A force for change: policing after the pandemic

This Reform Perspectives sets out recommendations for the future of policing beyond the pandemic. It is authored by Dave Thompson QPM, Chief Constable, West Midlands Police.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson argues that while the original fiscal envelope for the spending review may now be challenged by the new economic reality, the need for investment in safety and security is key to any recovery agenda. 

However, additional investment alone is not sufficient – ‘building back better’ requires a more reformist approach to public services. 

Central to this must be “a system incentive to shift the default from ‘policy in Whitehall’ to ‘delivery in place’.” CC Thompson is calling for Permanent Secretaries of Place to enhance accountability, and argues that “‘taking back control’ should be the mantra for communities not just Brexit”.

A “sharper mission” is needed for policing that asks: are the police providing services their unique role make them unsuited to? And greater precision is needed, enabled by a rich, data-driven understanding of “tipping-point” communities.

Finally, to tackle the growing threat of organised crime, investment in the right structures and capabilities is needed.