The founding father of British Policing, Conservative, Robert Peel famously stated that ‘police are the public and the public are the police’.
And with the the legacy of Labour mismanagement requiring budget cuts, the role and style of UK policing is under the microscope.
With Lincolnshire Police’s figures suggesting that confidence is far from high, now is the opportunity for not a only a fundamental shake up of how our Police operate, but also how we, the public, interact with them.
The knee jerk reaction varies from ‘spend more’ to ‘spend less’ with a variety of shades in between, however these simplistic approaches miss the point.
Lincolnshire Police will employ in excess of one thousand police officers, despite the cuts, yet the constant complaint from the public is the absence of these officers from the streets (or for that matter: public meetings, Remembrance Parades, St George’s Day Parade).
The professional policing response is that visibility doesn’t cut crime - sadly this out-dated view ignores a great deal of evidence suggesting otherwise: recent work by NYPD in New York and by the HMIC here in the UK shows a clear link between how many uniformed officers are on patrol and the level of crime, in particular property and street crime have been shown to reduce substantially.
The people of Grantham and Lincolnshire need to see a return of real local policing, building on some of the good work already undertaken in our communities we need to see Police Officers as part of the fabric of the villages and towns they serve.
They need time and freedom to build relationships with people and groups to help not only them prevent crime but also provide the reassurance the vulnerable, in particular, are so desperately crying out for.
by Richard Davies, Conservative