Police chief calls for the abolition of targets

September 07, 2007 11:51 AM

Ian Johnston, the president of the Police Superintendents Association, is denouncing Whitehall crime-fighting targets as a "shambles":

"He maintains that performance targets set in
Whitehall are preventing senior officers from giving the public the
policing they want.


They have no credibility within the police and do nothing to improve the public's perception of crime, he will argue.


Senior
officers say they should be given more discretion to set their own
priorities based on the needs and wishes of local people."

Does anyone still seriously believe that the complex problem of controlling crime can be understood from desks in Whitehall?  So long as local forces have to respond to the priorities of a central government that can only understand what is going on with clumsy targets that miss the true picture of crime and then analyses it from a perspective not shared by most of the population.


The only way to improve things is to give senior officers more discretion and then make sure they have to listen to local people through elected police chiefs.

Ian Johnston, the president of the Police Superintendents Association, is denouncing Whitehall crime-fighting targets as a "shambles":

"He maintains that performance targets set in
Whitehall are preventing senior officers from giving the public the
policing they want.


They have no credibility within the police and do nothing to improve the public's perception of crime, he will argue.


Senior
officers say they should be given more discretion to set their own
priorities based on the needs and wishes of local people."

Does anyone still seriously believe that the complex problem of controlling crime can be understood from desks in Whitehall?  So long as local forces have to respond to the priorities of a central government that can only understand what is going on with clumsy targets that miss the true picture of crime and then analyses it from a perspective not shared by most of the population.


The only way to improve things is to give senior officers more discretion and then make sure they have to listen to local people through elected police chiefs.

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