Even though crime is becoming more sophisticated and on a larger scale, especially in the areas of drugs, human trafficking, money laundering and cybercrime, most crime is still small scale with the focus on theft being the main issue. Though, we must not forget the increase in violence against the person, especially with regards to the various forms of domestic abuse.
Therefore, policing needs to re-organise itself, with a bigger focus on getting police men and women out onto the streets, trained in self-defence, negotiating skills and given the necessary technology (like mini-cameras to record all interactions with the public – voice and film). For their protection, an annual training course in fitness and updating of current legislation needs to take place, which they will need to pass to continue. There needs to be a big increase in the number of police women and men.
The police have a big public relations problem. Part of the issue is the police not taking people seriously, especially when it comes to rape and domestic abuse. And there is the issue of treatment whilst in custody with accusations of rough handling and verbal abuse. People need to be treated as innocent until convicted. Better management of investigations must take precedence to avoid miscarriages of justice. Senior police officers need to also engage with the public, hearing the issues that affect them and then reporting back as to what action has been taken. Maybe social events should take place so that the public can get to know their local officers which in turn will help in developing trust.
From a structural point of view, bureaucracy should be reduced to a minimum. Ways should be found to record crimes as they happen, so that forms do not have to be filled in back at the police station. County boundaries should be abolished and regional forces formed so that there is a reduced need for administration and the issue of not being able to cross county boundaries is down away with.
Specialist forces should be set up for policing certain sports events, especially football, which are separate from the main force, and are partly paid for by the sports clubs involved. The same should apply to all matters to do with transport. British Transport Police should take over all matters relating to covering speeding, and other motoring offences.
Maybe, MI5 should become part of the police with a focus on terrorism, and other major crimes like drugs, human trafficking, money laundering, fraud and other areas where it is on a large scale and involves matters on an international scale, which most do.
Because of the need for better co-ordination between the emergency services, there should be local call centres, where operators really know their area, so that help can get there quickly. All the services should come under a National Emergencies Authority, to hep in co-ordination. This would include the Coastguard, RNLI, Ambulance Service, Police and Fire Service, and include representatives from the Military.
The National Police Computer should be kept up to date, especially to make sure corrections are made to records with regards to wrongful arrest. Better staff training and a restriction as to who has access is key to route out potential corruption within the forces. Talking of corruption, a way must be found to route it out, as there appears to be an increase in those who do not follow the rules, which also leads to the public not trusting the police.
If such measures are not put in place, with the subsequent funding, there will be an increase in crime. Although crime has overall gone down, the figures are bound to go up as the current cut-backs begin to bite. I am also sure a lot of crime is not recorded because there are not the resources to monitor the streets, as well as cybercrime.