The Crime Prevention Website

Thanks to our friends in Thames Valley Police for bringing this article in Public to our attention.

The new President of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis, has said:

Although the Home Secretary has removed national policing targets, setting the mission for the service as 'reducing crime', the use of numerical targets persists in police performance management and appears to be embedded in the police psyche.

She went on to say that concentrating on achieving targets and outdoing peers rather than doing the right thing can lead to unintended consequences. Policing should not be a competition, she said, it should be collaborative and in the best interests of the public.

Calling for more common sense in policing, Irene Curtis said: "Radical changes are needed if we are to continue to effectively protect the public and deliver a police service that they deserve. This will mean increasing the capacity of a diminishing workforce.

Interesting thoughts and you can read the rest here at Public

TCPW Comment: Setting targets such as ‘we will reduce burglary by 5% this year’ is fraught with danger.  It tempts the police to perhaps record some burglary as some lesser crime or to not record them at all.  Burglary might reduce by 5% without any intervention by the police, maybe because ADT have been around the area and have successfully sold 180 new alarm systems.   The police might arrest a recidivist burglar responsible for 25% of the burglaries in the area and get him locked away only to realise that the three they locked away last year are back out and active again.  Two hundred new badly designed and insecure homes might become available in the course of the year affecting the crime levels.  There’s just too much out of the police’s hands.

We obviously still need a measure of crime so we can compare one year with the next and measurement is vitally important for crime prevention initiatives, so we can establish if what we did actually worked.

But target setting for police performance?  I’m with the Chief Superintendent!

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