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Police spending through the roof but little protection against crime

bob e | 26.02.2009 07:56 | Indymedia Server Seizure | Analysis | Other Press | Repression | South Coast

Police today were getting a proper slagging off in the media this morning after the think tank 'Reform' published a damning report on policing in this country. The report, A New Force, found the current 43 forces operate as inefficient and expensive fiefdoms run by chief constables who are only accountable to weak police authorities. Meanwhile the UK taxpayer cough up more for policing than any other leading country yet the police fail to protect them from either serious or local crime. Sadly no media report I saw makes the connection between the inefficiency of the police on tackling crime and their increasing focus on politic policing.

Apparently, policing in England and Wales costs approximately £200 per person. That is around 0.88 per cent of GDP per person. That's higher than every other major industrialised country and spending in England and Wales alone has increased by more than £4.5 billion (43 per cent) top an estimated £12bn a year over the last 12 years.

But despite the investment, the police still "fail to deliver security against both serious national crimes, such as guns, drugs and people trafficking, and local crimes such as anti-social behaviour", said Reforms scathing report.

Elizabeth Truss, deputy director of Reform, said: "The threat of crime is changing and growing. But the police response has been hampered by the obsolete structure of 43 regional forces. England and Wales need a national lead force on serious crime such as gun crime, drugs and people trafficking. Reform suggests that the current police structure should be ripped up and replaced with up to 95 local police forces while the Metropolitan Police takes national responsibility for major crime.

Reform said the "makeshift structure" of policing was "opaque and unaccountable" and sweeping changes in accountability and transparency were needed to tackle all levels of offending. It labelled the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) a "self-perpetuating oligarchy" of senior police officers who would soon gain even more power under the Policing and Crime Bill.

"The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) is the wrong answer to the right question. The Metropolitan Police is the de facto national force and needs to be formally responsible. Data shows small police forces catch more criminals than larger ones. The current 43 forces should be split into a total of around 95 so police forces can properly reflect their local communities."

The recommendations are the opposite of abandoned Government plans to improve accountability and efficiency by reducing the number of forces to 26 larger regional constabularies.

Meanwhile, police are gearing up for a massive spending spree on a summer of repression against the people of this country as civil society looks towards holding the government and banking system to account for the havoc they have caused to our economy and ecology.

bob e


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Links would be helpful.

27.02.2009 23:35

This is great, Bob. Thanks. Did you write it yourself?

What's the bit at the top in italic with blue background? Is that a quote, or did you just want to make it stand out.

How did you find out about this report?

Links would be helpful.