to leave to a secure area for “reeducation”. Should never be the abused persons job to fix the issues. Get the problem out.


  2. This should be required reading for CCs, PCCs, & those in both Houses. Comprehensive, clear and concise presentation, which no one in the know could disagree with. I hope the new Home Secretary understands & acts before it is too late. If NHS plan hoovers up all the funding, I really fear for the future of policing. A Royal Commission is at least 20 years overdue but what chance with Brexit and all the other knee jerk responses to false economies? Justice system, prisons, NOMS, all struggling too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Why is it that the powers that be, the government are not listening to the Police and how the savage cuts the tories have imposed are affecting them.
    Police Officers are human beings not robots and yet more and more is expected of them. Morale is at an all time low, our Officers are exhausted and we are loosing good people because of stress.
    We don’t need Police Officers with degrees, degrees don’t get guns and knives of our streets, degrees don’t deal with domestic abuse but a Police Officer going into the job on the first rung of the ladder and working their way up the ladder having had the experience of day to day Policing is what is needed not three to five years studying for a piece of paper and not gaining valuable experience on the streets. You only have to look at nursing, degrees don’t make beds, they don’t teach bedside manner etc. More money which the government can find when it needs to should be put where it’s needed and that’s into Policing, NHS, and all other emergency and public services.

    Liked by 1 person

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