Police Federation

Strategic Review ‘must shine a light into every corner of policing’

10 September 2019

National Chair John Apter

National Chair John Apter

A comprehensive examination of policing aimed at improving the future of the service is ‘much welcomed and long overdue’ says the National Chair of the Police Federation.

Today (10 September) independent policing think tank The Police Foundation launches its Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales.

Along with other key policing partners, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) will be contributing to the review which is expected to have an impact similar to the 1962 Royal Commission which laid the basis for today’s police service.

Chaired by Sir Michael Barber, it will look at how crime and other threats to public safety are changing and assess the ability of policing to respond, setting out a long-term strategic direction for the service so it is better able to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Review will consider:

  • What the police mission should be, looking in particular at the public’s expectations of the police
  • The capabilities the police service needs to achieve this mission, including the skills and knowledge of its workforce and its use of technology
  • How the police service should be structured and held to account locally, regionally and nationally
  • How much funding the police service requires and how this should be allocated to different parts of the country

Responding to the launch, PFEW National Chair John Apter said: “An independent and wide-reaching review into policing is long overdue and something I support.

“The Federation has been calling for a Royal Commission for 20 years, but the government has failed to progress this and, although much needed, it looks unlikely to happen. For this reason, I am pleased to back Sir Michael and his team on this newly-launched assessment of what society expects from its police service. They must shine a light into every corner of policing and ask the questions that need to be asked,” he said.

“My colleagues are facing unprecedented demand as they deal with criminality increasing in terms of volume and complexity as well as being expected to deal with more and more non-crime related incidents, picking up the pieces as other public services struggle to cope,” continued Mr Apter.

He went on to say that in order for policing to be able to best serve the public, and to meet the demands the future will bring, society must decide what they want their police to do, adding: “We simply can’t continue being all things to all people”.

“I encourage everyone - the public, police officers, and politicians - to fully engage with this review so it is truly able to evaluate what is needed to enable our police service to be the very best it can be now - and in the future,” concluded Mr Apter.

In March, Stephen Lloyd MP made a proposal to the then Policing Minster Nick Hurd for a Royal Commission on Policing, however, Mr Hurd said it would be “outdated and static for such a dynamic situation we are in”.

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