4 January 2021
The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, has responded to the Prime Minister's announcement of a new national lockdown across England earlier this evening, asking the public to do their part to keep each other safe.
Mr. Apter said:
“Scrutiny and accountability are already a large part of policing, so these proposals for league tables would risk a return to a very damaging and target-driven culture. Mechanisms for holding individuals and forces to account are in place, and we are already amongst the most scrutinised professionals in the world.
My message to Government would be to stop and think before returning to the mistakes of their predecessors. Reintroducing targets in policing would be a damaging and retrograde step. In previous years when they have been used we have seen forces focus on targets to the exclusion of other issues. This is not good for the public and certainly no good for the victims of crime.
These league tables would also restrict the ability of forces to focus on local issues, because Chief Officers would be chasing targets which were judged on criteria set in Whitehall. If, despite these warnings this is pursued it will fail, and it will be damaging.”