New Conservative plans, reported in the Telegraph, for detailed, public crime mapping could do great things for the relationship between ordinary people and the police. Particularly if they are combined with the election of local police chiefs:
"The maps would have to be updated each month, while police would have to hold quarterly "beat meetings" where residents can raise their concerns with local police commanders.
Local residents could enter their postcodes and click onto the map, where the different crime types are represented by differently coloured pins.
Eleven categories of crime - ranging from burglary and vehicle theft to violent assaults - will be detailed on the maps. For sensitive crimes, like sexual assaults, then map will only detail a 300 yard street area."
With such detailed information local people would be able to hold the police to account. The police would then have to really work for the public. There might be resistance in the ranks to such accountability but hopefully the police will realise that, if it is a choice between working for politicians and working for the public who see the results if they do a good job, the latter is more rewarding. The public will, rightly, have more trust in a police service that caters to their priorities than one that follows absurd government targets as it does now.