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A New York tale

The city’s “policing miracle” does not mean Britain should also elect police chiefs

Since 2000, a steady stream of British politicians has travelled to New York to learn how it transformed itself from America’s murder capital to its safest big city. The lesson the Conservatives took from their “grand tour” was that good police chiefs, accountable to an elected mayor, could reduce crime through innovative policies—hence the bill now before parliament to replace police authorities (a mix of elected and appointed officials) with a single elected official. This person will have New York mayoral-style powers to hire and fire police chiefs, set budgets and try to improve value-for-money at a local level. It…

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