The chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation is urging the Government to reconsider its plans to bring back league table for forces over fears it will lead to the target-driven culture that has previously damaged the police service.
Liz Groom has backed calls from national Federation chair John Apter for politicians to reconsider the move, following yesterday’s announcement which confirmed the Home Secretary is drawing up to rank police forces on their success in cutting serious crime.
Priti Patel is working with the Home Office to compare forces’ performance on six crime types including homicide, serious violence and cyber-crime, against national benchmarks.
“Scrutiny and accountability are already a huge part of the police service and I just can’t see that plans to re-introduce league tables are going to improve the work we already do,” said Liz.
“I’m extremely concerned that these league tables could see a return of target-driven culture in the Force, something that will prove detrimental to officers and to the communities they serve.
“Enforced targets set by the central Government will not deliver what is best for policing and communities, especially at a local level.”
Liz’s comments echo those of the national chair, who has pleaded with the Government to ‘stop and think before returning to the mistakes of their predecessors’.
John said scrutiny and accountability are already a large part of policing.
“Re-introducing targets in policing would be a damaging and retrograde step. In previous years when they have been used, we have seen forces focus on targets to the exclusion of other issues. This is not good for the public and certainly no good for the victims of crime,” he explained.
“These league tables would also restrict the ability of forces to focus on local issues, because chief officers would be chasing targets which were judged on criteria set in Whitehall. If, despite these warnings, this is pursued it will fail, and it will be damaging.”
Targets were introduced by the previous Government in 2007 but the Federation successfully campaigned for them to be scrapped.