• The Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales is a major
independent review of policing chaired by Sir Michael Barber and
hosted by the Police Foundation
• The Review is funded by CGI, the Dawes Trust and Deloitte
• This report is the culmination of Phase 1 which explores the challenge
• Phase 2 will go on to look at how we should respond to that challenge:
role and purpose, collaboration, legitimacy, workforce, organisation
• The findings are based on a Call for Evidence, interviews with key
stakeholders, police force visits, focus groups, data analysis and a
review of relevant literature
1. The public safety challenge
2. The public security challenge
3. Looking ahead
4. The role of the police
5. Phase Two
The number of people arrested
for terrorism offences grew significantly
Organised crime has become
•increased awareness, reporting and activity in the area of modern slavery and
human trafficking (MSHT), with more than 5,000 offences recorded by the police
in 2018/19 involving over 7,000 victims from 130 countries;
•the rise of County Lines drug trafficking, whereby children and young people have
been exploited by organised crime groups to directly export crack cocaine and
heroin into small towns and rural areas. The change in the competitive dynamics
within the drugs market seems to be the most significant factor in explaining the
recent rise in serious violence, particularly knife crime;
•many organised crime groups have moved away from traditional robbery and
violence into more profitable and less risky “white collar” activities, such as money
laundering and fraud. These opportunities have also opened the way for new
actors to get involved in crime, operating alone or as part of loose online networks.
• The scope, variety and complexity of the public safety
challenge facing the country cannot be successfully tackled by
the police alone or as currently resourced and configured.
• We need to think radically in Phase Two about the role the
police play as part of a wider system of public safety.
• Once we have done that we need to address the skills and
resources the police require to perform their role and look at
the way in which the police service is organised.
More people think that
crime is rising even though
fewer think they will be a victim
Public confidence in the police
is high but has declined in the last year
Confidence in the police is
lower among black people
and people of mixed ethnicity
• The police retain a strong bedrock of public support but it
has eroded somewhat and we do not yet know if that is the
start of a trend.
• Among some minority communities trust and confidence
are lower and addressing the reasons for that is a core
challenge for policing in the years ahead.
• How to meet public expectations and strengthen legitimacy
will be a core component of Phase Two.
• Most of the sources of greater complexity in police work identified will persist and intensify.
• The information space will become an ever more central terrain in which public safety and security
are negotiated and policing will need to address what its role is in tackling internet harms.
• The challenges of dealing with the consequences of social fragmentation and disadvantage will
remain pressing and some of these could become greater.
• High impact disruptive events could become more frequent, requiring greater agility and
collaboration across policing.
• The policing of social tension and the maintenance of public order may become more challenging.
Having the resources, approaches and legitimacy to successfully respond to this will be key.
• The fiscal situation for the UK could be difficult due to the impact of COVID 19 and an ageing society.
• Unless otherwise addressed there is a risk that that the gap between public expectations and what the
police are able to deliver will grow.
• We need to think about the role of the police because it is unrealistic to
expect the police to deal successfully with all of the demands we have
• The existing ways of thinking about this (listing functions and the Peelian
Principles) are unsatisfactory.
• We need to be clearer about what the police should do and what role they
should play as part of a wider system of actors.
Why this is important
• The public like visible local policing
• When provided with information about police demand the
public support a focus on high harm matters
• The public have a ‘traditional’ view of the role: focused on
crime and immediate threats of harm
What the public think
1. The police are not just crime fighters
2. The police operate as part of a wider system of actors who contribute to public
safety and security
3. The police should seek to prevent crime and harm, but we need to be clear
about what their role should be
4. The police have an important role in safeguarding those with complex needs
but we need to think about the parameters of that role
5. How the police do their work is an important component of public security
Our 5 working assumptions
• What is the role of the police, and how should it evolve over the next 20 years,
building on the working assumptions set out in this report?
• What should be the relationship between the public police service and other
agencies and actors involved in public safety and security?
• How can the legitimacy of policing be strengthened, particularly with those parts
of our community among whom confidence in the police is lower?
• What are the implications of questions 1, 2 and 3, and of the changing
landscape described in this report, for the future police workforce?
• How should the public police service be resourced?
• How should it be organised, locally, regionally and nationally?
• How should it be governed and held to account?
7 key questions
How to engage with us
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