Your Opportunity to change Policing

On the 15th of November 2012 the election of the Sussex PCC (Police & Crime Commissioner) will take place. For the first time the electorate will have a direct say in policing. The Police Minister Nick Herbert said in a speech that this will be

"a new era in policing, when local people will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex" .

Up until now the Sussex Police Authority has had this power; Who are they?, what do they do? I think most ordinary residents will be unable to answer that question.This will all change with the election, the electorate will be able to decide what Police force they want and how it operates. This is why I am putting my name forward to be chosen as the Conservative Party Candidate.

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Lessons to be learned from the US

US Sheriff
I have reading an interesting pamphlet published by the Centre for Justice Innovation, it details the experiences of the Crime and Justice system in the USA, particularly New York. Link to it  It's only 11 pages but it's eye opening stuff.
Starting under Commissioner Bill Bratton, the New York Police Department made a substantial investment in technology and data analysis as a management tool to increase the accountability of local precinct commanders (COMPSTAT).
One of the benefits of the COMPSTAT approach was that it helped break down the cities crime problems into more manageable smaller units of analysis; instead of a citywide maze of information, police could focus on distinct precincts and individual neighbourhoods with specific problems.
In the city Minneapolis  50% of the crime came from 3.5% of the cities address's.  This led them to develop Hot Spot Policing to bear down on Crime. They concentrated resource in tackling drugs parks,  as you know when this has been suggested in the UK the argument followed that you would simply displace crime to adjacent areas, the data didn't corroborate this, in fact they found that adjacent areas actually benefited from Hop Spot Policing.
In the USA they have elected District Attorneys, and this gives scope for small scale innovation by individual DA's on a District by District basis. One of these innovations that started in the 1990's was community justice through Community courts,  particularly Drugs Courts and Youth Courts, these are run by the community for the benefit of the community and even have many ex offenders involved in the process, they achieve a 94% approval rating from communities.  This seems such a commonsense idea to reduce the cost of our Justice system and to make it much more relevant to the people passing through the system.

The CPS in the UK  prosecutes on behalf of the Crown, but I can see situations where the Elected PCC can challenge the CPS in how they run things and also encourage them to introduce new ways of processing cases and prosecutions.  Drugs are a driver of crime and rehabilitation is the way to break the cycle of crime and reform lives.

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Rt Hon Nick Herbert (Police & Justice Minister) & Paul Dendle

Rt Hon Nick Herbert (Police & Justice Minister) & Paul Dendle
Nick Herbert (Police Minister) meets Paul Dendle on the streets of Arundel