Skip to content

News

It is time for a fundamental reset in the policing system to cope with modern crime?


Press Release3rd July 2023

  • New research shows that more than 40 per cent of people who experienced or witnessed a crime chose not to report it. The biggest single reason given for not reporting was that people did not think the police would treat them seriously.

  • Policing needs wholesale modernisation because the present system has neither the capability nor the strategy to cope with modern crime.

  • TBI proposes a plan for radical reform including a legal ‘Neighbourhood-Policing Guarantee’, the creation of a modern flexible workforce and the establishment of a new national force to tackle threats that cross force boundaries.

A complete overhaul of policing is needed to deliver a policing system that can cope with modern crime and which reconnects back with the public, according to a new report by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), published today as part of its Future of Britain Initiative.

In Rebuilding trust and delivering safer communities: a plan for reforming UK policing’ report author TBI Crime and Justice Lead Harvey Redgrave finds that the system of policing is broken. He argues that the nature of crime is changing, and police have neither capability nor the funding to deal with additional responsibilities such as mental health and online fraud.

The report also finds that because of cuts to neighbourhood policing traditional crimes such as anti-social behaviour and burglary are going unpunished which is undermining public confidence, while there is no strategy to deal with serious crimes where prolific offenders are neither properly identified nor dealt with.

The report argues that policing is being let down by a system that is not fit for purpose as well as failings in the criminal justice system.

TBI proposes a radical plan for policing:

  • Putting prevention at the heart of policing, with a new neighbourhood-policing guarantee, underpinned by legislation.

  • A modern and flexible workforce, with multiple new entry routes into policing to encourage new skills.

  • A new focus on professional standards and responsiveness, with forces judged by HM Inspectorate to be failing to be subject to intervention from the centre and new ways for the public to drive action on issues of local concern, such as anti-social behaviour (ASB).

  • An overhaul of structures, with a new national force to tackle threats that cross force boundaries and require a strategic response, encompassing counter-terrorism, serious organised crime (SOC) and cyber.

  • Smarter use of technology to prevent criminality, including digital identity to tackle online fraud and an expansion of facial-recognition technology.

TBI Crime and Justice Lead Harvey Redgrave said:

“The drop in confidence our research has revealed is no doubt linked to fact that the pressures of policing have completely changed.

“There are also deeper, more longstanding reasons why the current policing model no longer meets public expectations. Since 2010 there has been a deterioration in many of the things the public previously took for granted: a rapid response to 999 calls, visible patrols in their neighbourhoods and, perhaps most crucially, the investigation of crimes and charging of criminals. But crucially, the current system has not kept pace with the changing nature of crime and the changing demands of modern policing. And while a majority of the public still trust the police, people are losing faith in their capacity to do their job.

“Now is the time for government to act and enable the police to meet the challenges of the 21st century and restore the founding principle of consent.”

In her foreword Baroness Casey says thatthe public’s relationship with the police ‘is at breaking point’.

Baroness Casey writes:

“It is the first duty of any government to protect its citizens. Overseas, we task the army with that job and domestically we charge the police with it. It is vital that criminals do not roam freely, and that the public know that the police are there to protect them. I am unconvinced that the Government is meeting that duty.

“If we needed proof of this then look no further than TBI’s finding that more than 40 per cent of people who experienced or witnessed a crime chose not to report it. The biggest single reason given for not reporting was that people did not think the police would treat them seriously. This is deeply worrying and speaks to a fundamental rupture in the bond of trust between the police and the public.”

To inform the research, TBI commissioned a survey from Deltapoll asking people about the state of policing in the UK and their priorities for reform. The findings confirm that the public are deeply concerned about crime and policing, but also point to areas where they believe progress is possible, such as the use of technology.

As for the police themselves, while a majority of the public still trust them these numbers are historically low and 40% of the public wouldn't report a crime because faith in the system has declined so dramatically.

The report is the latest in a series of policy proposals for TBI’s Future of Britain initiative which includes a major conference in London on 18 July.

Article Tags


No Tags Found

Newsletter

Practical Solutions
Radical Ideas
Practical Solutions
Radical Ideas
Practical Solutions
Radical Ideas
Practical Solutions
Radical Ideas
Radical Ideas
Practical Solutions
Radical Ideas
Practical Solutions
Radical Ideas
Practical Solutions
Radical Ideas
Practical Solutions