Police have “lost sight of the basics” and “performance is not good enough”, according to the man in charge of training all officers.
Andy Marsh, chief executive of the College of Policing, which sets police standards and training, will use a keynote speech to call on officers and staff to exercise the “highest professional standards.” And he warns that: “At the moment we are simply not effective enough.”
His comments come after the new head of Britain’s biggest police force said burglary is “too serious an intrusion” not to have an officer attend. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said it was unacceptable that the proportion of reported burglaries attended by an officer from the force has fallen to 50%. Sir Mark also said the Metropolitan Police needed to be “ruthless” in rooting out officers whose behavior lets the force down.
During a lecture for the Police Foundation, Mr Marsh, a chief constable who used to lead both Hampshire and Avon and Somerset Police, will say:
“For me, getting the basics right means delivering what the public expect – the prevention and detection of crime by officers and staff exercising the highest professional standards.”
He is also expected to stress how “getting the confidence of communities requires a concerted effort”, adding: “In my book, performance plus trust equals confidence.
“It is not enough simply to show that we care about diverse communities if we are not dealing with the most basic requirements they have of us, namely to prevent and detect crime.
“Engagement, in a policing model built on consent, is the route to effective performance and keeping people safe, and should not be a distraction from it.
“At the moment we are simply not effective enough – performance is not good enough.”
Mr Marsh will use the talk to set out his plan for how the college will help forces provide a police service which “prevents crime and gets justice for more people”.
Referring to the increasing low proportion of crimes resulting in a charge, Mr Marsh will say: “The public just don’t think that is good enough. Neither should we.”
Just 5.6% of offenses in England and Wales in 2021/22 – about one in 18 –, in a charge and/or summons, down from 7.1%, or one in 14, in 2020/21, according to Home Office figures published in July.
And he will add that “leadership is the single most important success factor of a high-performing police force. No officer or member of staff can meet their potential, have their talent identified and managed, or be challenged when their performance falls short, without excellent leadership.”
“When citizens find themselves having to do the job of the police – whether that is tracking down their own stolen tech using Find My Phone, only for the police to refuse to investigate, or when mothers patrol the streets because they are concerned about the safety of their children, their patience with us is going to be pretty thin.
“It is the job of all in policing, not least of all in the college, to equip our officers with the skills and knowledge, that I have talked about, that they need to prevent crime and catch criminals.”