Abstracts: July 2nd, 2008

This report from the Institute for Public Policy Research argues that the police service in England and Wales suffers from an accountability deficit. At the national level fragmented governance means that no actor in the system has the power to effectively incentivise performance improvement or drive through change and reform. Recent attempts by the Government to increase control from the centre through target setting and top-down initiatives have had limited success and have made policing even less responsive to local needs and circumstances. At the local level there is no real democratic accountability: police authorities are weak, unaccountable and remote, while elected local governmen thas no effective say over local policing priorities.

The report sets out the consequences of this local accountability deficit for police performance and identifies options for reform. They include citizen focused policing by the development of a customer care culture in the police, a reduction in time spent on unnecessary paper work, embedding neighbourhood policing and providing residents with clear information about local crime.

The report is available from ippr. http://www.ippr.org/publicationsandreports/publication.asp?id=613