Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Letter on the police, sent to The Times and The Guardian (not published)

Sir,

Each revelation about poor policing, from the G20 summit, to the pre-emptive arrests surrounding the E.ON protest and the Damian Green debacle, points to inadequacies of leadership. Perhaps the police service might benefit from a degree-educated ‘officer’ or leadership corps such as exists in virtually every other important pillar of the state and wider society. We wouldn’t, for instance, expect the army to be led solely by private soldiers who had risen up the ranks, nor would we allow our schools to be staffed by teachers who didn’t possess degrees or our buildings to be designed by people who weren’t professional architects. What makes policing so different? If it is the fact, often cited, that all police officers must first serve as constables in order to gain an appreciation of the concerns of the citizens they serve, then recent events suggests that the system may not be working as it should.

Yours faithfully,

John Slinger

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