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How 20,000 officers can transform UK policing
This is an exciting and turbulent time for policing in the UK. The sector continues to find new ways of working and responding to a rapidly changing societal context. New investment now provides policing with a huge opportunity to tackle some of the major crime and safety challenges facing society. The public will reap the benefits if government and policing leaders are prepared to make difficult choices about how to prioritise investments and can remain focused on building the capabilities policing needs for the future.
Our new report highlights some of the emerging approaches in policing and other sectors that can help, provides ideas for system reform, and shares tools to help leaders make judgements on the right choices for their organisations and teams.
The report is informed by commentary on the policing sector, analysis of UK and international police data and interviews with chief officers from UK police forces, leaders of national policing organisations and leading academics.
We believe that the government and national policing leaders need to:
- Continue to invest beyond the levels required to hire the target number of officers.
- If continuing to invest beyond the levels required to hire the target number of officers is not possible due to changes in priorities or fiscal position, adjust timescales.
- Build new crime reduction capabilities that logically sit above the level of individual forces.
- Provide increased stability of investment and stronger co-ordination around national technology-enabled transformation and specialist capability programmes.
- Harness the Police Foundation Policing Review, announced in September 2019, to build solutions and consensus around overall police structures and governance.
And local forces could:
- Develop ‘digital twins’ of their organisation to develop more insight on where to invest new resources.
- Refuse to compromise on quality or diversity in the upcoming recruitment drive, even if this means a delay in hitting targets.
- Build on collective work relating to digital policing.
- Anticipate and avoid ‘change overload’.