‘Sweeping reforms’ needed to sort out policing crisis

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Chairman Sir Michael Barber said only sweeping reforms can reverse the crisis. He admitted policing “seems stuck in the past, hardly fit for the present, yet alone the future” as officers rely on old tech to catch criminals using cutting-edge gear.

Forces, he said, were often “effectively a social service”.

Sir Michael, who advised Boris Johnson on Whitehall reform, leads the first major review of policing in decades.

The Police Foundation review will make 54 suggestions to “mark a fundamental turning point”.

Sir Michael will tell the Centre for Policy Studies today: “There is a clear crisis of confidence in policing in England and Wales. Huge societal, technological and environmental changes are happening at warp speed yet too often policing seems stuck in the past.

” He will warn that 40 percent of crime is online fraud, most of which goes undetected, while “only a tiny proportion” of rapists or sex offenders are prosecuted.

Sir Michael will also claim detentions under the Mental Health Act increased by a third from 2017-20, and that officers spend three million “investigation hours” every year tracing missing people.

Dame Cressida Dick quit as Commissioner of the Met when Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, warned he had no confidence in her reform plans. A watchdog had found misogyny, discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.

Sir Michael added: “In the digital age…it can feel like a contest between a Betamax police force and blockchain enabled criminals.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse MP is expected to say he looks forward to reading the report, due in a fortnight, “to make sure we take the right action”.

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