Friday, 3 June 2011

Smaller police forces - an excellent suggestion

I have long argued that, right at the heart of our policing problems is the obsession with efficiency and the associated drive towards ever large police forces. So it is excellent news to see that Reform Scotland (a think tank) is arguing that, rather than a single Scottish police service there should be police forces covering each local authority:

The report said local forces would help improve public confidence in the police and accountability. 

'Instead of one police chief accountable to central government, we want police chiefs accountable to local communities,' said report author, Alison Payne.  'We believe that the Scottish government is moving in the wrong direction with its plans to centralise policing,' she added.

'While we agree with the need for greater centralisation and collaboration on specialist policing, we would argue that this should be done alongside greater devolution of local policing, creating proper national and local police bodies, which could address both national and local problems.'

Combined with directly elected commissioners and greater transparency this approach would give us more accountable, more effective policing - the police might even get back to being a genuine community service again, you never know!


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