Breaking the barrier – Police Vs Public

There’s no denying that public trust in the UK policing system is at an all time low. Decades of cuts, less officers on the beat, and forces beset with scandals galore has left society fractured over the future on Britain’s police force. Yet everything meaningful that the Constabulary can do to repair bridges is subject to high volumes of criticism.

There appears to be an long standing epidemic of unsolved crimes in the UK. [1] These statistics as published by the BBC are not current however it is believed that the trend has continued or worsened in the last 3 years. This, coupled with stories of officers abusing their position of power that include harbouring child pornography and the tragic murder of Sarah Everard, have left a huge number of people losing trust that the Police can do their job properly and effectively, and the public no longer feel safe. This has likely been exacerbated by the reduction in available officers per population causing forces to be stretched well beyond the capabilities. This spirals further as opportunists and social dissidents become more brazen in their activities, as well as goading and attacking serving officers.

In many ways, the Policing system needs top down reform and for the Independent Police Complaints Commission to be given greater powers to scrutinise decision making within the force. Funding needs to be provided for new recruits and to increase the number of staff employed by the police force. And finally, both the front line officers and the management circles need to engage with communities and the public to regain the trust that has been lost in recent years.

There are a number of great people working within the force, trying to make a difference. They love serving their comunity but the current circumstances are making their job incredibly difficult, and they are an example to the rest of the force that should follow in their footsteps. A horrid minority cannot be allowed to tarnish the reputation of these people. So when officers were criticised for dancing during a Pride rally, their chief absolutely defended their actions. [2]

I wholeheartedly agree with the actions of the officers involved, and of the statement of Chief Constable Chris Howard. This is a vital part of rebuilding that community trust. By showing support for communities, that you want to keep people safe, will help rebuild the bridges that have been burned by recent public opinion. Those officers are attending that parade to serve and protect the people participating, a vital part of their job. But if they look like they are bored, or even stoic in their presence, they do not appear engaging to the community. This closed off nature is going to make the job of regaining community trust much harder. By showing off a human side, and by enjoying the festivities whilst keeping people safe, is by far the best way to rebuild trust in the officers who are the face of the Force. And by having the public and the front line officers united against higher command corruption and underfunding, we can force through the changes needed to make our communities a better place.



%d bloggers like this: