Rick Muir of the Police Foundation (an independent think tank) has argued in a recent article that changes, not cuts, are the police’s greatest challenge.
Muir reviews the changing nature of crime and points to technology as the reason for change. For example, the Office of National Statistics identifies 5.8 million more fraud and computer misuse cases now coming to light. Muir illustrates by comparing previous victimisation statistics –
“we are now 20 times more likely to be a victim of fraud than of robbery.”
The implications are huge for policing – with a majority of offences now taking place behind closed doors rather than in public places. Implications too, Muir adds, for victims, with a growing recognition of the vulnerability of victims. A third of victims involved in violence have a mental health need; one in five homelessness issues.
The Police Foundation point out that this changing landscape reinforces the need for partnership working – meaning that the police service alone is not well placed to respond or tackle these broad and changing issues. This changing world, the Foundation argue, is even more significant than cuts to budgets
See the Foundation’s report on Cutting crime in the 21st century: informed proactivity in the midst of social and organisational change published 18th July (pdf) and Rick Muir’s posting at police-foundation.org.uk