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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

The New Bill: Modernising the police workforce

This paper outlines how changes to workforce policies and practices would help the Police Service to respond more effectively to the challenges it faces today. It sets out a vision for a much transformed modernised police workforce: one that embraces successful initiatives already being implemented and addresses gaps in the current workforce modernisation agenda.

At first glance, it is difficult to understand why police performance is currently under such intense scrutiny and why a range of politicians, practitioners and commentators are calling for fundamental reform of the Police Service. Crime fell by 42 per cent between 1997 and 2007 and the criminal justice system brings more offenders to justice each year than ever before. Fear of crime has also decreased, and Police Community Support Officers appear to be increasingly effective in reassuring the public of their safety at a local level. However, while the police have increased their focus on reassuring the public, overall police productivity in terms of crime detection is flat.

This paper outlines how changes to workforce policies and practices would help the Police Service to respond more effectively to the challenges it faces today. It sets out a vision for a much transformed modernised police workforce: one that embraces successful initiatives already being implemented and addresses gaps in the current workforce modernisation agenda.