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Statistics degrade policing

The government has promised the new PSQ community police force will be judged by what people say about it rather than statistics

21 February 2018

Could this be the beginning of the end of the managerial culture which insists efficiency and value for money is measured by setting targets, ticking boxes and crunching the numbers through algorithms? 

Policing is never a precise science: low arrest and conviction rates may indicate a force is doing its job in catching criminals badly or that it is doing its job of preventing crime brilliantly. It also requires difficult choices that may not win plaudits: a stern caution can, in some cases, do far more good than a rules-dictated prosecution.

All public servants are called upon to do more than their job description, whether or not their effort is recognised and it is this, more than micro management and accountancy, that makes society work.

Yet it is a courageous politician who allows them to do their jobs without demanding proof. Let’s hope this particular experiment proves a success.

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