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The great policing hole

The government's policing green paper is a hopelessly inadequate response to the challenges facing Britain's police services

By Robert McFarland   August 2008

The police have been called “the last great unreformed public service.” And now, trapped between public dissatisfaction and tightening budgets, Britain’s police service is in crisis. Ian Blair, head of the Metropolitan Police, has argued that the police need “A new structure and a new energy for public connection with policing.” Unfortunately, the government’s policing green paper, published on 17th July, conspicuously fails to provide long-term answers.

It is three years since Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) argued that Britain’s 43-force structure was “no longer fit for purpose” and called for some smaller forces to be merged. The then…

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