State of Policing Report 2022 and the Loss of Public Trust

In the first annual assessment of policing in England and Wales, Andy Cooke QPM DL who is His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, has called for major reform, including new legal powers for the inspectors of constabulary.

Andy Cooke has described widespread and systemic failures in both the police and criminal justice system, both of which threaten to damage further the public’s trust in police.

  • the police need to prioritise the issues that matter most to the public;
  • forces are failing to get the basics right in investigation and responding to the public, and they need to concentrate on effective neighbourhood policing; and
  • critical elements of the police service’s leadership and workforce arrangements need substantial reform, such as more scrutiny on vetting and recruitment processes, including for chief officers.

The police are experiencing one of their biggest crises in living memory. I can’t recall a time when the relationship between the police and the public was more strained than it is now.

The public’s trust and confidence are unacceptably low. The fundamental principle of policing by consent, upon which the service is built, is at risk.

Andy Cooke – His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary has called for definitive action to be taken to address these failings, instead of “glossy strategies and mission statements” that do not bring about lasting change.

The HMICFRS report State of Policing – The annual assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2022 was published on the 9th June 2023.

“I was a police officer for 36 years before I took this job. I am in no doubt of the dedication, bravery and commitment of the vast majority of police officers and staff. But there are clear and systemic failings throughout the police service in England and Wales and, thanks to a series of dreadful scandals, public trust in the police is hanging by a thread.

“I am calling for substantial reform to give the inspectors of constabulary more power to ensure we are able to do everything necessary to help police forces improve. Over the years, we have repeatedly called for change. There are only so many times we can say the same thing in different words – it is now time for the Government to bring in new legislation to strengthen our recommendations.

“Change needs to start at the top. Chief constables and police and crime commissioners need to do more to make sure their forces are efficient and to get a grip on their priorities. The police are not there to be the first port of call for people in mental health crisis or to uphold social justice. They are there to uphold the law.

“Forces need to show professionalism, get the basics right when it comes to investigating crime, and respond properly when someone dials 999. This is what matters most to the communities they serve and this is the way forward for the police to regain the public’s trust. The fundamental principle of policing by consent, upon which our police service is built, is at risk – and it is past time to act.”

Andy Cooke – His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary

The Home Secretary The Rt Hon Suella Braverman KC MP published the following statement on Twitter :-

Statement from the Home Secretary in response to HMICFRS Annual Report 2022

You may be interested in our articles His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), Met Police, Sussex Police, It’s the LawWhat is Policing by Consent ?, Wasting Police Time, and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

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