The “New World Order Police” Cometh…
Police forces must merge to fight terrorism and organised crime, says RUSI report
The police service is no longer “fit for purpose” and forces should merge to fight the threat of terrorism and organised crime, an influential think-tank has claimed.
By Richard Edwards
05 May 2010
The structure of 52 fragmented county forces is failing because “criminals and terrorists do not recognise borders” but police are tied to the boundaries of their forces, according to a report in the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) journal.
It said that policing needs urgent reform to bring it into the 21st century and make police “more efficient, reduce duplication and costs”.
The issue of regional mergers, first mooted ten years ago, is back on the agenda and a new government must “take the initiative” to bring about the biggest shake up of policing in 50 years, the report said.
It called for a review to determine how many “super forces” should be created. Some senior police figure have suggested the number being cut to as few as nine in England and Wales.
A RUSI investigation into British policing structures, entitled Responding in Modern World, said: “With an evolving and increasingly integrated range of domestic threats, reform of the UK police is long overdue”.
It added: “Bearing in mind the current economic climate, and the heightened terrorist threat to he UK, it is highly likely it would be beneficial if all sides now seized the initiative, commissioned the review to find the best method of achieving mergers, and pressed ahead with this proposal.”
The article said that current plans – which encourage forces to informally “collaborate” together but do not change the national structures – “will not be as beneficial as mergers”.
The paper cited the example of the car bombings in London and Glasgow in June 2007 as why change was needed.
Terrorists placed the car bombs in London’s West End and then drove to Scotland where they rammed a fuel-packed jeep into the doors of the passenger terminal at Glasgow Airport.
As detectives from London attempted to track the getaway cars they had to notify each force area they passed through in advance that they may have to make arrests enroute. Scotland Yard also wanted to invoke stop-and-search powers nationwide but had to call in all chief constables to a meeting in London to receive individual authority.
The report said that bureaucracy and cross border protocols was hindering an effective response to modern day threats.
It echoed the words of Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, in calling for “political will” to make the mergers happen.
Previous attempts by the Home Office, led by Charles Clarke, former Home Secretary, failed after some forces and MPs said the moves were too expensive to implement, and undermined the connection between local people and their police forces.